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SMITH HAD stayed silent as mock drafts dropped him lower and as scouting reports and popular opinions questioned his potential. That ended with Smith's rebuttal Tuesday on Twitter.
"Just want to thank all those so called 'experts' who say I can't be an NFL QB. Thursday will be a special day but the work has only begun," he wrote.
Naturally, that was a popular topic Wednesday at a pre-draft NFL 60 youth clinic for kids at Chelsea Waterside Park. Smith insisted he was not angered or embittered by the process. He denied the suggestion he waited until he was so close to the draft to respond to what's become widespread criticism.
"It's not even to get back at anyone, first of all," he said. "It's not about getting back at anyone. You can't do that through Twitter. The only way to do that is to prove them wrong on the field. Basically, what I said was I want to thank them for continuing to motivate me by saying things.
"Obviously, I don't read them, but people call me and say, 'Did you hear this? Did you hear that?' No. I don't care about that stuff. But as long as it's out there, I've got to stay on my A game."
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SMITH SAID former teammate and close friend receiver Stedman Bailey will be one of his guests tonight. Bailey is projected to be drafted Friday during the second or third round, though he could wait early Saturday, which features the final four rounds.
"Sted is part of my family, my extended family," Smith said. "I've known him about eight or nine years now. It was just something where he said, 'Hey, I want to come,' and I said, 'OK, you've got a ticket.' "
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SMITH ISN'T bothered by questions about his mechanics. He believes coaches will adjust Smith's style to their liking. He shrugs off claims he's a quarterback whose success is a product of WVU's offensive system. Smith counters that by saying Coach Dana Holgorsen's style has prepared him for multiple offenses and the control of so many decision also made him ready to better manage a team.
The one thing that seems to mess with Smith most is the implication he can't play in bad weather. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said that's one reason Smith won't go No. 8 to Buffalo. The Bills are now coached by former Syracuse Coach Doug Marrone, who was 3-0 against Smith.
"The severe weather games I saw, they were poor games," Mayock said. "If I'm the new head coach at Buffalo and I'm in an outdoor venue, I'm not going there."
After struggling with the wind in a loss at Texas Tech and then having some trouble with the wind and cold at Iowa State, Smith labored through the snow during the Pinstripe Bowl.
"That's one game," he said. "I played and started how many games in my career? I've played in terrible conditions. I played at West Virginia. That was just one game and I don't think I played particularly bad. We just didn't win that game. Overall, I've got to get better, but that's something I've always done."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.