GREEN BAY – The Packers have made the free-agent signing of former Redskins outside linebacker Preston Smith official.
Here are five things to know about him.
1. He hasn’t missed a game in four years.
Since coming to Washington as a second-round pick (No. 38 overall) in 2015, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Smith has played in all 16 games each of the last four seasons, starting every game the last three years. He played a lot because of the all-around game he brought to the field, setting the edge against the run, rushing the passer and dropping into coverage.
2. He has two eight-sack seasons in his career.
Those came as a rookie in 2015 and again in 2017. He also forced three fumbles that rookie season. His sack total dropped off last year to four, but Pro Football Focus still credited him with 53 pressures (sacks, hits and hurries), well above any Green Bay edge rusher and ranked in the top 25 in the league.
3. The sacks in his career have come in bunches.
Three times in his career, Smith has had a streak of three games or more with at least a sack or half-sack. Over the final three games of his rookie year, he recorded five sacks, including a three-sack game at Philadelphia. In 2017, he began the year with a sack in four straight games, and 4½ sacks over the first five games. Then last year, 3½ of his four sacks came in a three-game stretch in November.
4. He made a play in the postseason Packers fans should recall.
Remember when Green Bay fell behind Washington 11-0 in the 2015 NFC Wild Card playoff before rallying to win? The first points of the Redskins’ strong start in that game came via a safety, when Smith beat substitute left tackle JC Tretter around the edge and sacked Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in the end zone.
5. He’s already very familiar with a new member of the Packers’ coaching staff.
Smith’s position coach in Washington all four years was Kirk Olivadotti, who coached the Redskins’ linebackers. As inside linebackers coach in Green Bay, Olivadotti won’t be Smith’s direct position coach here, but Olivadotti can certainly fill in outside linebackers coach Mike Smith about one of his new players.
Snapshots of newly-signed Green Bay Packers LB Preston Smith