New Orleans Saints rookie running back Abram Smith relishes physical style 

“I think I’m a team player through and through, so any way I could help the team is what I was going to do. Whether that’s defense, special teams, offense, it didn’t matter to me. I really just wanted to be on the field. I think overall I’m a ballplayer. I like being out on the field, I like being underneath the lights or whatever it might be, out in front of the fans. That’s my deal. So it’s like, team first and me next.”

New Orleans noticed. His willingness to do whatever it took to contribute is what attracted the Saints, who considered selecting Smith on the third day of the NFL Draft, and considered themselves fortunate that he signed on as a free agent rookie.

“Smart, competitive, really good special teams value,” Saints Coach Dennis Allen said. “And I think any time you’re looking at an undrafted free agent, the first thing you’re looking at is, No. 1, how does he make the team and then, No. 2, does he have the ability to be active on game day.

“And for a young player, the best way that you have a chance to be active on game day is to contribute on special teams. That was an area that we felt he was really good at.”

Smith, too, understands that his path to a roster spot may hinge on his ability to play special teams.

“I take pride…

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