Defensive end Aldon Smith declined to answer his pending legal case in Louisiana might impact his availability this season for the Seattle Seahawks. "I can't comment on that right now," Smith said, per ESPN.
Smith, who was out of the NFL for four season, returned to the league last season after signing with the Dalls Cowboys. "Every day I just try to get better, and as long as I keep that mentality and keep learning and keep developing, the sky is still the limit for me," he said.
"I feel like I still have a lot left in the tank and a lot to offer this game." Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll insists Aldon has made a good first impression. "He's made a good first impression about learning stuff," Carroll said.
"He's a very bright kid. ... He knows what's going on in the game, brings us experience and background and all of that. He's having no trouble picking things up. He's got a real style. He's always had this marvelous length and reach and hands and hand play, and you can just tell, he's got a strength and power to him that's really unusual."
Aldon will have to battle for playing time
"It's going to be very competitive," Carroll said. "I hope you can see it already. It already shows. But once we get into pads, I'm anxious to see where he stands with that."
During his interview, Smith was asked what he learned during his time away. "That football is an opportunity that a lot of people don't get, and when you get opportunities in life, you should make the best of them," he said.
"There's a lot of people who wish that they could play this game, and I'm glad that I just got a chance to be able to do the things that I needed to do to get mentally right, that I could be in a position that when I came back, I could be focused and give it what I need to give it to play."
Smith insists he has been sober for a year now. "For me it was just making myself vulnerable and being willing to trust and lean on [those] people," he said. "I've always had people that were there, but I would always try to carry everything on my shoulders. So letting people help me and accepting that help was a major game-changer."