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The OSC Interview: Trenton Freedom QB Warren Smith

by Fran Stuchbury
August 28, 2014 - Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) - Trenton Freedom

OurSports Central contributor Fran Stuchbury recently interviewed Trenton Freedom starting quarterback Warren Smith. He passed for 2,589 yards, 46 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in Trenton's first season in the Professional Indoor Football League. Smith also ran for 364 yards and 13 touchdowns and was named PIFL MVP.

Fran Stuchbury: How much of an honor was it to be named PIFL MVP this season? It must have been nice since a lot of fans from your former team, the Richmond Raiders, were happy you won the award?

Warren Smith: It was such an honor to be named the PIFL MVP, but as I have been saying it would have been impossible to achieve that goal without the support of my teammates, coaches and front office. It's also great to see the most loyal fans in the PIFL (Richmond) still show respect to me after receiving the award. Goes to show how great of people they really are, especially when you know them personally.

FS: So what have you been doing during the off-season?

WS: Mostly I have been running my quarterback club (Warren Smith Quarterback Club) and two weeks ago we just started our High School football season. So between the high school football and the QB club, I have been pretty busy. I am obviously staying in shape, getting ready for next year

FS: I see you have posted videos of plays you made for the Freedom. How important is that for any player who wants to move up to a higher league?

WS: Anytime you play in a league similar to the PIFL, most everyone's goal is to move up to the next level. Making a highlight film is very important, so you can send it out to other teams. I make it for that reason, and I like to make a film for every year I play.

FS: I got Roger "Spiderman" Jackson's take on the Freedom home game against the Richmond Raiders on May 3rd, where he jumped for the ball in the left corner of the end zone, caught it and went flying over the dasher board. The play made it on the ESPN website. What was your take on that play?

WS: What a great catch that was. It was a very simple throw for me, I saw that we were playing an aggressive corner so I mentioned to Freedom head coach Kevin O'Hanlon that we should run a "Hitch and go," and sure enough he called it. Roger ran a great route and made an even better catch going over the boards. Well worthy of an ESPN catch.

FS: Is playing with a white PIFL ball similar to one you played with in college? Is there any advantage for your wide receivers when you use this ball?

WS: The ball is way different then what we used in college. In College we use a standard Wilson GST which most schools around the country use. In the PIFL not only the color is different, white, but it is a composite football. When the ball is dry it is very easy to grip, but once water or sweat gets to the ball it is very slippery. So after every play I need to make sure I dry my hands and I need to tell the center that also.

FS: You were the starting quarterback for the Richmond Raiders in 2013. How did you end up joining that team?

WS: Same as we talked about earlier. I made a film from when I was in college and when I played over seas and then sent it out to numerous AFL teams and PIFL teams, and lucky enough coach Fuller called me and offered me a contract.

FS: If you don't move up to a higher football league next season, would you come back to the Trenton Freedom? Also if you do move up is backup Stephen Panasuk capable of being a good staring quarterback for the Freedom?

WS: Of course, Trenton is home for me and if nothing happened with me at the next level I wouldn't hesitate to come back. I love all the coaches and ownership. It fits me perfectly with what I want to do.

Yes, Steve might have one of the strongest arms I know. He's got a great head on his shoulders; a very savvy football player and he knows the game well. He did a really good job helping me on the sideline and coming up with plays in practice and in game situations. I wouldn't have been as successful on offense without Steve.

Fran's previous interview with Smith can be found here.

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