Alfonso Smith gains experience, increased confidence

Sep 27, 2011, 2:41 AM | Updated: 4:01 am

PHOENIX – Arizona Cardinals running back Alfonso Smith gained some valuable experience in his NFL debut against the Seahawks on Sunday.

“It was a great opportunity for me. I just wanted to go out there and show everybody I can play in this league,” said Smith after practice on Monday.

Smith carried the ball 17 times for 54 yards rushing and also caught three passes for 21 yards.

The Cardinals’ rookie feels his first NFL action reaffirms his belief that he can be a productive NFL back.

“Throughout the game, my confidence picked up and now I know I can go in and do what they ask of me. I’m pretty confident in my abilities,” said Smith.

Still, Smith knows he needs to improve in certain areas if he’s to become a good all around running back.

“I need to get better at protecting these quarterbacks in the league. I need to work on my protection and catching the ball,” said Smith.

Still, given Beanie Wells’ penchant for getting injured, it should give the Cardinals hope that their first year player can fill in when called upon.

“I showed them they can depend on me to go in there if Beanie goes down,” said Smith.

However, Smith wasn’t satisfied with his performance on Sunday.

“I’m going to grade it as an “F” because we lost. I didn’t do enough to help the team win,” said Smith.

“I’m going to be my worst critic and just say I need to do better.”

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