How much did Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban help Andre Smith’s draft status? Cincinnati Bengal coach Marvin Lewis addressed those questions at a press conference. (You can read the entire transcript here.)
Q: How much did Alabama head coach Nick Saban help with evaluating Andre?
MARVIN LEWIS: Nick has been very positive about him. I did not talk to Nick personally, but Paul (Alexander) did. Paul spent a lot of time there and with Joe Pendry, his line coach. These guys have been in his corner. Joe Pendry was a longtime NFL coach and a really tough man, as we know Nick is. So we feel real good about that and their recommendations on him, and that they believe these things were just signs of missteps, things that are very correctable.
Q: What did Nick Saban and (Alabama assistant head coach [offense]/offensive line coach) Joe Pendry say about Andre?
PAUL ALEXANDER (Assistant head coach/offensive line coach): Joe Pendry said he was a delight to coach. Iâ€™ve known Joe Pendry for a long time and I trust him a lot. Joe never sugarcoats anything. Joe is not one to lie. Joe just said the kid was great. I talked to a lot people from Alabama. Everyone said that all of these weird issues that came up after the combine were out of character. They say heâ€™s been a great kid, work and everything. They recommend him without reservation.