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Aaron Smith On Sports Illustrated's All-Decade Team

Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith just went on injured reserve, perhaps ending his career. It's been a while since he's been healthy for any sustained period of time, but he'll be missed. Dejan Kovacevic dug up this Sports Illustrated article on the top players of the decade. Smith is there, along with fellow Steelers Hines Ward and Dick LeBeau and former Steelers Alan Faneca, Mike Vrabel and Sean Morey. Here's SI's commentary.

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He's the upset pick of the team. But the mostly anonymous body of work over the decade makes the 1999 fourth-round pick a worthy choice. The Steelers were the top-rated defense three times in the last half of the decade, and the 6-5, 298-pound Smith's ability to shed blocks as a 3-4 defensive end and stop the run was a vital part of their success. "He can't be blocked," defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said. Well, almost.

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You can check out Behind The Steel Curtain's take on the possible end of Aaron Smith's career here.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.