San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith is only a couple months into retirement, but he might have found a way to stick around football to a lesser degree. Two months after suggesting he might consider coaching at some point, it appears Smith has found a way to dip his toe into the coaching waters.
Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel addressed the media on Wednesday at an SEC media event, and he said Smith wants to get involved with his former school. It sounds fairly low key, based on how Pinkel described it:
"I think he wants to get involved in the weight room a little bit with our players and help us out," Pinkel said Wednesday at SEC Media Days. "That would be great if he can do that. He would be a tremendous asset to us."
When Smith previously said he would consider coaching, he wanted to take a year or two to figure things out because of the crazy hours involved. Working in the weight room seems like an easy way to see how he likes it in limited fashion, and then potentially build from there.
Pinkel said that Smith is building a ranch in Columbia, Missouri, which is where Mizzou is based. Given the location and what sounds like a fairly low key job, this makes a lot of sense for Smith. Whether or not he ends up coaching back in the NFL remains to be seen, but if it does, we'll see this as the starting point. Best of luck to Cowboy.