Sharks' Smith first team All-Arena
The Arena Football League announced Wednesday that three Sharks have been selected to the 2013 All-Arena Defensive Teams. Defensive back Terrance Smith has been named to the First Team, while defensive lineman Jerry Turner and Mac linebacker Aaron Robbins have earned Second-Team honors.
A third-year AFL veteran, the 26-year-old Smith was one of the top playmakers in the secondary this season, setting a new franchise record with 12 interceptions in 16 games played. Smith finished tied for third in the league with those interceptions, returning them for a total of 122 yards and a touchdown. Smith totaled 74.5 tackles (61) solo, adding 1.5 tackles for loss, four fumble recoveries and 12 pass breakups.
This season, Smith showed a tendency to make plays in bunches. He had two interceptions in four different games this season, accomplishing the feat against New Orleans in Week 4, against Pittsburgh in Week 11, at Utah in Week 13 and against Orlando in Week 15. In that game against the Predators, Smith helped turn the tide with two fourth-quarter interceptions, including one on the final play of the game that sealed the Sharks’ 62-55 victory.
This is Smith’s first All-Arena selection in his three-year career. He was previously selected to the 2012 All-Ironman team thanks to his overall work as a receiver, a kick returner and a defensive back.
By far the most experienced player on the Jacksonville roster, the 35-year-old Turner has earned the first All-Arena selection in his seven-year AFL career. One of just two Shark players to start all 18 games, Turner ranked among the league’s top pass rushers throughout the entire season. He finished the year as the Sharks’ team leader with 14.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. He ranked fourth and third in the league in those respective categories, and set a new franchise record for most tackles for loss in a single season.
In his first season with the Sharks, Turner made his presence felt immediately, as he racked up four sacks in the team’s first two games, including a three-sack performance against the Pittsburgh Power in Week 2. Turner is one of just three players in franchise history to record three sacks in a single game. This season, Turner finished fifth on the team with 37 total tackles (28 solo), tied for the team lead with five forced fumbles and tied for second on the team with four fumble recoveries. He also recorded three of the Sharks’ five blocked kicks and added a pass breakup.
The 30-year-old Robbins has now earned his second All-Arena selection in as many seasons, as he was a member of the 2012 All-Arena First Team. As a key component of the Sharks’ record-breaking defense, Robbins set new career highs with 12.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks, totals that ranked him second on the team in both categories. League-wide, Robbins finished sixth in the league in tackles for loss and seventh in the league in sacks. He ranked second among Mac linebackers in both categories.
Robbins recorded a sack in five straight games from Week 2 through Week 6, and notched at least a partial tackle for loss in every game between Week 2 and Week 9. For the season, Robbins totaled 28 tackles (20 solo), three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Smith has become the third player in franchise history to earn a First Team All-Arena Defense nod, joining Robbins (2012) and defensive back Micheaux Robinson (2011). The Sharks have now had five players make the Second Team All-Arena Defense, as Robinson earned the honor in 2010, Derrick Summers made the squad in 2011, and Scooter Berry accomplished the feat in 2012.