This story first appeared on Bengals.com on April 18, 2001.
After 32 drafts, 15,000 player evaluations, and countless of straight shots, scout Frank Smouse has said good-bye to the Bengals.
Smouse, 77, the former college professor whose no-frills candor made him one of Paul and Mike Brown's most trusted advisors, phoned Bengals President Mike Brown to inform him Tuesday that he won't be in the draft room this weekend and is retiring.
"It had to happen some time," said Smouse from his northern Ohio home. "I don't want to be a hanger-on. How many guys get to stick around and walk away at your own request? Not just this business. Or anything. I'm lucky. The Browns, PB, Mike and Pete have always been very nice to me."
Smouse worked the first 11 weeks of Bengals history as a linebackers coach in Paul Brown's 130-player training camp that began July 4, 1968. Then Brown asked him to go on the road to scout and he never came off until after this year's Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala.
Six years ago, Smouse semi-retired. But he still made several trips a year, watched tremendous amount of tape, spent minicamps and draft week in Cincinnati, and always gave Brown his rankings for each position.
"I'll miss him. He always gave it to me straight," Mike Brown said. "He would never try to pitch me. The thing about Frank is that he would go and go and go. He could really work it. I'm going to miss his wise counsel and because he was just a good guy to be around."
Smouse, a guard at Youngstown State who coached the line at Kent State for 12 years, enjoyed working behind the scenes.
"No big deal," said Smouse of his retirement. "I had a good time and I'll miss all guys. But it was time."