"And now for something completely different": Emmitt Smith has eye on 2005 season NFL.com wire reports TEMPE, Ariz. (Dec. 16, 2004) -- Fifteen seasons might not be not enough for Emmitt Smith. The NFL's most prolific ball carrier sounds as if he would like to come back for a 16th, either with the Arizona Cardinals or with some other team. "I don't have no problem playing next year," he said after practice. Smith stopped just short of saying for sure he will come back. "I'm not totally happy with the I way I performed in terms of the success of the team and all," he said. "But I wanted to make a contribution, and I feel like I have made a contribution, and I think I've got a lot in me to make more contributions to this team or wherever it may be if I choose to continue on." The 35-year-old running back has rushed for 732 yards in 202 carries -- 3.6 yards per carry -- and has scored nine touchdowns. A sore big left toe kept him out of one game, and his carries have dwindled in the other three games in Arizona's four-game losing streak, largely because the team has had to abandon the run while playing from behind. He needs to average almost 90 yards in each of the next three games to reach 1,000. Coach Dennis Green, who has said he thought this was Smith's final season, wanted nothing to do with the subject of the running back's future. "You know what? I haven't thought about anything except the Rams right now," said Green, whose 4-9 team will play St. Louis on Dec. 19. "We've got three games to go, and I'm focused on the first game." Smith, the NFL's career rushing leader with 18,150 yards and counting, is in the last year of a two-year contract he signed with the Cardinals after leaving Dallas. Injuries shortened his 2003 season, then the Cardinals hired Green, who installed Smith as the starter. "I tell you what, I've enjoyed my stay here with Dennis," Smith said. "He's given me an opportunity to get back on the football field and showcase my talent, whereas earlier this year there was a chance I was going to be a backup. He saw fit to give me a chance to come out here and do my job again and be the No. 1 guy. I can't be anything but grateful and thankful for a man to give me the opportunity to do that." Smith stirred up some controversy Dec. 12 after an overtime loss to San Francisco, when he said that, among other things, players must "overcome coaching" sometimes in order to achieve success. The remark was widely interpreted as a shot at Green or his assistants. Four days later, Smith said he meant that players sometimes have to abandon what they've been taught and improvise on the field to make a play work. "Sometimes as a player you have to do things on the football field for the betterment of the play," Smith said, "understand the game. If you understand the game, sometimes you do things that make the play better. I feel the comment was definitely taken as a negative, and I didn't mean it toward Denny or any of the coaching staff." Green brushed aside the incident, saying only that, "I just reminded the guys they have to be careful about what they say. I just think you have to be careful because a lot of times you say a lot, and only a certain amount gets written. I talked to the whole team about it." Smith expressed disappointment in his two years with the Cardinals. "I don't know what the future has in store for me," he said. "If the opportunity comes and it presents itself to come back, I will seriously look at that and take that under consideration. "But if the opportunity does not come, then I feel like I have failed the mission. My mission was to get here and help this team get to the playoffs, and this is my last chance to do it."