View Full Version : Old pros help to make new stars (Rod Smith story)

05-10-2009, 10:13 PM
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Among the many subjects I interviewed during the week before Super Bowl XLIII (http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/43) in Tampa, Fla., none was as insightful as Jerry Rice (http://www.nfl.com/players/jerryrice/profile?id=RIC128880), who told me to look for Pittsburgh Steelers WR Santonio Holmes (http://www.nfl.com/players/santonioholmes/profile?id=HOL657297) to be the difference-maker in the big game.
Early the next morning, after Holmes scored the winning touchdown (http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-super-bowl/09000d5d80e84a39/SB-XLIII-Can-t-Miss-Play-Santonio-seals-the-deal) and became the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player (http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/story?id=09000d5d80e854a5&template=without-video-with-comments&confirm=true), I again spoke with Rice, who explained how he had trained Holmes before the start of the 2008 season. Rice spoke of Holmes’ explosive ability and how his training emphasized both endurance and productive plays after making the catch.
In retrospect, I discovered that it was Holmes who made decisive plays in all three of the Steelers’ postseason games. His explosive punt returns set the table for playoff victories over the Chargers and the Ravens. He then repeatedly beat the Cardinals’ defensive backs in the Super Bowl by turning short catches into long gains.
Such revelations bring me to Tennessee Titans first-round pick Kenny Britt (http://www.nfl.com/draft/2009/profiles/kenny-britt?id=71217). The wide receiver out of Rutgers began working with retired Denver Broncos WR Rod Smith (http://www.nfl.com/players/rodsmith/profile?id=SMI664448) in preparation for last February’s NFL Scouting Combine (http://www.nfl.com/combine).

The rest of the story at the link....