|02-09-2006, 05:47 AM||#1|
Ireland's No1 Bronco
Join Date: Dec 2002
Nice piece on Rod Smith
Broncos' Smith keeps his game face on
By Jeff Legwold, Rocky Mountain News
February 9, 2006
KO OLINA, Hawaii - Those who crunch the numbers for network TV say 141.4 million people tuned in to the Super Bowl on Sunday.
That rather imposing total was missing one set of eyes in Parker.
"I never watched the Super Bowl," Denver Broncos receiver Rod Smith said Wednesday. "It's the first time of my life since I was 5 years old I didn't watch one snap of the Super Bowl. Nothing against the teams that were in it, but I was still in depression, I'm still in depression right now.
"I was actually at the house I'm building, sweeping up trash. Went home, took a shower, got something to eat, read a book, went to sleep and woke up in the morning and it was over. I checked to see who won."
He merely checked because it wasn't the Broncos, even though he believed in every way it would be.
"I really felt we should have been there," Smith said after the AFC team's preparations for the Pro Bowl on Sunday (4 p.m. MST,
ESPN). "You always want to have those opportunities, but we didn't take advantage of it. But at the same time, we had a lot of new guys, really getting that experience the first time, I think they're going to be hungry for more.
"Now everybody has to say, 'You know what? I've got to play a little bit better than I did last year and get us back to that situation.' That's so we can take it over the top."
Smith, 35, knows the clock is ticking on all of this. He's at the third Pro Bowl of his career, but this selection came four years after the previous time he was chosen.
He has two successive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, eight 1,000-yard seasons in all. He has compiled the most receiving yards of any undrafted player in NFL history (10,877) and, listening to his fellow all-stars, has gained the kind of respect from his peers most players covet.
"I know I'm like a lot of us here: I had a great deal of respect for Rod even before I got to spend some time with him," Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green said. "I played with James Thrash, who's a former teammate of Rod's in college (Missouri Southern). But when James and I were in Washington just trying to get on the roster, trying to get into game, we always talked about Rod.
"That's because Rod did what we wanted to do. Rod should probably be here every year. He's been good for so many years, he's been so steady that sometimes he gets overlooked because he's not the flamboyant, in-your-face, media kind of guy."
But Smith, who said he already is planning for his 12th season in 2006, wants one more crack at the Lombardi Trophy, one more opportunity to be a part of the last team standing. Losing in the AFC Championship Game, well, that only makes all of the aches and the pains hurt a little more.
So what Smith hopes is that the 34-17 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers makes everyone in the Broncos organization realize what kind of opportunity got away. And why.
"It's not like we don't have the football team to get to the next level," Smith said. "We had a bad day at the wrong time. Honestly, we had a bad day in all phases, and it's tough to swallow because you realize how close it really was.
"The good thing about it is, you were close because there were a lot of teams that weren't even close. God willing, we get a lot of those same guys back to stay hungry and take that next step . . . and do what we really set out to do."
To that end, he called coach Mike Shanahan's recent meeting with embattled receiver Terrell Owens, "Mike's deal, that's got nothing to do with me."
Smith said Ashley Lelie, who struggled at times this season, possesses the talent to play in a Pro Bowl and predicts the native of Honolulu someday "will come here and have a homecoming for himself."
Smith plans to play as long as he feels competitive, "then they'll run me out. They'll say, 'Look, man, we don't have any more spots.' Then I'll try to be the holder, kicker. I'm going to take (Bradlee) Van Pelt's job (as backup quarterback)."
Smith said he is glad former Broncos receivers coach Mike Heimer- dinger is back with the team as assistant head coach: "I really believe I wouldn't be over here without the help and the tutoring (of Heimerdinger) early in the days. I mean, he harassed me about a route (Tuesday). . . . He helped me learn how to play this game at this level."
I wish Rod could play forever.
|02-09-2006, 06:07 AM||#2|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hot Springs, Ouachitah
If Rod is cool with the Dinger, I am...next question.
Hell, who am I kidding...I'm still pissed about the Jacksonville loss a decade ago.
Still, you have to look forward, water under the bridge isn't coming back.
Last edited by watermock; 02-09-2006 at 06:11 AM..
|02-09-2006, 08:02 AM||#3|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2005
His dissapointment shows how close this team is to competing there. It should really be interesting next yr. Looking forward to trades, FA and draft.
|02-09-2006, 09:45 AM||#6|
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wash DC
I love this part. Do I hear WR coach of the future?
|02-09-2006, 09:47 AM||#7|
How about some Tapenade!
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: The Coaches Cradle...Eastern Illinois University
"This one's for Rod"
|02-09-2006, 10:56 AM||#8|
RIP Darrent Williams
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Glendale, AZ