The Orange Mane -  a Denver Broncos Fan Community  

Go Back   The Orange Mane - a Denver Broncos Fan Community > Orange Mane Discussion > Orange Mane Central Discussion
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Chat Room Mark Forums Read



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-14-2009, 06:50 AM   #1
Bronco Rob
Ring of Famer
 
Bronco Rob's Avatar
 
The Alpha & The Omega

Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 4,747

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Kush & Irsay
Default Rod Smith : One Hall of Fame spot down, one to go

Being considered a good football player wasn't good enough for Rod Smith.

His bottom line was being the best. Anything below that standard was unacceptable. For more than a decade, he quietly went about establishing Broncos records for pass receiving, leaving the headlines for others.

He practiced as if it were first down and goal to go. If a rookie wanted extra work and some tips on playing the pro game, Smith was there to help.

Only when he officially retired a year ago, unable to come back from a hip injury, did he reflect upon his amazing accomplishments. Perhaps it was then that Bronco Nation realized what No. 80 had done and how much he would be missed.

"I was just a poor, slow guy from a small school (Missouri Southern) who did everything I could for as long as I could," Smith said in a phone interview. "I didn't ruffle feathers. If I was recognized, it was for doing my job. I played football that way."

Smith's way was 849 career receptions, 71 total touchdowns and 11,389 receiving yards. He led the Broncos in receiving six years in a row at the start of this decade, the best career numbers of any undrafted receiver in NFL history.

For his outstanding achievements, Smith will be inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame tonight. He believes the next stop down the line could be Canton, Ohio, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"The numbers speak for themselves," he said.

If there was a driving force behind Smith's tenacity, it was getting overlooked in the 1994 NFL draft after a stellar collegiate career. He was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II football player of the year.

"I'm still waiting 15 years later for my name to be called," Smith said. "I'm still bitter about the whole draft process."

But he has no bitterness for the Broncos, and he has especially high regard for coaches Wade Phillips and Mike Shanahan. Phillips kept Smith on the Broncos' taxi squad for the 1994 season. Shanahan made him a regular in 1995.

"I knew if they gave me a chance, I would take that shot and make the best of it," Smith said. "If I got the opportunity, I wasn't going to look back and say, 'Woe is me.' Anytime I see Wade Phillips, I go up and thank him. If he hadn't given me the opportunity, no one would have known the kind of player I was."

During his early years with the Broncos, Smith had John Elway throwing him passes.

"You couldn't go wrong with being a teammate of John Elway," Smith said. "He taught me how to be a professional."

Smith prevailed through a period when it seemed that Shanahan always was looking to add a receiver. Smith wondered if he was a target.

"I think at times they were looking for a first receiver and to get rid of my salary," Smith said. "I even got lost in the shuffle at times. I thought they were looking for a receiver to replace me every year."

Smith grew up in the projects of Texarkana, Ark. He carries a food stamp in his pocket to this day as a reminder. His football days are behind him. He has entered private business as a founding member of the ownership of OrGano Gold Coffee, a mixture Smith guarantees will give its drinkers a Rod Smith attitude to start the day.

And though he played on two Super Bowl champions, he said what he misses most about football are the friends he made along the way.

"The Super Bowls were very important, but the highlight for me were the associations and relationships I made,"

Smith said. "I won't get to play on that stage anymore. When I couldn't play anymore at that level, it was time to walk away."

Smith bio

Born: May 15, 1970, in Texarkana, Ark.

High school: Arkansas High School in Texarkana

College: Missouri Southern State University

Family: Sons Roderick and Devin, daughter Vanessa

Hobbies: Golf, reading

Advice: You have to work for everything you get.





.

Last edited by Bronco Rob; 04-14-2009 at 08:09 AM..
Bronco Rob is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 04-14-2009, 07:12 AM   #2
HEAV
Ring of Famer
 
HEAV's Avatar
 
It's about the Team

Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Ville
Posts: 12,040

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Brian Dawkins
Default

#2 Bronco behind Elway. Simply the best undrafted free agent player ever. His work ethic and love for the game are something that you just don't see much anymore in the NFL.

A true leader on and off the field.
HEAV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2009, 07:18 AM   #3
baja
Elite Sissie
 
baja's Avatar
 
Because

Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: in the present moment
Posts: 59,529

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Cito's Sissies
Default

Nice nostalgic read. Wish it was a better thread title so more people would click on it.
baja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2009, 09:10 AM   #4
Conklin
Ring of Famer
 
Conklin's Avatar
 

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Springfield, Misery
Posts: 3,141
Default

this will be his 2nd hall induction, hes already in the missouri hall of fame
Conklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2009, 09:16 AM   #5
Rabb
No Luca, No!
 
Rabb's Avatar
 

Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,359

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Dynamite Monkey
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HEAV View Post
#2 Bronco behind Elway. Simply the best undrafted free agent player ever. His work ethic and love for the game are something that you just don't see much anymore in the NFL.

A true leader on and off the field.
absolutely agree
Rabb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2009, 09:18 AM   #6
Where's Plummer???
orton has plummers beard
 
Where's Plummer???'s Avatar
 
Orton Is A Team Leader!!!

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Co. Springs
Posts: 300

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Kyle Orton
Default

2nd jersey i ever ever owned was smiths right behind my lucky Elway Jersey
Where's Plummer??? is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2009, 09:24 AM   #7
OBF1
Ring of Famer
 
No avatar is the new avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Orlando, Florida
Posts: 15,592

Adopt-a-Bronco:
None are worthy
Default

Hey Pat.... leave a spot on the Ring of Fame for Rod
OBF1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2009, 09:59 AM   #8
DenverBroncosJM
Post here Vine
 

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,115
Default

My all time favorite Bronco. Cant ask for more than this guy gave.
DenverBroncosJM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2009, 12:34 PM   #9
Rock Chalk
Cheeky Bastards
 
Rock Chalk's Avatar
 
Laus Deo

Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: The Backside of the Internet
Posts: 29,750

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Chris Harris
Default

God damn shame of it is he wont even sniff the Hall.

Man I loved Rod Smith.
Rock Chalk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2009, 12:54 PM   #10
Rohirrim
Partisan
 
Rohirrim's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Twixt Hell & Highwater
Posts: 54,325

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Malik Jackson
Default

Still have my #80 hanging in the closet.
Rohirrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2009, 01:06 PM   #11
Garcia Bronco
Hokie since 1993
 

Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 46,832

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Tom Jackson
Default

80 kept a food stamp in his wallet to remind him of where he could have been had he let up.
Garcia Bronco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2009, 05:42 PM   #12
kelinsky1
Broncfreak
 
kelinsky1's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 24
Default

My absolute second favorite Bronco, behind Elway.
Rod let is actions on the field do his talking. You didn't hear any whinning or sniffleing from him. If the team didn't play well, he'd say so in the after game interview, then he'd work harder, trying to inspire the rest of the team. Just let him play.
Man I loved to watch him.
Wish we could clone a couple of him.
kelinsky1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2009, 07:32 PM   #13
Bronco Rob
Ring of Famer
 
Bronco Rob's Avatar
 
The Alpha & The Omega

Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 4,747

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Kush & Irsay
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garcia Bronco View Post
80 kept a food stamp in his wallet to remind him of where he could have been had he let up.













Bronco Rob is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:42 AM.


Denver Broncos