Roderick "Rod" Smith (born May 15, 1970, in Texarkana, Arkansas) is an American football player who currently plays wide receiver for the Denver Broncos of the NFL. He was signed by the Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 1994 and is the only undrafted free agent ever to have 10,000 career receiving yards. He is ranked 15th in NFL history in career receptions and 16th all time in receiving yards. Smith has also had eight 1000 yard seasons in eleven seasons as an NFL player and led the league in receptions in 2001. He won back to back Super Bowl championships in 1997 and 1998. In Super Bowl XXXIII he had 152 receiving yards, including an 80-yard touchdown reception, in the Broncos 34-19 win. He also was a Walter Payton Man of the Year finalist in 2004.
- 1st undrafted player to hit the 10,000 receiving yard milestone, 24th in history.
- Has the most catches, receiving yards and touchdown receptions of any undrafted receiver in NFL history.
- Holds Denver Broncos franchise records in career receptions, touchdown catches and receiving yards.
- He ranks first on Denvers all-time yards from scrimmage list.
- Holds 8 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
In 2000, Rod Smith (100 catches) and teammate Ed McCaffrey (101 catches) became only the second WR duo from the same team to each gain 100 receptions in the same season (see Herman Moore and Brett Perriman).
Smith enjoyed a stellar career at MSSU Missouri Southern State University, finishing with league records in career receiving yards (3,043) and touchdowns (34). He also broke the school’s reception record (153), and was named first-team All-America by AP, Kodak, Football Gazette and NCAA Div. II sports information directors after his senior year. In his final season, Smith caught 63 passes for 986 yards and 13 touchdowns, and was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, given annually to the top football player at the Division II level. He was named Missouri Southern’s Outstanding Graduate in 1994, after completing his collegiate studies with three degrees, in economics and finance, general business, as well as marketing and management.
High school career
- Speaking about younger players: "It's hard to get in the NFL, but the thing they have to realize is (that) it's harder to stay."
- Speaking to Shannon Sharpe about if he should give his #80 to former teammate Jerry Rice: "'Everybody says you should give it to Jerry,'" Smith recalled Sharpe saying. "I said, 'Why is it his number? So every No. 80 in the world is his?' He's like, 'Well, the people say you should give it to him, he's a legend." "I said, 'Sharpe, that's like somebody saying that this guy over here is a better husband and father than you, why don't you give him your wife. You know what I'm saying? It don't make sense!' We joked about that for a while."
- When asked if he was going to be in the league as long as Jerry Rice: "Hell no, I'm not even going to coach at 42."
- About learning from other players: "I always try and learn," Smith said. "I explain it to them how over the last 10 years, every guy that's come in here, I try and take something from that guy. I try to put it in my guy. So take some from me, take something from Ashley Lelie, take something from even some of the other rookies. Take something from them that's working for them and try it."
- After setting Denver Broncos franchise record for touchdowns: "I really don’t want to talk about me," he said. "I didn’t want to talk about me last week, and I don’t this week. I want to talk about our team."
- Speaking of rookies with minor injuries (Maurice Clarett): "You can't make the club if you're in the tub."
- After Ashley Lelie's surfing touchdown celebration: "He's representing from Hawaii. He probably gets some free pineapples out of the deal. Maybe he'll give me one because I like pineapples."
- A response to former teammate Eddie Kennison's trash talking: "This was pretty big talk from a guy that once quit the team 12 hours before kickoff 8 weeks into the season." Says Rod Smith, "He quit the night before a game. We were 4-4 and we needed him. I had to go out there and I had two rookies and a third-year guy playing receiver and I'd rather go out there with some guys who wanted to play with their hearts." Smith held up his two huge Super Bowl rings for Kennison and said: "Before you start popping off at the mouth you ought to get yourself some of these."
- After chasing down and tackling Julius Peppers after everyone else gave up: "You see a lot of guys at the end congratulating me for tackling this dude just for hustling, but that's what we all should be doing anyway," Smith said. "For me, that's the way I play football."
- On fans and their booing: "They spent their money. They can go in there and boo all they want. We know we have to play for 60 minutes. It's hard when you hear that, but at the same time, they paid for the seats, so they have a right to do whatever they want, but I know for a fact that every guy is out there doing everything they can to be great -- not good, but great. It's hard to hear, but at the same time, you're always going to have that. In the end, those same people are patting you on the back, so you wonder, 'Are they really fans or not?'"
- After the Broncos beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football in which Smith received a concussion and a reporter asked him how he felt: "I feel great. We won. What do you mean, 'How do I feel?'"
- Jokingly talking about his upcoming matchup against his good friend and former teammate Clinton Portis on the Washington Redskins: "If I catch Portis over by the sideline, I'm going to knock him out."
- After being asked if he will follow in Terrell Davis and Shannon Sharpe's footsteps by entering into the color commentator and analysts' seat and jokingly replying: "As far as Terrell and Shannon, I think they’re sellouts. They’ve become part of the paparazzi and it’s really put a big strain on our relationship as friends. I still like them, but I don’t love them as much as I used to because they have a microphone in their face."
- Speaking about Jake Plummer's improving game: "He's still Jake the Snake, but a little different snake"
- Speaking about teammate Dwayne Carswell who was involved in a bad car accident: "Every guy carried a piece of him out there on the football field tonight," wide receiver Rod Smith said. "We said that going in and we said that coming out." "He's so blue collar and that's the way I am. I just love him out there playing with us going out there banging giving it up for the guys and the guys gave it up for him tonight." "I'm scared to go see him," Smith said. "They're moving organs around and stuff; it's kind of frightening. I don't want to be in there and make him laugh."
- While yelling at upset Oakland Raider fans because their team was losing badly and shouting obscentities at him from the stands during a game: "Hey, if you leave now, you can beat traffic!"
- While replying to upset Oakland Raider fans because their team was losing badly and telling Smith that he should retire: “I’ll retire after the game”
- Speaking about Ron Dayne's 55yrd overtime run against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving in 2005 to set up the game winning field goal. "You know the saying, 'Break glass in case of emergency?'" receiver Rod Smith said. "We broke the glass and he came through."
- About playing in Arrowhead Stadium: "I still remember a few years ago this one old lady cussed me out (at Arrowhead)," said Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith. "I was laughing so hard it was funny."
- In a USA Today article: "I know I'm not the most talented guy. I'm not the smartest guy, but the thing I'm going to do is work hard and give my teammates everything I can. They know that. That's become my thing."
- In a USA Today article: "I don't care about money. I don't care about, 'Oh, you are a superstar. You are a celebrity.' To me, all that is crap, I just care about winning."
- In a USA Today article speaking of his 2 Super Bowl rings: "I've got three kids and all of them need one and I need one. So I've got two to go, somehow, some way."
- About Super Bowl XL after Denver lost the 2005 AFC Championship to the Pittsburgh Steelers: "I didn't watch one snap of the Super Bowl," Smith said. "It was nothing against the teams that were in it. I was still in depression." "I'm still in depression right now" he said.
- After missing a long pass from Steve McNair before being laid out by Cowboy's safety Roy Williams in the closing seconds of the 2005 NFL Pro Bowl: "I was hurt, but I'm not worried about that," Smith said. "I wanted to win. ... I let my teammates down. I should have made that play." "We could have won," Smith said. "We had too many missed opportunities, including mine."
- Speaking about the term "overachiever": "What makes you an overachiever?" Smith asks. "I never understood that word -- overachiever. That means you're doing something you're not supposed to be able to do, because obviously we were able to do it. It's just a matter of having the right opportunities.
- Speaking about the NFL Draft (Smith was undrafted): "People ask me, 'What did you think about the draft picks?' I said, 'Dude, I don't watch.' I'm still kind of bitter," Smith said. "Some guys got drafted and they ain't played football in 15 years and I'm still waiting to get drafted. I'm still waiting to hear my name."
- Speaking about teammate Ashley Lelie's possible holdout: If Ashley comes back, to me it's no big deal. If Ashley doesn't come back, to me it's no big deal," Smith said. "I love having him on my football team, I love when he's on the football field making those plays, because he's a talented guy. I think it would be a waste of his talent to not be on the football field during football season, but it's his business and he gets to make those business decisions for him and his family, and I can't knock that. Whatever his rationale for doing it, I support it.
- Speaking about the advice he would like to give Ashley Lelie about his holdout: "The advice I'm going to give is that I'm going to kick his ass because he hasn't called me back," Smith said. "That's the advice I'm going to give; so when I see him, I'm going to smack him. He's in town; I called him and we were supposed to have lunch, and it wasn't about football. I just wanted to see how he was doing, and for some reason, we didn't connect. I really wanted to just talk to him and see how he's doing, not from a football standpoint, but (because) I care about him as a person."
- Talking about how people keep referring to him as ready to retire because he is getting older: "The age thing is going to always come up," Smith said. "I get tired of hearing about it becaue it doesn't matter. What different does it make how old you are if you can go out there and produce? That's the issue. If you're 23 and you (stink), is that good?"
- On Javon Walker, Jay Cutler and other team mates being in the news: "I just fly under the radar and they forget to cut me because they're busy focusing on everybody else," Smith said. "Think about it. I've played with John Elway, Shannon Sharpe, Ed McCaffrey, Terrell Davis, Steve Atwater, Gary Zimmerman. I've played with all these guys. I've been under the radar my whole career. I love it."
- On Jake Plummer's upcoming season: "We expect big things. He expects things. And I expect a lot more of what he did last year," receiver Rod Smith said. "We don't expect him to be some superhero. If he goes out there and tries to please everybody, then we're in trouble because he can't, but he can please the 50-plus guys on this team. And we're the hardest critics he's ever going to face."
- Rod Smith's slogan in his local television ads for Blackjack Pizza is "Stick with the home team." The veteran wide receiver was prepared for the critics in the locker room who might want to make light of his acting skills. "One of the rookies was messing with me about it the other day. He was laughing and I said, 'You don't know how much I got paid for that. It's more than what you make.' Then he quit laughing," Smith said.
- After Runningback Mike Bell ran out of bounds instead of trying to fight for an extra yard, Rod told the young back, "There is no one on our football team who has the right to run out of bounds on his own unless it's the quarterback. You always fight for the extra yard. You never know. They might miss the tackle. They might slip. So, he didn't know that, so we let him slide on that one."
- On critics saying Jay Cutler will replace Jake Plummer "The guy took us to the AFC Championship game last year, we had a bad day and you want to get rid of him? Jay Cutler is going to be a great football player. But right now he has to wait his turn. Jake is playing well"
- On Javon Walker "He's a humble guy but at the same time he has a swagger that you like. Like I told him (Thursday), when you score a touchdown, the first person you're probably going to see is me. I celebrate because I get to get off the field when you score."
<stats> Player=Rod Smith Sport=NFL </stats>
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Uniform Number: 80
Years in League:10
Date of Birth:5/17/70
Place of Birth: