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The Many Contributions of Brad Smith

Posted by Randy Lange on December 29, 2009 – 3:55 pm

The Pro Bowl teams will be unveiled tonight on NFL Network, and it would be nice to be able to say Brad Smith is on there somewhere. But most fans, opposing players and opposing coaches might not know what position to vote him in for.

Is No. 16 a QB? A wideout? A running back? A blocking tight end, even? A kick cover man? A kick returner?

Smith doesn’t care. His mantra has always been that he just wants to help the Jets win, whatever position he’s put in. And he did that Sunday at Indianapolis with his 106-yard kickoff-return TD to greet the Colts fans just getting back from the Lucas Oil concessions and settling in their seats. Even though the return gave the Jets only a temporary 10-9 lead, it juiced all his teammates up for the post-Peyton push ahead as they scored the game’s final 19 points for the 29-15 win.

"It lifted us," head coach Rex Ryan said. "We knew we were in a dogfight, no doubt about that."

"It was uplifting," said kicker Jay Feely. "It gave us renewed vigor."

"He didn’t start the year back there," Wallace Wright said of Smith’s spot awaiting kickoffs on the goal line. "But he’s going to finish it there. He made a hell of a play."

At his locker after the game, Smith took all the plaudits in with his friendly smile. And he seemed stunned to learn that his 106-yard return was the longest play of any kind in franchise history.

"That’s awesome. That’s awesome," he said. "All the great players who’ve played for us, especially Leon [Washington] and Justin Miller and those guys, that’s a testament to Coach Westhoff and the staff and the guys he puts on the field."

All that is true, but here are two lists showing Smith belongs in their ranks. The first is the list of the six 100-yard plays in Jets/Titans history (the last three coming against the Colts). The second is the list of Jets who’ve returned kickoffs for touchdowns under Mike Westhoff’s tutelage since 2002:

 Year Player Type Yards Final Score
 2009 Brad Smith KOR 106 Jets 29, COLTS 15
 1998 Aaron Glenn Missed FG 104 COLTS 24, Jets 23
 2006 Justin Miller KOR 103 Colts 31, JETS 28
 1997 Leon Johnson KOR 101 JETS 31, Buccaneers 0
 1960 Leon Burton KOR 101 Raiders 28, TITANS 27
 1996 Aaron Glenn IR 100 DOLPHINS 36, Jets 27



 Years     Player TDs  Years Player TDs
 2002 Chad Morton 2  2005-06 Justin Miller 3
 2003 Jonathan Carter 1  2007-08 Leon Washington 4
 2005 Jerricho Cotchery 1  2009 Brad Smith 1


Smith is so genuinely thankful to everyone besides himself after he does something on the field that he could take a bow for. After the kickoff return Sunday, I asked him about the impact of his play on the game and he wanted to talk about his team.

"We needed to make a play. Everybody on the special teams unit wanted to be a part of something to help get the game going in our favor," he said. "To see the blocking on that play, it was textbook. I can’t tell you how easy they made it to make that play. So hats off to them. And I’m just so grateful to God for the opportunity to be able to contribute to this team."

That makes it easy for his teammates to give him props. Before Thomas Jones left the Lucas Oil podium Sunday evening, I asked him what the Smith play meant to him and his offensive teammates. He answered the question like a Brad Smith Seminole play, taking it one direction before faking people out of their underwear and turning the play upfield.

"Brad Smith is one of the best athletes in the league," Jones said. "He can run the ball, he can throw the ball, he can catch, he can tackle. He pretty much does it all.

"For him to return that kickoff, that just sparked us. Not only was it big for us but just the way it happened, just the way it looked. it looked like we were at practice. That’s just a tribute to them blocking. The special teams coaches work really hard at special teams practice. It looked just like it was drawn up. Brad does a really good job for us all the way around, not just on special teams but on offense. He’s definitely an asset to the team.”

Here’s the last chart on Brad for today showing the different hats he’s worn from game to game this season. Remember he missed Games 6-8 with an injury. (QB–Plays behind center when he handed off; STT–Special Teams Tackles):

 Opp Rush   Rec    Pass     PR        KR       QB     STT  TDs
 @hou 1-15              
 NE 1-7              
 TEN   2-18            
 @no 2-20 1-4         2  
 @mia 1-12 1-19            
 JAX         1-15   2  
 @ne             2 4 BPR
 CAR         1-38      
 @buf 1-21       4-76   3  
 @tb 5-16 1-4 1-1-27   1-21  1-16   1  
 ATL 1-8 2-18     1-39 1-11 1  
 @ind 2-16       1-106 2-4 3 106 KR
 TOTALS 14-115 7-63 1-1-27 1-21 9-290 3-15 14 2 TDs


All this points to another reason it’s good to have a B.Smith on your team. The opponents, such as Cincinnati on Sunday night, know he’s going to be used against them. They just don’t know how.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 29 Comments »

29 Responses to “The Many Contributions of Brad Smith”

  1. By joe b on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    This is Fox Sports NFL Power Rankings 12/28. #22
    So the Jets beat the league’s No. 1 team. Pinning the ears back and taking down Curtis Painter is not reason to make any quantum leaps in the rankings. Still, somehow, some way the Jets can make the playoffs with a rookie QB who leads the AFC in interceptions. AND THE NY GIANTS ARE #19 AFTER SUNDAYS EMBARRASSMENT. FIGURE THAT OUT.

  2. By scjoe on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    You are 100% correct Randy, Smith should go to the pro bowl, probably as a ST player. If there were a category for a “team Player” then Brad would get that hands down. I can only hope that the Jets re sign him to a multi year deal after the season. Besides being a team player, he is also a class person. I think Mike T is going to have his hands full after the season resigning our core Jet players.

  3. By carl on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    You go Brad ,u da man this week!!!Go Jets!!!!

  4. By BroadwayJay on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    Lets just hope they come out with the eye of the tiger this Sunday night & send the Meadowlands off with a fitting goodbye.
    Despite not getting back to the Big One since I saw them do it as a 10 year old
    They have given me many memorable seasons & games & rarely played without heart. May the eye of the Tiger be with them instead of the Bengals this weekend We win we in then they can rank that?

  5. By Jets Fan Since 1980(2 years old) on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    We definetly need to keep our core Jet’s players, Brad Smith, Leon Washington, d’brickshaw Fergouson, etc. Darrel Revis is a must. I hated having to let Arron Glen go to the Texans. I think were the most dangerous Team when we go to the Playoffs. The D is Nasty and when Sanchez is on , he is on!!!

  6. By Todd on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    Lets go Jets… One game at a time! keep playing with heart and determination and win or lose you will still be number one to me! Brad Smith you are the future of Football… athletic talent that can play any position. When your career is over you will be looked at as the guy that changed the way football players play the game. A QB that could also run facinated the NFL, Imagine what 16 can do!

  7. By Jeremy on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    We’ve known how good Brad is for a long time-too bad Schotty hasn’t been using him more and more-yet another reason he should go! Nice to see Westhoff giving him a chance to return kicks! Someone tell me how the #1 rushing team didn’t send TJ & T-Rich to the pro bowl, that’s just horrible. Very disappointed the JETS went from 9 to 3 this year in probowlers!

  8. By Randy Lange on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    Jeremy, Thomas Jones is AFC first alternate at RB. All the Jets’ alternates are listed in the Pro Bowl story that just went live on the site. The Jets had seven Pro Bowl players last year, with six playing in the game in Honolulu.

  9. By Alan on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    Im sick to my stomach. I cant believe A SINGLE bengal didnt make the probowl. and Demeco Ryans??? over David Harris? Amazing how only one player on the best defense goes to the Probowl. Tom Brady makes it over Matt Shaub? Fans need to learn how to vote. I love how revis got a standing ovation on the show

  10. By commentman on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    Brad is definitely one of the most dynamic players in the NFL.

  11. By Row on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    With big Benson and LJ running at us, we have to find a way to keep our big safeties out there. Leonhard has been ran over 4 times I can remember for TD’s. He is horrible 1 on 1 vs a RB. We have to tighten up the running defense. Palmer has been a no show as of late. We can win with long offensive drives. Must not try to win passing. Still rather see KC. Go Jets

  12. By AA`78 on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    Leonard weighs around a buck ninety at his heaviest so his only way to effectively tackle a big charging RB is to hit low and wrap up the legs. The times I recall he has gotten “run over” is when he went high going for the ball strip and especially near the goal line where trying a lower tackle would just mean the RB falling in the endzone anyway so he tries to at least free up the ball.

  13. By Ed in Tucson on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    Thanks for spotlighting BS & his many contributions to this team; he’s been 1 of my guys since they drafted him. I wish he had been used more all along. I’d like to see him line up at QB 25% of the time, with & without MS on the field. An imaginative OC could drive opposing Ds nuts with all the possibilities that would open up; we have a good O line that can help option play throwbacks to MS work.

  14. By Ed in Tucson on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    Scouting opportunity: tomorrow’s Az/Nebraska bowl game. Huskers have a dude name Suh (sue), 1st D man to get college player of yr. 3 guys worth watching on AZ, 2 6’4” WRs Juron Criner & Delashaun Dean & 6’5″ QB Nick “Sunshine” Foles. I’m in pigskin heaven this week; I’m optimistic that both my teams, Wildcats & Jets, will win. On Sunday, Revis will 86 Ocho Cinco as Jets win 27-6. Go Jets!

  15. By Ed in Tucson on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    There’s a story in the Star Ledger that says Bengals might take a strategic loss on Sunday because they’d rather play Jets & MS in 1st round of POs than Pit & Berger Boy or Bal & Ray Lewis. Reminds me of when the Dems wanted Reagan to win Rep nomination because he’d be easy to beat. Be careful what you ask for cause it’ll smack you in the teeth. Go Jets, break the “Same old Jets” mold.

  16. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    Smith’s a bit of a heartbreaker — he’s great on ST, good on the occasional O play (though just as often a disaster, thanks to Schotty), but hasn’t shown nearly enough at WR. Great athlete with lots of versatility who hasn’t found that one thing he does really well off ST. No way I’d want to lose him but he might get tired of his roles as a Jet. Of course, if we’d ever given him a shot at QB…

  17. By Ira on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    Brad’s play the last month has been excellent and its nice to see him being used in all the different ways he can contribute. His return vs the Colts surely sparked the team. I don’t get too hung up on PB selections. But TJ, Brick and Harris really got burnt. Good motivation for them as they enter the playoffs. One name left off was Randy’s as the AFC Stat man. GO JETS!!!!!

  18. By The on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    Unfortunately the pro bowl is a populartiy contest so it really means nothing. Bengals should be the biggest concern for the next two games because if we win won we have to try to win another. J-E-T-S….

  19. By Tom Spicer on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    Brad Smith is a solid player I think they should make him the punt returner as well. We do not need Cothcery getting hurt returning punts

  20. By Frankie on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply


  21. By Mike Jet Vet on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    I hear they have a position called specialist for this pro bowl , B-Smith has proven to the league a worthy reciever runner passer return man & STS gunner can’t get any more special then that can you ? Problem is you can only vote him in for 1 position shame ..Just like all last year & this I touted B-Smith now I’m touting #44 watch & see we’ll be praising him soon enough if given the chance

  22. By Mike Jet Vet on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    CONT> Lito -S Donald-S & Jim-L are 2 small to match up with todays Big NFL recievers don’t get me wrong they do a fine job but Againt the likes of Peyton -M Drew-B Tom -B Rivers E-Rogers Big Ben Brett -F we don’t match up very well in the future .WE need to address these issues not to mention punter (((Pass rusher )))& TE ..I would have taken J-Freeman over M-S cost us no picks or players

  23. By Frank on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    Ira I agree that Harris and especially TJ got the short end of the stick. But Brick that is puzzling to me that he is even an alternate. His pass blocking has improved but his run blocking is not good. Almost all our success is up the middle or to the right.

  24. By Schuyler on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    Too much talk about the playoffs, I just want this team to go beat the Bengals on Sunday.

  25. By Ira on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    The Pro Bowl is really a popularity contest by the fans. How in the world do you leave the #3 RB off and Harris off with 126 tck, 5.5 sacks, 5 PD, 2 INT and 2 FF? Mike Jet Vet, Thats right Digs is getting better and better. He got a real good hit on manning last week and Rex seems to lean on him when he wants to blitz a safety. GO JETS!!!! BTW Chad Johnson be quiet my man D will lock you up.

  26. By charliejet on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    Schuyler You are right JETS focus on Cincy 1st forget playoffs! One step at a time! Beat Cincy GO GO GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED NOTHING!)

  27. By Howie D on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    We all can name 10 Jets worthy of the Pro Bowl. WE HAVE BIG-TIME PLAYERS! The fact that we’re struggling for a playoff berth is a reflection of coaching – offensive coaching. I heard that Ryan said “Shotty is free to come back if he wants to.” Are you kidding me? I hope he was just blowing smoke and already has plans to replace Shotty. We’d be resting our starters now if we had a better OC.

  28. By davetharave on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    Brad Smith has the tools to be a game-breaker and a difference-maker for the Jets, however he must be on the field to do this. TJ says Smith is one of the best athletes in the league and he is right – the guy runs, throws and catches – he could play almost anywhere. I want to see MORE Brad Smith on Sunday in this crucial contest and i think it will be difficult for the bengals to contain us.

  29. By broadway bill on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    Sunday was one of the best days in jet history not only did everything break our way for once but i loved watching the Giants get spanked in their last game at Giants stadium now the Jets get to close out the stadium by making the playoffs i love it baby J E T S Jets Jets Jets

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