Posted Mon Aug 4th by Jonathan Douglas
Rod Smith says coach’s hours are too long for him; however, it seems clear that Rod Smith’s presence as an advisor, teacher and counselor will be felt this season by at least one important player – Brandon Marshall.
Rod says that he took a special interest in Brandon because he likes ‘who he is as a person’ but also because he recognizes the trouble Brandon has been in lately. Smith admits to dealing with his own troubles in the past, and when he saw Marshall dealing with things last year he stepped up to offer advise and counsel. Smith says that he wants to be a positive influence on Marshall but he refuses to sugar-coat things.
“Brandon and I have been working though some of his stuff for over a year now…. Some times you just have to repeat things several times to people – not just Brandon.”
This is nothing new. Rod Smith has been a teacher and counselor for the Bronco’s young wideouts for years now. And he spent all of last season in a leadership role – even if it was from the sidelines.
“I try to mentor and motivate and encourage guys to be better… but not for themselves but for the rest of the guys in this locker room.”
Well, that team-oriented attitude was why Brandon (and his lawyer) ask the veteran receiver to come to New York and accompany Marshall to his meeting with the NFL Commissioner. That task wasn’t necessarily fun for Smith. In fact, he described it recently as: ‘kinda of scary… it was kind of like going to the principal’s office.’
However, Smith was willing to make the trip both to assist Marshall, but also to help the team he loves. For Rod Smith, he just can’t stand to think about Brandon not reaching his potential.
“I just told him, ‘You are in a position in your career right now to pass everything I’ve done in 14 years – and you’ve only been here 2 years. And I’m not going to let you screw it up.’ And I’m not going to let him.”
In the meeting with Commissioner Goodell, Rod agreed to be a part of Brandon’s support group in Denver and to continue to provide advice and instruction going forward.
As Rod put it: “I’m going to be a part of his team.”
If the early rumors are true – that Marshall will only be suspended for 2 games with counseling – Rod Smith’s commitment to Brandon’s on-going support may have played a big part of the decision to limit his suspension. There is no question that the Broncos respect Rod Smith. I think this proves that the League also respects Rod Smith both as a player and as a mentor.
So, even though we might not see #80’s jersey when we look around on Third-and-Long, we should be able to detect his presence and influence on our best and brightest WR this year. It brings me great comfort to know that Rod Smith will be playing a part in Brandon’s life.
I also think this might pave the way for Rod and the Broncos to create a new position among the staff for him. If not coaching… maybe personal instructor? Motivational expert? Player Tutor?
Whatever they decide is fine by me. I just want to know that a man of Rod Smith’s integrity and devotion to team is involved in this ball club.