Brad Smith: Swiss-Army Knife

Mark Cannizzaro wrote a fantastic piece this morning about Brad Smith, and just what he means to the team with quotes from his coaches and teammates.  It’s a great article, and here’s one of the leading sections about Mike Westhoff’s trip to recruit Brad Smith when he was at Mizzou.

Mike Westhoff, the Jets’ special teams coordinator, remembers going to Missouri to recruit Smith and working him out at quarterback, receiver, running back, punt and kick returner and even defensive back.

“Everything he did,” Westhoff recalled, “he did exceptionally well.”

Westhoff remembered reporting back to then-head coach Eric Mangini and saying, “Let’s get him. I don’t care where or how, let’s get him.”

The most powerful moment that resonated with Westhoff about that visit to Missouri was his first impression.

“When we got there, it was like the entire athletic department was ready to drop football when that guy was leaving,” Westhoff said.

“They just loved him. This was a guy that just did everything for them.”

I’ve always loved what he’s meant to this team, most notably as a special teams player and as an option QB.  Years ago I had hoped he’d ascend to the #2 WR spot, but he’s found a niche that has been more valuable, especially as the team has gotten much more talented at WR during the past two seasons.  I’m glad that he’s part of the team, and it will be interesting to see what options come available to him now that he’ll likely be an UFA this coming offseason.