“Turnover Thursday,” indeed. Not to mention “Throwback Thursday” on a Tuesday.
“I care about being a good teammate, and those guys do too,” Smith said of the impromptu Malcolm Fest that broke out in the end zone. “Especially in our (linebacker) room, we care about each other as men and as young guys growing up in the NFL. So it was good.”
So were the chants of “MVP. MVP. MVP.” by his teammates as Smith raced toward the end zone.
“I didn’t hear that,” he said with a smile.
But then Smith has not been your typical Super Bowl MVP. He did make it to Disney World the day after the Super Bowl for the traditional ride down Main Street with Mickey. There were a few TV appearances. But for the most part, it was an offseason as usual for Smith – other than that surgery on his ankle and recovery that followed, and lingered.
No Malcolm Smith Day in Northridge, Calif.?
“No, no Malcolm Smith Day,” he said. “There are a lot more famous people from where I’m from.”
Maybe so, but Wikipedia lists Smith among its “notable people” for Northridge, as well as Woodland Hills, where he attended Taft High School.
“That was a terrific play by him, going up and getting the ball,” Quinn said. “So yeah, it’s awesome to have him back out here.”
And, of course, make the type of play that became Smith’s calling card last season. Remember, it was Smith who was there in the zone – in the closing minutes – to intercept
“One of the things that Malcolm brings to us is that speed and that athletic ability,” Quinn said. “I think that showed today on the interception that he had. That’s a typical play for Malcolm, which we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from him.”
Except for during this offseason and training camp, that is. Smith missed it all. And it wasn’t easy to stand and watch while his teammates prepared to defend the Super Bowl title he helped them win in such emphatic fashion.
Smith said the need to have surgery on his ankle “kind of caught me off guard.” And the fact that Smith had the procedure didn’t become public until May, when he was seen in a walking boot during the White House ceremony to salute the Super Bowl champs.
“They suggested I get it fixed and that was it,” he said. “It kind of took me a little longer than I was expecting to get back. But it’s not easy to come out here and play football.”
No matter how easy Smith has a tendency for making it look.
The way Smith approached his recovery and rehab only earned him more points with his coaches.
“He’s worked really hard in his rehab, he really has,” Quinn said. “So for him, I know he’s been really anxious to get back and get going.”
And in this case, in Smith’s first full practice since before the Super Bowl, make that going, and going, and going.”