Denver Broncos Ring of Famer Rod Smith entertained a Broncos QB Club crowd Thursday night with stories of his playing days and from his new book “The Rod Effect”. A summary of some of the comments Rod made this night:
“John Elway told me I have two of John’s best five plays of John’s career,” Rod said. Number one was the first catch of Rod’s career, as described on denverbroncos.com:
“In Week 3 of the 1995 season, Denver and Washington were tied at 31
points apiece. With six seconds left in the game, the Broncos offense
faced a fourth-and-10 at the Redskins 43-yard line. Quarterback John
Elway dropped back at the Washington 43-yard line and launched a deep
pass toward Smith. Smith leaped over future Hall of Fame
cornerback Darrell Green to haul in the game-winning touchdown as time
expired — the first catch of his career.”
“I sucked on special teams that day,” Rod said. “We only had four wide receivers active, and the Redskins had a hard hitting safety that knocked out the other wide receivers we had. So they had to play me.” The hardest part of that play, Rod relates, was dealing with his massive teammates jumping on him in the end zone celebration.
The other big play was Rod’s 80 yard td catch in Super Bowl 33 vs the Atlanta Falcons. “That play was not in the game plan,” Rod relates, “we drew it up on the sidelines. Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak saw a weakness in the Falcons coverage and we took advantage of it.”
Who were the toughest defensive backs he played against? “James Hasty, Dale Carter, and Charles Woodson,” Rod replied.
Rod told us how special it was to play under owner Pat Bowlen. “When I was a rookie I was told, ‘Mr Bowlen wants to see you’ I thought, ‘what did I do?’ But Pat was great – we talked for 45 minutes about life. He really cared about the players. The Bronco alumni are always welcome back – that’s not true of how other teams treat their former players. On the road every player had his own room (even for home games I had the same room the night before a game at the Inverness Hotel). Other teams ask you to double up with a roommate. Players have different sleeping habits. The extra expense Pat took for private rooms really helped us get ready for game day.”
Rod described his unusual pregame meal ritual. “The team meal was at 10 am. That’s too early for me to eat! 4 hours before game time?? So I’d checkin for the team meal but not eat much, then I’d go to burger king and get a chicken sandwich and fries. I’d eat 1/2 of the sandwich and fries before the game, and eat the rest at half time. One time a rookie ate the second part of my meal before I got to it at half time. I hazed him the rest of the year!”
On the current team Rod told us some tidbits John Elway shared with him. Sorry readers, Rod said that was confidential to our meeting (you’ll have to attend our future meetings to get some real juicy broncos inside info!) But Rod did say that John feels the team is much improved in the offensive line and that’ll make a big difference.
Rod was very gracious in interacting with us at our meeting this day, staying for hours signing autographs and taking pictures with the long time fans of the Broncos QB Club. We were also honored to have former Broncos placekicker David Treadwell give his opinions on the current team before Rod spoke.
You don’t want to miss out on our future meetings! The club now meets at the Blake Street Tavern near Coors Field. As you can see from the picture below, we had a full house for David and Rod! Visit us at denverbroncosqbclub.com for more info.