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the football Beat
October 08, 2001
?WORD ASSOCIATIONWith Broncos wideout Rod Smith (left), the NFL's leading receiver
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October 08, 2001

The Football Beat

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With Broncos wideout Rod Smith (left), the NFL's leading receiver

SI: Philosophy.

Smith: Every day, in practice or a game, I have to do something to make the Broncos want me to come back tomorrow. I will have that mentality for as long as I play. My name's on an NFL locker! I love coming to work and seeing that.

SI: Best receiver.

Smith: Jerry Rice. No doubt. When I got to the Broncos, my receivers coach, Mike Heimerdinger, made me a reel of every catch Jerry had made. I could watch it all day. Every snap, he plays like the ball's coming to him.

SI: Ed McCaffrey.

Smith: My good friend. We started here as competitors, trying to win the job opposite Anthony Miller. Over the years I've stolen so many traits from him. Hard worker. Just saw him the other day. Hugged him. Told him, "I miss you. I need you. I want you back." [ McCaffrey will miss the rest of the season with a broken left leg, suffered on Sept. 10.]

SI: Missouri Southern.

Smith: It was in Joplin, Missouri, but to me, being away [from his hometown of Texarkana, Ark.] for the first time was like going to Europe. It's where I grew up.

SI: Best asset.

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