Coming into the contest Smith needed just 93 yards to eclipse Payton's record. Payton held the record since Oct. 7, 1984 when he passed Jim Brown.
Smith admitted he idolized Payton on the field, but he was much more than a football player.
"I liked the man for who he really was," Smith said. "I got to know the man personally, not because of what he does on the football field. I got to know the man. Most people don't know people, they know their jersey number, the team that he plays for, and what's on the back of his nameplate. I can honestly say that I had the chance to get to know him, and that part of him I like a lot. I really do, and it's very special.
"When you look at him and the way that he ran the ball, he carried it with a passion. He carried it with a vengeance. He wasn't the guy that shied away from contact. He had fun, and was determined. He just got the job done. He wasn't the biggest man, yet he was one of the most effective."