Rod Smith - Undisputed Leader

Rod Smith, a man who started his career on the practice squad, has turned himself into the undisputed leader of the Denver Broncos

Rod Smith is back for his 12th season as a Denver Broncos receiver. Smith's career as a Bronco has been nothing less than spectacular. A man who started his career on the practice squad has turned himself into the undisputed leader of the Broncos.

Smith's numbers as a Bronco are nothing to laugh at. He has Bronco records in receptions (712), touchdowns catches (59), and receiving yards (9,772). He has had seven 1,000 yd seasons, been to two Pro Bowls, and the list goes on and on, but the numbers aren't what Rod Smith is all about. Smith is all about winning, that's the bottom line for him. He wants to win championships, not only for him, but for his team. He excels as a team leader because he's approachable. He's actually friends with a lot of his teammates year round. That type of friendship is what seems to set a leader apart from lone wolf.

Smith was asked about his personal goals for the 2005 season, and his response was, "I want to win, that's the only thing." It has already shown up day one of the 2005 Bronco training camp. Other players seem to be knocking the dust off their game, Smith seems to be in mid-season form, catching every thing that comes his way. That's probably due to all the off season work outs Smith attended. When asked if there was a difference between the first day of camp and the second, Smith said "Jake (Plummer), Danny (Kanell), and I have been doing this the longest… June was just like this."

Smith seemed to imply this wasn't his first day of camp, June was. He knows that during the two-a-days, the days just get harder and hotter, and that's when the team comes together. Smith equated the summer work outs to the time when he played with his friends.

"When you play with your friends when you were little, you never got tired." He also said that he knew the next two or three days would be hard, but as a team they would help each other get over the hump.

It was evident that Smith was already in his leadership role, when early in the day he was screaming encouragement at the offense during offense v. defense drills. That's, the type of player and man that Rod Smith is, a fiery competitor, strong overall leader, great mentor, and a great receiver.

Rod Smith is set to have another great year, and with Ashley Lelie and Darius Watts another year better, it should make things easier for him to just win.

Mishka Char and Dianne Harrison also contributed to this article

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