For weeks, the New York Jets players had been lobbying for the organization to keep their head coach.
Sunday, they got their wish.
After capping off their season of overachieving by ousting the Miami Dolphins in the season finale, news spread to the locker room that owner Woody Johnson told reporters Rex Ryan would be the head coach of Gang Green next year.
The news went over well.
"Every guy in the locker room was ecstatic—jumping around, grabbing one another," Smith said after the game, via The Star Ledger. "You'd think we won the Super Bowl."
The Jets went into the season with high expectations for themselves but incredibly low expectations from the outside. They were "supposed" to be all-time bad.
And there were plenty of bumps in the road. After being thrust into the starting gig via a Mark Sanchez injury, Smith was really good some of the time, but even worse more times.
Smith, however, helped the Jets win three of their last four games, turning over his turnover-happy ways to the tune of just two interceptions to four passing touchdowns and three more scores on the ground in that span.
The screws had been tightened on the Jets after a three-game losing streak in the second half of last month. Reports of Ryan's seat getting hotter began to surface, and the team responded.
"Just to have our head coach back, a guy that we enjoy playing for, it's great," Smith said. "We think we're a team on the rise, we believe that we're a team getting better as we get more experience. To have that guy back in the locker room means a lot to us."