When Matt Cassel handed off to defensive lineman Shaun Smith on the 1-yard line of a tie game early Sunday, there were a lot of surprised people in and around Chiefs nation. You can count Smith as one of those people, but as Matt Massey reports, don’t think the end zone is a foreign place for the big man.
The role of ball carrier is nothing new to Smith, who said he last scored a TD in his final game at Wichita Heights High School as a 280-pound tailback. Smith, a defensive tackle, could see the possibility of finding the end zone after getting to run the play in practice during the week.
“I wore No. 6, because of Jerome Bettis,” said Smith, a sixth-year veteran out of South Carolina. “He was my idol. He’s still my idol. My last touchdown was in 1999 against Wichita East. I actually had two or three touchdowns, and I probably had 100 yards rushing and we won the game.”
When Smith informed his daughters Markaylon, 11, and Autumn, 5, they figured he better start working on his dance moves. That would be the only thing they’d be disappointed about in regards to their father’s memorable day.
“It was a good experience, and I told my little girls I might get the possibility to run the ball,” Smith said. “They wanted me to do a dance. I didn’t do a dance. I was just happy to get in and glad we got the ‘W.’”
If he had rumbled in on that final drive when the Chiefs were up 35-24 (a TD that ended up going to TE Tony Moeaki) I wouldn’t have been surprised. The fact that he was used in a tie game, on the road, is what shocked me the most. It was the perfect example of a “No, no, no… YES!” moment.
Just imagine if Smith gets going every week on offense. He and Vrabel could end up being the one of the best offensive defensive teammates the league has ever seen.