By Ch2 Sports Director Ed Kilgore
It's interesting that the Bills just took Brad Smith away from the Jets and will now use the versatile qb/wr/kr as a weapon against those Jets twice this season. Interesting, because Smith was a star at Missouri, my alma mater, and Missouri is the Show-Me State.
Smith has some "show me" attitudes to deal with right off the bat, because for some he is already a symbol of the Bills failure to land any big-name free agents while their AFC East partners are out grabbing folks like Reggie Bush (Dolphins) and Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco (Patriots).
I totally "get" that frustration, as the Bills head into their second decade of failing to reach the playoffs.
But unless you've seen Brad Smith play, or know a bit about him as I do, you might want to wait before you decide he's already a bum.
Smith, who signed a 4 year, $15 million deal with the Bills after the Jets played a waiting game with him in hopes of going after a big name or two while staying under the cap, is a winner. Yes, he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns last season with the Jets and put the Jets in great field position several other times, but he also was effective as a "Wildcat" quarterback, wide receiver, and punt returner.
Not only that, Smith is a special teams super star when it comes to getting downfield on kickoffs and punts to make tackles.
At Mizzou, Smith was a four year starter who became the first D1 player in history to throw for over 8,000 yards and rush for over 4,000 yards in a career. While he isn't a classic drop back passer, he does have a strong arm and is a dangerous and outstanding runner with great speed and instincts.
Smith knows a lot about Bills coach Chan Gailey and loves Gailey's ability to put players in position to make plays on offense, and that was a factor in his decision to sign with the Bills. Already I can see Smith in there in goal line situations or 3rd down situations from time to time to give opposing defenses something else to defend against and prepare for. He is a legit threat to throw it or run it and is a nice change of pace.
Above all else, Brad Smith is a winner and a "team guy". He's an exciting player who doesn't bring attention to himself, which is a refreshing change. Bills fans will love him once they see him play.
He's not Reggie Bush, and he doesn't claim to be. The Bills don't claim that's who he is either.
But they're glad to have him, and I have no doubt he'll soon be showing Bills fans why they should be glad to have him in Buffalo as well.