Neil Smith (American football)

Last updated

Neil Smith
Neil Smith Broncos.jpg
No. 90, 91
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1966-04-10) April 10, 1966 (age 56)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:270 lb (122 kg)
Career information
High school: McDonogh 35
(New Orleans, Louisiana)
College: Nebraska
NFL Draft: 1988  / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles:625
Sacks:104.5
Forced fumbles:30
Fumble recoveries:12
Player stats at NFL.com  ·  PFR

Neil Smith (born April 10, 1966) is an American former professional football player who was a defensive end in the National Football League (NFL). He played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1988 to 1996, the Denver Broncos from 1997 to 1999, and the San Diego Chargers in 2000. Before his NFL career, he played college football for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, where he was an All-American in 1987. He also co-owned an Arena Football team, the Kansas City Command.

Contents

Early years

Born in New Orleans, Smith graduated from McDonogh No. 35 Senior High School in the city. [1]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
HeightWeightHand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Vertical jump
6 ft 4+14 in
(1.94 m)
257 lb
(117 kg)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.55 s1.66 s2.75 s4.57 s32.5 in
(0.83 m)
All values from NFL Combine [2] [3]

The Chiefs, who had the third pick, made it known to everyone before the 1988 NFL Draft that they intended to take Smith. The Detroit Lions, picking second, threatened to pick Smith and the Chiefs were forced to move up one slot to make sure that Smith would be their pick. Incidentally, one of the draft picks the Chiefs surrendered in order to move up turned out to be star linebacker Chris Spielman. Smith's pre-draft measurables were head-turning. He was 6'4½", weighed 260 pounds, had a 7-foot-1½-inch arm span, [4] and ran a 4.55 forty-yard dash. [3]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Won the Super Bowl
Led the league
BoldCareer high
YearTeamGPTacklesInterceptionsFumbles
CmbSoloAstSckIntYdsTDFFFRYdsTD
1988 KC 13532.50001000
1989 KC 15676.50004231
1990 KC 16689.50004100
1991 KC 16658.000032100
1992 KC 167714.512212200
1993 KC 165515.01304300
1994 KC 144642411.514105160
1995 KC 1655421312.00004100
1996 KC 16413476.00001000
1997 DEN 14342958.50001000
1998 DEN 14272074.01201000
1999 DEN 15312566.50000000
2000 SD 106510.00000000
Career19162519743104.546813012191

Legacy

One of the top defensive linemen of his era, Smith made the Pro Bowl 6 times during his career (1991–1995 and 1997), and led the NFL with 15 sacks in the 1993 season. With the Broncos, Smith won 2 NFL championship rings for Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII. In the 1998 Divisional Playoffs against the Miami Dolphins, Smith cemented the 38-3 Broncos victory with a 79-yard fumble return for a touchdown, and in Super Bowl XXXII, he recorded a key fumble recovery that set up a Broncos field goal.

Smith finished his 13 NFL seasons with 104.5 sacks, 30 forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries, 19 return yards, and 1 touchdown. He also intercepted 4 passes, returning them for 68 yards and a touchdown. He is the former co-owner of the Kansas City Brigade of the Arena Football League.

On October 22, 2006, Smith was inducted to the Chiefs's Hall of Fame.

Notes

Smith's trademark sack celebration, which consisted of him pantomiming swinging a baseball bat, was invented in tribute to another Kansas City sports hero, Hall Of Famer George Brett. [5]

There was a rule created in his name. The "Neil Smith" rule, enacted in 1998, prevents a defensive lineman from flinching to induce a false start penalty on the offense.

Neil Smith was a Co-Owner of the Kansas City Brigade, a team in the Arena Football League from 2006 until 2008.

Smith appeared as a panelist on the Nickelodeon game show Figure it Out . He also appeared in a series of Campbell's Chunky Soup commercials.

The Kansas City Command retired #90 in his honor.

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References

  1. "Neil Smith". sports.nfl.com. Archived from the original on 29 October 2000. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  2. "Neil Smith, Combine Results, DE - Nebraska". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved November 24, 2022.
  3. 1 2 "Brown proves his speed to those who doubted", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution February 7, 1988.
  4. NYT online New York Times, April 24, 1988.
  5. "Best NFL Player by Jersey Number: 50-99". Sports Illustrated . Retrieved October 4, 2010.