After 13 years with the Dallas Cowboys he decided to go off and sign with the Arizona Cardinals. He has won four NFL rushing tittles, has been named to the NFL Pro Bowl eight times, and has been Super Bowl MVP.
He spent his college years at the University of Florida and is the most known Florida Gator in the NFL. He is a sure Hall of Famer and one of the most historic names in the NFL in the last 20 years. With his NFL career winding down, Smith is doing his best to help younger talent, as well as leave on a positive note, a career that started at the University of Florida.
Did you have to change or adapt to anything new when you made the transformation from Dallas to Arizona as far as possibly different coaching plans?
"No, I didn't at all. The system that I am in now in Arizona is very similar to the system I was in with Dallas. Some of the terminology has changed and some of the blocking system has changed. There was a little bit of an adjustment but not a complete change overall."
Looking back to your days at the University of Florida, did you ever think Steve Spurrier would be in the NFL as the head coach of the Washington Redskins?
"I barely even knew Spurrier. I was there for two and a half to three months. I didn't really know Spurrier and his system. I didn't know what his plans were, but I think a coach no matter what the level has an opportunity to come to this level. It's just a matter if the door is open for them to do so. Fortunately for him the door was open for him to come to the league and coach the Washington Redskins. Unfortunately for The Florida Gators they lost one of the greatest coaches they ever had."
Would you consider the day you broke Walter Payton's rushing record as the highlight of your career?
"As a person for me, individually it's probably one of the highlights of my career. Unfortunately it's kinda hard to say that and be happy about it. I understand all the hard work that people have labored with me in order to get into the position to do such. I can take some credit, but I can't take all the credit because there were so many great people that were along with me helping me achieve that great milestone. Those guys in my opinion as coaches, players alike, including fans that were there supporting me through the ups and downs, and my family over there supporting me through the ups and downs deserve a lot of the credit as well."
What are your thoughts on the Arizona Cardinal coaching style as a team including head coach Dave McGinins?
"I think McGinnis has been a tremendous coach for us. As a player you have to take some of your job requirements and some of your responsibilities on yourself. A coach can only help you get prepared to put the scheme together to execute it on the football field. We as players have to take our jobs, go out there, and work our game plans to perfection. It's not Dave McGinnis's fault that we turned the ball over nine times in the first week. It's all up to the players to go out and execute and make plays. We need to do what we have been taught, execute those plays in practice, and carry it over into the football game. We have not held up our end of the bargain as players. It is on us."
Do you think the Arizona Cardinals is your last stop in the NFL as far as your active career?
"I think it's pretty safe to say. I think it's pretty safe to say Arizona is my last stop as an NFL football player, unless I end up back at home some kinda way. I think it's pretty safe to say."
Chris Yandek has spent four years in the world of sports entertainment. Over the last year he has spent his time interviewing in the college and NFL football outlets. He has interviewed NFL legends including Emmitt Smith to 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffuel to University of Florida head coach Rob Zook. He can be emailed at LYandek@aol.com.