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January 28, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Malcolm Smith: “To kind of have that moment, it was great”

Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith has found himself a much more popular media target since he caught Richard Sherman’s tip for a game-clinching interception against the 49ers. Here’s what he had to say at Media Day today about that play, and more:

(on how the Super Bowl experience has been so far) “It’s been great so far. Enjoying New York and New Jersey and kind of appreciating our time being here.”

(on how he imagines the game will go on Sunday) “I hope we win. When I lay down at night, I dream about us making great plays and just celebrating.”

(on Seattle’s strengths) “I think we play good defense and we run the ball well.”

(on Russell Wilson) “He’s like a younger Peyton Manning, I’d say. They’ve got similar stats when Peyton Manning was young. I think Russell focuses just like Peyton does.”

(on his opinions of Denver) “I think they’re a great team. They throw the ball well, and they play very fast.”

(on what kind of leadership Pete Carroll has brought) “Excellent, excellent. He’s always excited. He’s always enthusiastic. And he always has a good attitude for us.”

(on whether Richard Sherman alerted him on the final play of the NFC Championship Game where Sherman tipped the ball that Smith intercepted) “No. We’ve worked on it before. It’s kind of something that he does whenever the ball’s in the air and he doesn’t have a chance to intercept it. Hopefully somebody else is running underneath, and it happened to be me.”

(on why Carroll bringing a college-type atmosphere to the NFL has been so successful) “I think he’s done a good job of kind of getting the guys that believe in his system and approach, and putting the work into this greater goal of being here. I think if you can get a bunch of guys to buy in on what the coach is saying, it’s going to be successful.”

(on if there is anything in particular that Carroll does to help bring the team together) “He’s been around a lot of football, so he’s seen a lot of players and he’s seen young men kind of grow up through college and come into the NFL. He’s just got a lot of history dealing with people, and especially people in our position.”

(on if there is anything quirky that Carroll does) “He always used to do this point thing in college, but he doesn’t really do it anymore. We always shoot basketballs, so I think he’s a real big basketball fan. We shoot basketball in the morning. He shoots basketball before the walkthrough.”

(on whether this team has something special to help them beat the odds) “I sure hope so. We prepare well. We practice hard, so I think it puts us in a good position. That puts things in our odds.”

(on what his game-sealing interception two weeks ago means to him now in retrospect) “It was a great moment for us, great moment for our team. A great moment for me personally and my family and all the people that I’ve grown up with. To kind of have that moment, it was great.”

(on whether Seattle has a collective chip on its shoulders) “Yeah, I think a lot of us do. We got a lot to prove, so we just want to show the world how we are and our passion is football.”

(on what Peyton Manning’s “Omaha” call means) “I don’t know. Nobody knows. Well, nobody over here knows. If they do, they haven’t told me yet.”

(on what this season has been like for him and how impressive it must be to see Pete Carroll’s success in the NFL) “Yeah, definitely. I’ve always liked Coach Carroll, obviously, because I went to USC. His formula for our team and his approach have worked out great for us. To be here, I know it feels good for him to kind of validate his approach and to go against all the things that people said might not work.”

(on what was going through his mind as he made the game-sealing interception two weeks ago) “I kind of wasn’t even thinking yet. The thoughts didn’t come in until after I caught it and realized we’d be going to the Super Bowl. I was just making a football play, running to the ball, the things that were taught to me.”

(on whether focusing on the little things has been Seattle’s mindset all year) “Yeah, definitely. Play until the end of the whistle and play hard. Any time the ball is in the air and you’re running to it, good things are going to happen. So it worked out well for us.”

(on his preparation for facing the Denver offense) “They’re good. They’re really efficient and they know what they’re doing. We expect them to attack us the best way possible. We’ve just got to execute as well as we can and give our team a chance.”

(on what kind of coach Lane Kiffin was) “He’s got a good style as a coach. As an offensive mind, he’s got a great idea of how to use his players and how to get his talent in a good position to get the ball. He’s going to find a weakness in the defense and attack it.”

(on what Lane Kiffin does well as a play-caller) “He does a good job of adjusting. I expect him to do a great job of that. With him being able to focus on the offensive side of the football, I expect Alabama to put up a lot of points.”

(on if he minds being on the media day floor and not at a podium) “No, there’s some great players walking around on this floor. There’s only so many podium spots, so that’s how it is. Obviously if I want to be up there, I’ve got to do a couple more things.”

(on how much not being at a podium motivates him) “As a player, you’re always trying to do things better. I won’t think about being on this media floor and not the podium too much. I’ll focus on the game and just focus on playing. But it’s cool to just kind of look at these guys and mess with them a little bit.”

(on how crazy this whole experience has been) “There’s never been anything like this. Some of the questions we’ve been getting, there’s no filter.”



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