Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith needed just one practice to look game-ready.
The reigning Super Bowl MVP turned in the highlight play of Seattle’s Tuesday workout at the VMAC with a leaping, one-handed interception that he turned into a touchdown during a team drill.
It was the first full practice for Smith since having off-season ankle surgery.
“I guess man,” Smith said when told how spectacular the play looked. “Hopefully I can just keep it rolling. You know one practice isn’t going to do it all. Just trying to stack some good days together.’‘
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was a little more effusive in his praise of Smith’s interception, which came on a crossing route of a pass thrown by Tarvaris Jackson. Smith snared the ball with one hand and then without breaking stride raced down the sideline for a score.
“That was a terrific play by him, going up and getting the ball,” Quinn said. “So yeah, it’s awesome to have him back out there. One of the things that Malcolm brings is that speed and that athletic ability and I think that showed today on the interception that he had. That’s a typical play for Malcolm, which we have grown accustomed to seeing from him in nickel (defense). That’s where he can be a real factor, behind the ball and especially in the pass game. So it was awesome to have him back out.”
Smith said the injury wasn’t the result of one specific play but something that “just caught me off-guard. Something just made me slip up and they suggested I get it fixed. It kind of took me a little longer than I was expecting to get back, but it’s not easy to come out here and play football.”
Quinn cited the work Smith put in to make it back, saying “he worked really hard in his rehab and so for him, I know he has been really anxious to get back and get going. He had a terrific spring, he missed some time at the first part of camp. … for him in the first practice to make a nice play like that, it’s like ‘all right Malc, that’s the Malc we know.”’
Said Smith of waiting to get back on the field: “I’ve been itching. You come off a pretty good game, you do some great stuff in the Super Bowl. Just a lull for me. A lot of watching, a lot of learning. Dealing with my own emotions and stuff every day. So it was good to get out here today and start moving around a little bit.”
Quinn said the return of Smith and Korey Toomer, who is also back this week after missing all of camp so far, will make the linebacking corps that much more competitive.
“It was a good group going into camp, and then we had some injuries and what an opportunity for guys who may not have gotten the same around of reps,” Quinn said. “Like a hidden blessing for some of these guys — here’s my shot and I’m going for it. We still don’t have Bruce (Irvin) out here yet and Bobby (Wagner) all the way back, so we are anxious to get those two back in the field, as well. But it’s a really competitive group.”
There were no other real personnel updates today since we did not talk to coach Pete Carroll — this was one of his scheduled days not to meet with the media at-large.
Here’s some video of Smith talking to the media following practice today:
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