Neil Smith is another reason we all love Steve Atwater.
In a few seconds, it will make complete sense.
As Ryan Edwards pointed out on Friday’s 1st & 10 @ 10 on Orange & Blue 760, the story Smith shares in interviews is how Atwater is responsible for Smith becoming a member of the Denver Broncos after playing for the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Steve Atwater, I love that guy,” Smith said. “He said the right things. He gave me the message: ‘We need you. There’s no doubt if we get you, we gonna win it, and we gonna win it all.’ That’s all I needed to hear. I felt like I was on a little recruiting trip and Steve said those words. It wasn’t about the money. That was what I needed. When it hit me, I was like, ‘I’m there.’ It was a destiny thing.
“I didn’t think about the rivalry game or anything. I just needed to go fill this (championship) void, and that’s what I did. That’s why I can sit here in front of all of your fans and say I chose the right path to solidify my great career.”
.@NeilSmith_NFL joined us on @OrangeBlue760 to discuss the @ProFootballHOF candidacies of @SteveAtwater27 and @Broncos owner Pat Bowlen. Of Bowlen, Smith said, “That man deserves it more than anything.” https://t.co/akseFQOzUt— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) February 1, 2019
The interview is so good and so fun. Smith talks about his time in Denver, the team and how much the loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars impacted the team he joined in 1997.
And, of course, the interview wouldn’t be complete without a special memory of Pat Bowlen.
“What solidified Mr. B to me, and he put a lot of pressure on me as an athlete, he asked the question to me at the beginning,” Smith said. “He said, ‘Neil, do you know why you’re here?’ And I said, ‘Yes, Mr. B, I know why I’m here. I’m here to win.’ He said, ‘No. You’re not here to win, you’re here to win it all.’ So we get through the season and we won the thing, they hand me the trophy and I’m standing up with the trophy on the podium in the press conference room. One of Mr. B’s bodyguards came to me and said, ‘Mr. B would like the trophy now.’ I said ‘give me one second. I will bring it to him.’
“I said, ‘Mr. B, you know why I’m here? Here’s why I’m here.’”
As Ryan said, Smith is still one of the players Broncos Country loves.