While it seems increasingly unlikely that Leonard Williams will land with his desired team in Oakland, the Raiders picked up a different Trojan this offseason, reportedly securing the signature of 2014 Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith.
The linebacker spent the first five years of his career with the Seahawks after being drafted by Pete Carroll’s team in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Though he spent most of his time in Seattle as a back up and regular member of the rotation, Smith had a break out moment in the 2014 playoffs. His interception off a tipped pass in the endzone sealed the NFL Championship Game and sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl.
Then, in the Super Bowl blowout of the Denver Broncos, Smith starred on defense, returning a interception off of Peyton Manning for a 69-yard touchdown. He also logged ten tackles and forced a fumble in the game, earning MVP honors.
Despite the postseason heroics, Smith’s role in Seattle decreased steadily as the 2014 season went on. He started just five games and finished the year with 38 total tackles.
In Oakland, Smith will be joining recently hired head coach and former Trojan Jack Del Rio. There will be a very familiar face coaching him too. Ken Norton Jr., who coached Smith both at USC and Seattle, was hired by the Raiders as their defensive coordinator in February.
Another former Trojan, Brice Butler, tipped the the move Monday:
At USC, Smith followed in the footsteps of older brother Steve, an All-American wide receiver, and became a stalwart at linebacker. He had 174 tackles as a Trojan, but his most memorable moment were his performances against UCLA. As a junior he returned a 62-yard interception to the house against UCLA before doing the same with a fumble as a senior, this time for 68-yards.
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