The Oakland Raiders signed TE Lee Smith Wednesday. Smith, who was used primarily as a blocking tight end in Buffalo last season, has appeared in 56 total games, with 34 starts. He has 20 career receptions for 144 yards and three touchdowns.
"Over the years, people have kind of referred to me as a lunch-pail guy and I take a lot of pride in that," said Smith. "Hopefully, the guy that I'm putting my hand in the dirt beside trusts me and can count on me to fight my tail off until the whistle blows."
Smith, whose father Daryle also played in the NFL, grew up in Knoxville, Tenn., and played his college football at Marshall.
After his career at Marshall reached its conclusion, Smith declared for the NFL Draft and was selected by the New England Patriots in the fifth round (No. 159 overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Photos of new Raiders tight end, Lee Smith.
He eventually landed in Buffalo, spending the last four seasons as a Bill, setting a career high in touchdowns in 2012 with two.
"You get to work every Sunday for this football team, so whatever package that ends up being is obviously humbling and rewarding for me," Smith said. "Just like anybody else out there, I obviously think I can contribute in many ways to help this football team win. But whatever those ways are, as long as I'm out there playing football every Sunday, then I'll be having a lot of fun and enjoying helping this team win."
Another reason Smith is excited about heading west and playing in Oakland is the fact that he feels the offense that offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave runs is a good fit for him and his skillset.
"I'm excited about getting to work with the plans that we have here in Oakland as far as offensively and running the ball," he said. "I'll buckle my chinstrap and go to work and hopefully, do everything they envision me being able to do."
There will be a lot of new faces in Silver and Black in 2015, and even during his short time in the facility, Smith sees the potential of the team that General Manager Reggie McKenzie assembled.
"These guys are fired up," Smith said. "They're obviously making moves and trying to make this football team as great as they can. Obviously, all the tradition out here in Oakland, I can't express enough just how rewarding it is for me to be a part of it and get to work with this group of guys, coaches, players.
He continued, "We'll all be in this thing together, so it's going to be a lot of fun."