The Oakland Raiders added to their championship pedigree Wednesday, signing free-agent LB Malcolm Smith.
Smith spent the first four seasons of his career with the Seattle Seahawks, earning national recognition after being named MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII following an impressive performance highlighted by an interception for touchdown against Peyton Manning that gave Seattle a convincing 22-0 lead in the final minutes of the second quarter.
"I feel like this is a great opportunity for me to impart some of the things that I've learned on the team and hopefully encourage some guys around me," said Smith after signing his contract. "And we can get the most out of each other and turn this thing around."
Photos of new Raiders linebacker, Malcolm Smith.
In 2014, Smith played in 14 games for the Seahawks, making five starts and posting 33 tackles (24 solo), two forced fumbles and one pass defensed.
After growing up in Northridge, Calif., Smith stayed close to home and attended the University of Southern California, playing in all 13 games as a freshman.
During his four seasons as a Trojan, Smith saw his playing time increase, and after his senior campaign he declared for the NFL Draft, eventually being selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round (No. 242 overall) of the 2011 draft.
During his tenure in Seattle, Smith played in 57 games with 16 starts, totaling 105 tackles (68 solo), two sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and seven passes defensed.
He also brings a wealth of postseason experience with him, appearing in eight postseason games with eight starts, posting 27 tackles (16 solo), one fumble recovery, two interceptions and two passes defensed.
His arrival in Oakland also means a reunion with defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., who served as Smith's linebackers coach at USC as well as in Seattle.
"It's not the biggest factor but it's definitely an awesome plus," Smith said about reuniting with Norton, Jr. "I know his style, I know kind of the way he wants things to be done and I should know the system pretty well. I feel like it's going to be an opportunity for me to show my skill."
Smith now joins a talented group of Raiders linebackers, including Khalil Mack and Sio Moore, as well as recently-signed free agent Curtis Lofton, and is looking forward to seeing what his role on the defense will be in 2015.
"It hasn't been really clear, but they've given me some ideas," Smith said when talking about his defensive role. "The thought is to get the best guys on the field and I'm going to absolutely do my best to compete and get out there and whether that's the middle or wherever else."
Regardless of what his role is and where he lines up defensively, Smith is just excited to be playing and helping contribute to the Raiders returning to their winning ways.
"Honestly, I just want to find a way on the field," he said. "However that takes, I'm willing to do whatever and I'm going to do whatever for us to be a better team."