On this episode of the future award-winning Talking Buffalo Podcast, Patrick Moran has an interview with former Buffalo Bills first-round draft pick Thomas Smith spanning his life, career and what he’s up to nowadays.
Born and raised around farming in North Carolina, Thomas discusses his modest upbringing and introduction into football. A cousin of former NBA star and Tar Heels college hoop legend Sam Perkins, Smith describes that relationship and also meeting Michael Jordan well before he became the best professional basketball player to ever live.
Thomas wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school for football and decided to walk on at the University of North Carolina. It was a gamble that paid off handsomely, not only for him but the for the program as they went from a one-win team his first year to seven wins and a bowl game two years later. In the process Smith transformed himself into a big-time NFL prospect. He talks about his college career as well as the process leading up to the NFL draft in 1993, including thinking that he was going to the San Francisco 49ers and his initial thoughts when Marv Levy called him to telling him he was being drafted by Buffalo, who had represented the AFC in the previous three Super Bowls.
Thomas discusses the transition into the NFL and although being on a perennial championship contender surrounded with future Hall of Fame players, he wasn’t at all intimidated. Smith played primarily special teams but also some nickel defense his rookie season and the Bills would up going to their fourth straight Super Bowl. Thomas shares his feelings on that entire experience as well in addition to his entire seven years in Buffalo as he made himself into one of the most underrated cornerbacks in the league.
He also talks about the Music City Miracle in Tennessee which turned out to be his last game as a Bill, why he signed with Chicago as a free agent in 2000, what made him decide it was time to retire and what he’s been up to since his playing days ended.
They finish with the traditional Fun Fact Finale and we learn many things about Thomas, including a hilarious tale involving Darryl Talley when Smith was a rookie.
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