Everything Except for the Dance

Posted Nov 28, 2010

Shaun Smith becomes first NFL player since William "The Refrigerator" Perry to score a TD and log a sack in the same game

The 325-pounder made some subtle hints that he’d like an opportunity to carry the football following last week’s offensive debut. On Sunday, defensive lineman Shaun Smith got his wish.

On a 3rd and goal from the Seattle one-yard line, Smith reported eligible as a goal line fullback. He did the same thing last week and promptly plowed a path for Thomas Jones to punch in a one-yard TD run against Arizona.

This time, however, Smith wasn’t called on to do the blocking. Instead of giving the football to a running back, Matt Cassel turned and handed it off to Smith. Smith, in turn, carried the rock like a Christmas ham for a one-yard TD plunge highlighted by an impressive second effort that gave the Chiefs a lead that they’d never relinquish.

When Smith sacked Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck later in the game, Kansas City’s do-it-all defensive lineman became the first player to record a sack and a TD in the same game since Chicago’s William “The Refrigerator” Perry did so in 1985.

As surprising as it may be, Sunday wasn’t Smith’s first rodeo running the football. He was actually a tailback for Wichita Heights High School in Wichita, Kansas. Of course, Smith hadn’t seen much action with the football in his hands for more than a decade.

Like any offensive or defensive lineman, Smith remembers his last time carrying the football quite well.

“My last touchdown was in 1999 against Wichita East in a mud game,” Smith recalled. “Actually, I think that I had about two or three touchdowns that game. It was my last game as a tailback in my senior year of high school. We won and I probably had over 100 yards rushing that day too.”

Smith…as a high school tailback? He said that he played at a cool 275 pounds back in his day.  

“I wore number six because of Jerome Bettis,” Smith said. “That was my idol. Actually, he’s still my idol.”

Despite his history as a prep runner, Chiefs hadn’t utilized one of their biggest players in short-yardage packages until last weekend. Smith said last week that he’d been part of certain goal line sets for quite some time, but that his number just hadn’t been called into action.

It’s been a gradual process for Smith. Block for a touchdown one week; score a touchdown the next.

“Now that I got the touchdown, maybe I can convince Todd and Charlie to put me in the goal line packages a little more,” Smith said. “We’ll see what happens.”

The Chiefs have now had two defensive players score touchdowns in 2010 – Smith and LB Mike Vrabel. The two (pictured above) celebrated Smith’s accomplishment following the defensive lineman giving Kansas City a 14-7 second quarter lead.

“(Vrabel) was actually one of the first ones that congratulated me,” Smith said. “It’s funny that I actually got to score. I remember training camp, OTAs, and at the beginning of the season that me and Thomas (Jones) talked about it on our rides to work together. We talked about me blocking for him and then me eventually scoring.

“It was crazy, but it’s not crazy anymore. It’s like a dream come true.”

And where is that TD ball going?

“I’m debating on whether to give it to my mom or to my little girl for Christmas,” Smith said. “It’s probably going to my little girl for Christmas.

Smith’s daughter had actually requested a TD dance if Smith ever got the opportunity to score. There was no dance on Sunday. Maybe she’ll receive the second part of her Christmas present in the coming weeks.

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