RENTON – You could say that linebacker Malcolm Smith picked up where he left off by returning an interception for a touchdown Tuesday in his first full practice since doing the same thing in Super Bowl XLVIII.
But that would be understating just how impressive this play was, Smith shooting in front of the intended receiver then leaping and reaching behind him with his right arm to make a one-handed pick in mid-air.
After missing most of the offseason program and the first three weeks of training camp following ankle surgery, Smith announced his return to practice in a big way.
“I’ve been itching,” he said. “Coming off a pretty good game, we did some great stuff in the Super Bowl, it was just a lull for me. A lot of down time, a lot of watching, a lot of learning, dealing with my own emotions and stuff everyday. It was good to get out here today and start moving around a little bit.”
Smith was named the MVP of the Super Bowl thanks to a performance that was highlighted by an interception he returned 69 yards for a touchdown. He said he didn’t have any issues with his right ankle last season aside from the normal bumps and bruises, calling it “more of an offseason thing” that would require surgery.
Smith was activated off the Physically Unable to Perform list and practiced for the first time Monday, though in limited fashion. He took part in both positional and team drills Tuesday, punctuating his return with a play that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn mentioned without being asked about.
“That was a terrific play by him, going up and getting the ball,” Quinn said. “It’s awesome to have him back out here. One of the things that Malcolm brings to us is that speed and that athletic ability. I think that showed today on that interception that he had.”