Seattle linebacker Smith surprised at MVP award

Mon Feb 3, 2014 12:45am EST
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By Julian Linden

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - No one was more surprised than Malcolm Smith when the Seattle Seahawks linebacker was awarded the Most Valuable Player in Sunday's Super Bowl.

The 24-year-old played an outstanding game, scoring a crucial touchdown, recovering a fumble and making five solo tackles as the Seahawks demolished the Denver Broncos 43-8, but it never crossed his mind that he might win one of the game's biggest individual awards.

"I always imagined myself making great plays but I never thought about being the MVP," he said.

"I was just happy to be on the field."

Linebackers rarely win the MVP and Smith was just the third in 48 years to get the nod, which was decided by a panel of 16 NFL writers.

The others were Chuck Howley of the Dallas Cowboys (1971 Super Bowl) and Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens (2001 Super Bowl).

Smith's crowning moment came in the second quarter when he intercepted a pass from Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and raced 69 yards downfield for a touch town that left MetLife Stadium rocking.

Seattle were already leading 15-0 but the Broncos were on the charge and looking to get some points on the board before halftime. When Smith made it safely to the Broncos' end zone, the game was as good as over.   Continued...

Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Malcolm Smith celebrates with the Vince Lombardi trophy after defeating the Denver Broncos in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine