Brad Smith is dynamic, both on and off the football field. We spoke with the quarterback, kick returner and wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills about family, his future in football, and why dogs are sometimes better
Let’s talk about your involvement with an organization that is near and dear to my heart, The North Shore Animal League (NSAL). It’s the largest no-kill shelter in the United States.
I love working with North Shore Animal League, and raising awareness to helping pets find their forever homes. They are having a 36-hour Adopt-a-thon and the hope is that a lot of people come out to adopt.
Are you a dog or a cat person?
Definitely a dog person. We have two dogs, one Mastiff and one Tibetan Terrier. I always had dogs growing up. We didn’t always take care of them—my parents did—but we did learn some responsibilities.
There’s nothing like a dog’s love.
Every day you fall more in love with them. Dogs are amazing. 95% of the time having kids is awesome, and the other 5% of the time you wish you had dogs instead of kids!
[laughs] Let’s talk about your career in football.
This is my 8th year in the NFL, so I’ve been blessed to play this long. I want to continue to improve and work on my craft and get to the SuperBowl. That’s the ultimate goal.
Do you ever get scared that you’ll suffer a major injury?
You can’t think about it. Like anything in life, you can’t imagine the worst possible outcome. You just have to do it, and see how it plays out for you.
What does football mean to you?
It’s something I’ve done since I was six-years-old. I’ve always loved playing; it got me into college, but I love the sport. I truly respect the game. It’s taught me how to appreciate everything in life and understand that there’s a time and a season for everything.
Is your son Bradley showing any inclination towards football?
Not yet. I’ve never pushed him; I want to let him choose what he loves. Right now, he’s crazy about dinosaurs! He loves them so much, and sometimes I want to say, “Hey, hold the football instead of the dinosaur!”
[laughs] But I want him to do what he loves. I want him to learn about it; my wife goes crazy teaching him different things, like how to spell and count, but using dinosaurs as the example.
You have to meet kids where they are.
Absolutely. I’m hands-on but I’m not pushy. When he was younger, I would always want to hold him and have him sleep on my chest, but he didn’t want to do that. But I was there, though. And I’m always going to be there.
I’m hands-on but I’m also hands-off.
What about for your little girl?
Oh, I’m going to be hands-on all the time! [laughs] I’m going to have the two dogs surrounding her at all times. But I couldn’t do it all without my wife, Rosalynn. She has a PhD, and there’s so much that she could be
doing professionally, but she took time off from work to properly raise the kids. That means more to her than money. Ultimately, I want to be the guiding factor for both of my children.