On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Nov. 26, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Alumni Appearance (Winters, Rivera)

    Tundra Tailgate Zone

    Frank Winters

    Club Level

    Marco Rivera

  • Thu., Nov. 26, 2015 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM CST Packers vs. Chicago Bears (Thanksgiving) Packers vs. Chicago Bears (Thanksgiving)
  • Mon., Nov. 30, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Salvation Army Bell-Ringing (Adams, Montgomery)

    Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery

    Monday, November 30, 2015  6:00pm – 7:00 pm  
    Salvation Army Bell-Ringing (Autograph Signing)
    Big Red Kettle
    Lambeau Field Atrium

  • Thu., Dec. 03, 2015 7:25 PM - 10:25 PM CST Packers at Detroit Lions Packers at Detroit Lions
  • Sat., Dec. 05, 2015 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM CST 10th annual Festival of Lights The family-themed event, free to the public, will take place in the Lambeau Field Atrium, and feature cookie decorating, holiday movies and cartoons, holiday card making, photo opportunities with Santa Claus and area high school choirs performing holiday music.
  • Mon., Dec. 07, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Salvation Army Bell-Ringing (Hayward and Hyde)

    Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde

    Monday, December 7, 2015  6:00pm – 7:00 pm  
    Salvation Army Bell-Ringing (Autograph Signing)
    Big Red Kettle
    Lambeau Field Atrium



Packers cornerback makes big play of his new career

Posted Jul 26, 2013

Brandon Smith seized the moment in opening practice of training camp

GREEN BAY—He had never previously played the position in a game or even in a training camp practice, but something inside Brandon Smith told him to break on the ball and now he found himself running down the sideline with the ball in his hand, his once seemingly dead football career revived.

Smith is one of the desperate dreamers, most of whom never have a moment as Smith did in the Packers’ opening practice of training camp. If he never does another thing, he’ll remember what he did on this day.

“It was an awesome feeling. I felt like I was running pretty fast, but he was running right with me and down there giving me a high five,” Smith said, referring to his coach, Joe Whitt.

Let’s start at the beginning, 2011, when Smith was a wide receiver who failed to stick following tries with the Panthers and the Seahawks. Football, it appeared, was in his rearview mirror.

He spent the next two seasons out of the game, but it stayed in his heart. He wasn’t ready to quit on it. He decided to reinvent himself as a cornerback.

“What made me make the switch was the market in the NFL. They’re looking for big, strong, physical corners. I said that fits my description,” Smith said.

At 6-1, 205, Smith has the kind of size and speed that are rare to the cornerback position. It’s also important to note that Sam Shields was a wide receiver who converted to cornerback in college at Miami.

“Coach told me he had a couple of guys that turned over from wide receiver,” Smith said.

Smith credits Whitt with providing the confidence Smith has needed in making the move to cornerback. It’s support that couldn’t have come at a better time, as Smith lost his mother this past May, the Mother’s Day month.

“We kind of connected and he saw my talent right off the bat. He’s been my confidence. His confidence in me is carrying me through this,” Smith said.

It was Smith’s dogged determination, however, that got the ball rolling. He worked his way into a super regional combine in Dallas, a platform for second-chance athletes, this past April. His performance there earned him a look as a tryout player in the Packers’ rookie camp in May, from which the Packers signed Smith to a contract.

His football odyssey, however, reached its zenith on Friday. He left Packers fans that jammed Ray Nitschke Field to watch Aaron Rodgers throw passes, to ask each other, “Who’s the guy that intercepted that pass?”

“It was cover zero and I was manned up with my guy. Don’t get beat cause there’s no help over the top,” Smith recalled. “He had high shoulders and gave a slight look back to the quarterback. I looked back to the quarterback and saw he was getting ready to throw the ball.”

Smith stepped in front of the receiver, intercepted the pass and was down the sideline, his coach in tow.

“As long as I can put plays together like that, talent wise I feel like I can play with the best,” he said.

Additional coverage - July 26

blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Packers vs. Bears: Final Thoughts

    (4:24) Posted 4 hours ago

    The Green Bay Packers take on their division rival Chicago Bears in Week 12. Vic and Mike talk about what's at stake, players to watch, and ways the Packers can win.

  • Success on "D" a mindset says Daniels

    (2:39) Posted 5 hours ago

    Hear from DL Mike Daniels as the Packers prepare for the Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.

  • McCarthy: Defensive line is an excellent group

    (5:51) Posted 8 hours ago

    HC Mike McCarthy addressed the media on Wednesday to discuss the strengths of the defensive line and what it means to have two starting centers.