SMITH BY THE NUMBERS
3 – Consecutive seasons Smith led the Saints in sacks from 2005-07, the first Saint to top the team three seasons in a row since La’Roi Glover (1998-2000) and only the fifth in franchise history.
19 – Career forced fumbles, including a club record five-game stretch in 2004-05 with one in each game.
13 – Career-high sack total in 2009, the highest by a Saint since 2001. Smith’s takedown total was ranked second in the NFC and fifth in the NFL.
61.5 – With 61.5 sacks since being drafted, Smith has the fourth-highest total in team record books, second among Black and Gold defensive linemen.
85 – Tackles in 2005, a career-high despite starting just nine games.
7.5 – The NFL-leading number of sacks by Smith in the month of November, 2009.
18 – Smith was selected out of Ohio State 18th overall in 2004, the highest the Saints have drafted a defensive end since selecting Joe Johnson 13th overall in 1994.
91 WILL SMITH DE
HEIGHT: 6-3 WEIGHT: 282
COLLEGE: OHIO STATE
JOINED SAINTS: D1-04
NFL EXPERIENCE: 9
NFL CAREER – A true impact player on the Saints’ defense, Smith has been one of the club’s top performers since being drafted 18th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft and has evolved into one of the top defensive linemen in franchise history. Since he joined the team, no Saint has had more than his 61.5 sacks, which ranks fourth in club record books (since 1982, when sacks were first recognized). He’s led the Saints in quarterback takedowns in four seasons, as the first Saint to top the team in sacks three years in a row (2005-07) since La’Roi Glover from 1998-2000. Also a disruptive force against the run, the 2006 Pro Bowl selection has appeared in 123 games with 104 starts and has recorded 541 tackles, caused 19 fumbles and recovered six. Smith has been a defensive captain in each of the last five years, and sets the tone for the entire unit with his rugged play and intensity. Though often double-teamed, he notched 52 stops (28 solo) last season, posting 6.5 sacks, one pass defense and two forced fumbles.
CAREER TRANSACTIONS – Signed to a six-year contract extension, 6/12/08; Agreed to terms on a six-year contract extension, 6/11/08; Signed to a six-year contract, 7/31/04; Selected in the first-round (18th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft.
HONORS – 2006: Pro Bowl; 2004: Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie.
2011 – Selected by teammates as one of two season-long defensive team captains…Started all 14 games he played in and recorded 52 tackles (28 solo), ranked second on team with 6.5 sacks and added one pass defense and two forced fumbles…Also started both postseason games and finished with six tackles (one solo)…Led the defensive line with five tackles, two sacks and two pass defenses at St. Louis, Oct. 30…Along with DT Shaun Rogers, was credited for sealing up a fourth-and-one run play by Atlanta RB Michael Turner in overtime at their 29-yard line, allowing S Malcolm Jenkins to make the stop for no gain to give the Saints the ball back at the Falcons, Nov. 13…With a third quarter sack of QB Eli Manning vs. N.Y. Giants, Nov. 28, became the fourth player in franchise history to record 60 takedowns…With his third quarter sack of QB Jake Locker at Tennessee, Dec. 11, the Titans would be put in a third-and-19 situation at the 11 that would eventually force a punt that gave the Saints possession at midfield. 2010 – Selected by teammates as one of the team’s five season-long captains…Started all 15 games he played in and finished with 70 tackles (31 solo), 5½ sacks, one interception, five pass defenses and one forced fumble…Posted five or more tackles in 11 contests…Inactive with groin injury at Arizona, Oct. 10, missing his first game since 2006…Recorded his first takedown of 2010, when he dropped Falcons QB Matt Ryan to put a halt to the first drive of overtime vs. Atlanta, Sept. 26, moving him into the top five all-time among Saints players in sacks. Also added five tackles (four solo)…Led New Orleans pass rush vs. Pittsburgh, Oct. 31, recording five tackles (one solo), making a season-high and game-high 1½ sacks and deflecting a pass near the line of scrimmage, moving him into fifth place on the club’s all-time list for takedowns…Powered an aggressive Saints defense at Dallas, Nov. 25, where in addition to six tackles (two solo), he picked off a first quarter pass that set up a field goal, added a fourth quarter sack that moved him to fourth on the club’s all-time list and forced a fumble…Third quarter sack of Ryan created a third and long situation that led to a punt at Atlanta, Dec. 27. Also added five tackles (three solo)…Sacked Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman for a nine-yard loss to go with six tackles (one solo) in finale vs. Tampa Bay, 1/2/11…Started NFC Wild Card Playoff at Seattle, 1/8/11, and finished with four solo tackles. 2009 – Started all 16 games at RDE and posted career-high 13 sacks to rank second in the NFC, adding 77 tackles (42 solo) with his first career interception, four pass defenses and three forced fumbles…Notched 10 tackles, a forced fumble and another interception in three postseason starts as well…Led dominating defensive performance at Buffalo, Sept. 27, as he sacked QB Trent Edwards among his six tackles and also notched his first career interception as he grabbed a tipped pass in the 27-7 victory…Had a second consecutive dominant game the next week vs. NY Jets, notching 1½ sacks of QB Mark Sanchez, stripping the ball, leading to Remi Ayodele recovering the fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. Tallied six tackles on the day…Made five tackles from his starting spot vs. NY Giants, Oct. 18, and drew a holding penalty that nullified a Giants TD pass and forced a field goal…Vs. Atlanta Nov. 2, matched a career-high with two sacks of QB Matt Ryan as he posted his seventh career multi-sack performance, recording four tackles with an additional pass defense on another near-sack…Recorded his second straight multi-sack game vs. Carolina, Nov. 8, dropping QB Jake Delhomme twice and stripped the ball on one of the sacks along with making a total of five tackles…Made seven tackles from his starting spot with a forced fumble and a three-yard sack of QB Marc Bulger at St. Louis, Nov. 15…Made six tackles at Tampa Bay, Nov. 22, recording an eight-yard sack of QB Josh Freeman, marking the fourth consecutive game he recorded a takedown, the longest such streak of his career…Wrapped up a dominant month of November with his fifth consecutive game where he posted at least one sack, recording 1½ takedowns – splitting a sack of QB Tom Brady with Charles Grant and later dropping QB Brian Hoyer – among his four tackles in the win over New England, Nov. 30…Posted six tackles vs. Dallas Dec. 19, with two sacks of QB Tony Romo to establish a new season career-high with 12…Recorded season-best nine tackles vs. Tampa Bay, Dec. 27, with a three-yard sack of QB Josh Freeman…Made an impact from his starting spot in NFC Divisional Playoff vs. Arizona, making one tackle and intercepting a Kurt Warner pass that led to a New Orleans TD…Played nearly every snap in the NFC Championship Game vs. Minnesota, making seven tackles (three solo) and forcing a fumble by WR Percy Harvin that was recovered by Ayodele, leading to a Saints TD in the victory…Made two tackles in the Super Bowl XLIV win. 2008 – Started all 16 games at RDE for the second straight year, recording 77 tackles (33 solo), three sacks for 23 yards in losses, a forced fumble and deflected a pass…Posted five or more tackles in 11 contests…Had a 12-yard sack at Washington, Sept. 14, along with four stops…Had five tackles (four solo), a sack and a forced fumble, vs. San Francisco, Sept. 28. The fumble was recovered by LB Jonathan Vilma and led to a TD…Notched six tackles and a sack at Kansas City, Nov. 16…Recorded season-high eight tackles (six solo) at Tampa Bay, Nov. 30…Posted five tackles vs. Atlanta, Dec. 7, including a key stop of RB Michael Turner for a five-yard loss on a defensive stand to open the fourth quarter. 2007 – Started all 16 games at RDE, recording a team-high seven sacks and leading the defensive line with 65 tackles (37 solo) – his fourth straight season with over 55 stops…Also registered two forced fumbles, three recoveries, five tackles for a loss and knocked down three passes…Selected by teammates as one of five season-long captains…Recorded four tackles (three solo) a sack for a seven-yard loss and a forced fumble vs. Carolina, Oct. 7 in his 50th career game…Posted season-high eight tackles, including a nine-yard sack, vs. St. Louis, Nov. 11…Sacked QB Matt Schaub at Houston, Nov. 18. Also recovered a fumble that led to a TD drive…At Carolina, Nov. 25, had two tackles, knocked down a pass and a fumble recovery…Made six tackles and recorded his first career safety when he dropped QB Luke McCown in the end zone for a seven-yard loss vs. Tampa Bay, Dec. 2…Recorded four tackles, deflected a pass, recovered a fumble and had a sack in busy day vs. Philadelphia, Dec. 23. 2006 – Started 14 games at RDE, declared inactive vs. San Francisco, Dec. 3, with a knee injury and vs. Carolina, Dec. 31, with the Saints having clinched a playoff berth…Posted five or more tackles in seven contests...Ranked 14th in the NFL with 10½ sacks and added 56 tackles (35 solo), two pass defenses, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery…Had a sack in each of the first three games, and added a fumble recovery at Green Bay, Sept. 17…Notched five stops, a career-high two sacks and a forced fumble at Tampa Bay, Nov. 5…Had two sacks again at Atlanta, Nov. 26 – where he also deflected a pass and forced a fumble – and had two more sacks at Dallas, Dec. 10…Also a force in the postseason, with eight stops vs. Philadelphia in the NFC Divisional Playoffs and seven tackles at Chicago in the NFC Championship. 2005 – Tied for eighth in the NFC with a team-leading 8½ sacks, despite opening only nine games and not becoming a full-time starter until the final six contests...Had at least one sack in six games…Recorded 85 tackles, six pass defenses, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery…Tallied five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble at Carolina, Sept. 11. Marked the fifth straight contest Smith had caused a fumble, the first player in club history to do so…Top performance came at New England, Nov. 20, with career-high 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble against defending Super Bowl Champions…Started at RDE at N.Y. Jets, Nov. 27 and responded with six tackles and a sack…Started at LDE vs. Detroit, Dec. 24 and had six tackles, a sack and deflected a pass. 2004 – Had strong rookie year with 59 tackles (41 solo), 7.5 sacks, a team-high five forced fumbles and a fumble recovery… Played in all 16 games and started four, recording a sack in seven games…Sack total ranked second in the NFL among rookies and fourth in club history for a rookie…Came on strong over the last eight games with 36 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery…Had six tackles (four solo), a sack and a forced fumble vs. San Francisco, Sept. 19…Had four tackles (all solo) and a sack at Atlanta, Nov. 28…First of a three-week stretch where he recorded a sack, including vs. Carolina, Dec. 5 and at Dallas, Dec. 12, when he also added a forced fumble…Dec. 19 at Tampa Bay had a key fourth quarter forced fumble that set up a game-winning march. Also made a downfield block earlier in the quarter to spring WR Michael Lewis for a 53-yard punt return…Equaled season-high with eight stops (seven solo), 1½ sacks and a forced fumble with a fumble recovery at Carolina, 1/2/05…Posted a forced fumble in each of last four contests, the first player in club history to do so in four straight contests.
COLLEGE – Three-year starter at RDE for Ohio State, finishing with career totals of 167 tackles (111 solo), 21 sacks, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and an interception…Selected to OSU’s All-Decade Team…Opened 37 of 51 career games…Sack total ranked fifth in OSU history upon his departure…First-team All-American, All-Big 10 selection and conference’s Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year as senior, posting 49 tackles (30 solo), 10½ sacks and 20 stops for a loss…Finalist for Hendricks Award, given to nation’s top end…All-Big 10 second-team as junior, appearing in every game despite suffering a midseason knee sprain, as he was one of the team leaders on a National Championship team…Recorded 5.5 sacks, a forced fumble, an interception and a fumble recovery…Named Outstanding First-Year Defensive Player as freshman with three sacks.
PERSONAL – All-American at Proctor (Utica, N.Y.) HS…Had 20 sacks as senior…named Mohawk Valley Player of the Year as a senior and junior and was runner-up his final year for the state’s Player of the Year honors… Also was an All-CNY first-team selection and Football New York All-state selection…Also ran track, finishing second in the state 4x100 relay and was also a basketball standout…Criminology major at Ohio State who wants to be an FBI agent following his playing career…Son of William H. Smith and brother of Chantay Lee and Raymond Smith…Married (Racquel) with three children, William J. Smith, Lisa Mya Smith and Wynter Chase Smith…Will and Racquel’s “Where There’s a Will There’s a Way” foundation mentors, assists and provides educational and athletic support to at-risk children, as well as working with several charitable organizations throughout Louisiana…In November, 2011, they sponsored a Celebrity Waiters event to benefit Bridge House…The couple also hosted the Smith Family Christmas Event at the team’s practice facility on December 20, 2011, where 60 children received gifts, a holiday meal, a tour of the Saints facility and a chance to win raffle items…Has a personal website (www.thewillsmith.com), twitter handle (@iwillsmith) and servers on the advisory board of Artists and Athletes (www.artistsandathletes.org)...Born July 4, 1981.