EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Malcolm Smith tries to keep a low profile, doing the grunt work for a Seattle Seahawks defense that is the best in the NFL.
Staying under the radar might not be possible after Sunday night when the third-year linebacker from USC returned an interception for a touchdown, recovered a fumble and was voted the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLVIII.
Smith also made nine tackles as the Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos, 43-8, at MetLife Stadium.
“It just represents how our defense played,” Smith said, adding “You’ve seen guys out here make those type of plays and tonight it was my turn.”
Two weeks ago, Smith intercepted a tipped pass by cornerback Richard Sherman to secure the Seahawks’ NFC championship game victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
On Sunday, late in the second quarter, Smith intercepted a pass by quarterback Peyton Manning.
“It was up there for awhile,” Smith said of the ball. “I was kind of thinking, ‘Again? Like, No way.’ ”
Smith returned the interception 69 yards to give the Seahawks a 22-0 lead after the first half.
Smith and his older brother Steve, who won a Super Bowl title with the New York Giants, became the seventh set of brothers to win Super Bowl championships.
Peyton and Eli Manning, Bubba and Tody Smith, Matt and Chris Bahr, Jim and Keith Fahnhorst, Chris and Ma’ake Kemoeatu and Darren and Jamie Sharper are brothers who played for Super Bowl winners.
“It’s great, man, it’s great for our family,” said Malcolm, a seventh-round draft pick in 2011. “I don’t think we ever imagined being a pair of Super Bowl-winning brothers.”
Said Steve, a former USC All-American receiver: “Oh my God, it just feels so good. It’s unbelievable, unbelievable. I’m so happy for him.”
Their mother, Audrey, also was on hand in the postgame interview room, wearing a No. 53 jersey. She said she was very proud of her sons.
“Yeah!” she said. “I got two rings.”