Jacquies Smith's emergence doesn't surprise Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel
The emergence of Bucs defensive end Jacquies Smith - from undrafted rookie to NFL journeyman to one of the league's sack leaders - isn't a shock to the man who coached him in college.
"First of all, it doesn't surprise me," said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, who coached Smith from 2008-11.
Pinkel said Smith had potential when he joined the Tigers, but he got off to a slow start there. Eventually, he developed a great work ethic and began to improve consistently. He had five sacks and nine tackles for a loss during his senior season, and Pinkel knew he would eventually get a chance to play professionally.
"I really thought when he left (Missouri), he had more in him," Pinkel said. "He's kind of a late maturing guy, anyway. I thought if he kept at it, he'd really have a chance to make a team..."
Smith, of course, has done more than that. His four sacks through the Bucs' first four games are tied for second in the league, behind only Denver defensive end DeMarcus Ware.