24 seconds with Ian Smart

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

Jamaica-born running back Ian Smart is the Lions' punt and kickoff return specialist. He was recognized as the CFL's special teams player of the week after returning six kickoffs for 138 yards and six punts for 46 yards in last week's 22-21 home loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He leads the league with 1,100 combined yards.

24 hours: You're enjoying your first full season as a Lion after coming here early last year from the Montreal Alouettes.

#2 Ian Smart: "We're just one family. If a team is not together, they're never going to be good. We're all family, we're close, even off the field we do things together which is good for team chemistry."

24: You're a high school track coach in the off-season and specialized in 100 m and 200 m sprints in college. Which came first for you, football or track?

#2: "I always was a track guy, but I liked football so I started playing football."

24: What was your best time?

#2: "Coming from college I ran 10.5 in the 100; in the 200 I was high 21s, low 22."

24: The running surface is different in football. Which do you prefer, natural grass or FieldTurf?

#2: "[FieldTurf] is a different surface, grass is a lot better because it's natural and easy on your body. It depends on the thickness of the grass and the speed on the surface, too."

24: Before coming north, you spent a couple of years with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What's head coach John Gruden like and how does he compare with Wally Buono?

#2: "He's a motivator, loud and likes to bring a lot of fun to practice, he likes to get his players working and get the best out of them. Wally's not as loud. Wally's more of a players' coach, he respects his players and makes sure his players are all right and healthy, he takes care of his players."

24: You also spent a season in NFL Europe with the Scottish Claymores.

#2: "We finished 2-8, but the coach told us that football's good when you're winning, losing was stressful. It was a good experience that got us across the Atlantic."


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