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The outpouring of grief from fans and teammates since former Saints star defender Will Smith was shot to death Saturday night (April 9) is a testament to his leadership and his athletic ability. As former Saints linebacker Scott Shanle said in an eloquent message posted on Twitter Sunday, “you were our captain, our rock, and anchor during our run, and I appreciate all the little things you did to help us succeed.”

No. 91 will always be remembered for his skill and focus on the football field, especially during the Saints’ Super Bowl season. No fan could forget the kiss he planted on his biceps after a sack or seeing him run the length of the field on Tracy Porter’s pick six in Miami.

As important as those moments are, Mr. Smith gave our community much more than that. Unlike many players, he stayed in New Orleans after his Saints career ended. His wife Racquel is a Louisiana native, and the two of them made themselves an integral part of this community.

After news that both of them had been shot during what police said was an auto accident that turned violent, several groups they have helped posted tributes.

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