Well you cant say he didn't warn them!
Steve Smith was the star of the show as the Baltimore Ravens beat his old team, the Carolina Panthers 38-10 on Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium.
Smith vs Carolina
He caught seven passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns and throughout the post game press conference he remained modest and respectful towards his former team. However, in typical Steve Smith fashion he couldn't resist one boastful comment:
"That film is a coaching session," Smith said. "I'm 35 years old, and I ran around those boys like they were schoolyard kids."
There was a huge slice of luck for Smith's first touchdown, catching the ball off a tip from tight end Owen Daniels to take it 61 yards to the house but it was more of a case of 'right place, right time' for the 35-year old veteran.
His second was more conventional, however it was made better as Panthers cornerback Melvin White started to tackle him before the ball was anywhere near Smith, who held on for the 21-yard score.
There was nothing surprising about the way Smith played. Panthers players, fans and staff know he is an exceptional talent. He is even more exceptional when he's fired up, and boy was he fired on Sunday. What was more surprising was the fact that he barely celebrated his touchdowns. The furthest he went was the 'shhhhh' signal of putting his index finger to his lips. You could have been forgiven for expecting him show a lot more emotion.
Plenty of warnings!
After all, when he was released from the Panthers, before signing for the Ravens he said that the first time he came up against his old team there would be 'blood and guts everywhere'. He was right, in a metaphorical sense of course.
Smith also had words for his old team when he caught a touchdown against the Cincinatti Bengals in the Ravens week one loss, "Hey, if you (expletive) think I can't play, you're gonna find out in Week 4, (expletive)."
Finished on bad terms
Smith came into the league in 2001 and stayed with the Panthers until he was released at the conclusion of the 2013 season. Sadly for Smith and the Panthers organization, things did not end well and even know GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Ron Rivera insisted he was released for 'footballing reasons' it is believed that Gettleman wanted Smith out in order for Cam Newton to be the central figurehead in locker room.
It didn't help that Smith and Cam Newton's relationship fell apart towards the back end of last season however Newton paid tribute to Smith after the game:
“He’s got a lot of tread left on his tires, and his tires are big Tonka truck tires.”
One things for sure, at the ripe age of 35, Steve Smith still has a lot in his locker. With 25 catches for 429 yards and three touchdowns he is on track for a record year.
Was it a mistake from the Panthers to let him go? Or was he too much of a personality to deal with?
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