Steve Smith, Sr.

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Steve Smith
Panthers WR Steve Smith sits.jpg
Smith with the Carolina Panthers in 2006.
No. 89     Baltimore Ravens
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1979-05-12) May 12, 1979 (age 35)
Place of birth: Los Angeles, California
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Los Angeles (CA) University
College: Utah
NFL Draft: 2001 / Round: 3 / Pick: 74
Debuted in 2001 for the Carolina Panthers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 10, 2014
Receiving yards12,925
Receiving TDs71
Stats at
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Steve Smith
Panthers WR Steve Smith sits.jpg
Smith with the Carolina Panthers in 2006.
No. 89     Baltimore Ravens
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1979-05-12) May 12, 1979 (age 35)
Place of birth: Los Angeles, California
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Los Angeles (CA) University
College: Utah
NFL Draft: 2001 / Round: 3 / Pick: 74
Debuted in 2001 for the Carolina Panthers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 10, 2014
Receiving yards12,925
Receiving TDs71
Stats at

Stevonne Latrall "Steve" Smith, Sr. (born May 12, 1979) is an American football wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). After playing college football for the University of Utah, he was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the third round of the 2001 NFL Draft.

Smith, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro, emerged as one of the NFL's most productive wide receivers of the 21st century, leading the league in catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns in 2005. He spent his entire career with the Panthers until signing with the Ravens in March 2014, and is the Panthers' all-time leader in total touchdowns (69), receptions (800), and receiving yards (11,785). In 2011, he became the 35th player in NFL history to amass 10,000 receiving yards. Smith also leads all active NFL players in all-purpose yardage.[1]

In 2014 he applied to the NFL for a jersey nameplate change from 'Smith' to 'Smith Sr.' upon the announcement of his future son's impending birth.

High school career[edit]

Smith attended University High School in Los Angeles, California, and was a letterman in football and track & field. In football, he played running back and defensive back, and was an All-Metro League selection as well as an All-California Interscholastic Federation selection. Steve Smith graduated from University High School in 1997.

In track & field, he set a handful of school records, was named as an All-City selection as a high-hurdler, and also excelled in the triple jump and 300m hurdles. He had personal-bests of 14.95 seconds in the 110m hurdles and 38.73 seconds in the 300m hurdles.[2]

College career[edit]

After graduating from high school, Smith attended Santa Monica College. While playing for the Santa Monica Corsairs football team, Smith quickly defined himself as a talented football player, and earned a starting position. During this time, Smith was teammates with future NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson, bemusing fans of the small college's team with their unexpected talents.

While impressing spectators with his performance on the football field, Santa Monica’s head coach, Robert Taylor, encouraged Smith to not play for riches or fame, but to play so that he might earn a scholarship to a Division-I school, where he could receive a better education. He also advised Smith and Johnson to not do touchdown celebrations and as Smith said, "they put the cuffs on us." Smith took Taylor’s advice to heart, and excelled in his academics, not missing a single day of classes while attending Santa Monica.

After completing two years at Santa Monica College, Smith transferred to the University of Utah, where he established himself as a standout wideout for the Utah Utes football team in the Mountain West Conference where he was a teammate of running back Mike Anderson. While at the University of Utah, Smith set the record for yards per catch with a 20.6 average, and was chosen to play for the conference’s all-star team twice. However he missed their bowl game in his final season due to injury. After the Blue-Gray All-Star game on December 25, 2000, Smith began to receive attention from various NFL scouts. He and his wife have endowed an athletics scholarship at the University of Utah.[3]

Professional career[edit]

2001 NFL Draft[edit]

Robert Khoury chose Smith in the third round (74th Overall) during the 2001 NFL Draft.

Pre-draft measurables
HtWt40-yd dash10-yd split20-yd split20-ss3-coneVertBroadBP
5 ft 9 in184 lb4.41 s1.51 s2.51 s4.25 s7.44 s38.5 in10 ft 1 in
All values from NFL Combine

Carolina Panthers[edit]

2001 season[edit]

Smith spent a majority of his rookie season as a kick and punt returner, leading all rookies in net yardage with 1,994 yards, and landing in fourth place among all NFL players behind Priest Holmes, Marshall Faulk, and Derrick Mason. In his first play as a professional, Smith returned the opening kickoff of the first game of the season for a touchdown. Smith also had 10 catches for 154 yards, and rushed 4 times for 43 yards. Smith’s performance was rewarded with an invite to the 2002 Pro Bowl, allowing him to join Wesley Walls and Todd Sauerbrun as the only players to represent the Panthers in the 2002 Pro Bowl.

2002 season[edit]

During the 2002 NFL season, Smith earned a starting position as a wide receiver and continued as the team's kick returner and punt returner. In 2002, Smith was involved in an altercation in a training camp dormitory with fellow receiver Guilian Gary. On November 10, 2002, Smith was involved with an altercation with his teammate Anthony Bright during a film-room meeting.[4] Smith was suspended after that incident, which left Bright with a fractured orbital lobe. Smith was arrested and briefly jailed on charges of misdemeanor assault, and the Panthers suspended him for one game. Smith finished the year with 54 receptions for 872 yards and 3 touchdowns.

2003 season and Super Bowl XXXVIII[edit]

During the 2003 season, Smith played a critical role for the Panther offense and helped lead them to the only NFC title in franchise history. He finished the regular season with 88 receptions for 1,110 yards and 7 touchdowns. During the NFC divisional playoffs, Smith caught a 69-yard pass and ran it for a touchdown in the 2nd overtime period to defeat the St. Louis Rams 29–23. In Super Bowl XXXVIII, he caught 4 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown, and returned a kickoff for 30 yards in the Panthers' 32–29 loss to the New England Patriots.

2004 season and injury[edit]

Smith suffered a severe break in his leg during the 2004 NFL season opener against the Green Bay Packers, and was out for the remainder of the year. Before the injury, he managed to record 6 catches for 60 yards, and even attempted a pass which fell incomplete.

2005 season and comeback[edit]

In 2005 NFL season, Smith recovered from his injury to have what is still the best season of his career. He managed to earn the "Triple Crown" of receiving, leading the NFL with 1,563 receiving yards, 103 receptions, and 12 touchdowns. Smith also returned 27 punts for 286 yards. His 10.6 yards/return was the second highest of his career.

Smith dominated the first two rounds of the 2005 post season. In a wild card victory over the New York Giants, Smith caught 10 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 12 yards and another score. The Panthers then defeated the Chicago Bears in the divisional round, aided by Smith's franchise record 12 receptions for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns. Smith and the Panthers then faced the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship. Although he scored on a 59-yard punt return, Smith was held to 33 receiving yards on 5 catches, and the Panthers lost by a score of 34–14.

Smith, along with teammates Jake Delhomme, Julius Peppers, and Mike Wahle were invited to the 2006 Pro Bowl after the season. Smith also shared the 2005 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award with New England Patriots’s linebacker Tedy Bruschi.

2006 season[edit]

After suffering a hamstring injury and developing an ingrown toenail in training camp before the 2006 season, Smith returned to the field after missing two weeks of action. Steve was double covered frequently but still managed to battle through that and injuries to finish the year with 83 catches for 1,186 yards and 8 touchdowns. He was also invited to the 2007 Pro Bowl, his second Pro Bowl in a row and third overall.

2007 season[edit]

Smith started 15 games for the Panthers during the 2007 Carolina Panthers season, and led Carolina with 87 catches, 1,002 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns despite playing with four different starting quarterbacks due to injury to starting quarterback Jake Delhomme.

2008 season[edit]

Smith made headlines during the 2008 training camp when he was involved in an altercation with teammate Ken Lucas on August 1, 2008. Smith broke Lucas' nose during the fight and was later sent home for the remainder of the day after reportedly apologizing. Smith was given a two game suspension by the team.[5][6] Smith then suffered a severe concussion during the 2008 preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts, where Smith was hit in the head when catching a pass.[7] He continued to play that game, but did not travel with the team to their next game against the Philadelphia Eagles. After returning from suspension and scoring his first touchdown of the 2008 season, Smith presented the ball to Lucas on the sideline.[8] Despite his 2-game suspension, Smith was voted to play in the 2009 Pro Bowl after he managed to catch 78 passes for 1,421 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns, leading the NFL in receiving yards per game.

2009 season[edit]

During Week 16 of the 2009 NFL Season, Smith broke his left forearm on a touchdown catch in a game against the New York Giants causing him to sit out the final game of the year. Smith finished the year with 982 yards on 65 receptions and 7 touchdowns, just 18 yards shy of a 5th straight 1,000 yard receiving season. On January 1, 2010, Smith was placed on injured reserve following the injury, and on June 19, 2010 Smith broke his arm again while playing flag football.

2010 season[edit]

2010 was Smith's worst season as a starter since 2002. Although he led the team in both receptions and receiving yards, he only managed 46 catches for 554 yards. In addition, he only caught two touchdown passes, 1 fewer than rookie David Gettis. Smith's low numbers were due to the total lack of team offense behind rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen. The Panthers finished last in most offensive categories and with a 2–14 record, which was the worst in the 2010 season, securing the 1st overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Smith's dissatisfaction led to widespread rumors amongst the Panther's fan base that the star receiver wanted to be traded from the team for the 2011 season.

2011 season[edit]

Smith opened up the 2011 season strong, gaining 178 yards and 2 touchdowns on 8 catches, including a 77-yard reception for a touchdown. Smith followed his week 1 performance with another 150-yard receiving game, but had a fumble during the game as well. On November 27, 2011 Smith surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving mark .[9] During Week 14, he became the 35th player in NFL history to reach the 10,000-yard receiving mark after a 125 yard performance against the Atlanta Falcons. Smith reached a total of 1,394 yards on 79 catches, and was one catch away from reaching the 700 rec mark. Smith was selected to his fifth pro bowl.

2012 season[edit]

Smith played in all 16 games in 2012, recording 73 receptions for 1,174 yards and four touchdowns.

2013 season[edit]

"I don't know. You go and ask him, 'cause he didn't finish the game. Ice up, son. Ice up."

Smith, in response to his scuffles with Talib during the game.[10][11]

In 2013, Steve Smith continued to play well,[12] despite hauling in only 64 receptions, his lowest since 2010.

On December 22, 2013, Smith received a PCL sprain against the New Orleans Saints. The Panthers came out on top of the Saints 17-13. Smith received his 800th reception in the 2013 season.

Smith was released by the Carolina Panthers on March 13, 2014.[13] This ended his 13-year career with the Panthers.

Baltimore Ravens[edit]

Smith in Ravens uniform at the end of the game vs. the Panthers.

2014 season[edit]

Prior to signing with the Ravens, Smith stated that if he happens to meet his former team, the Panthers, again, to "put your goggles on cause there’s going to be blood and guts everywhere."[14] On March 14, 2014, Smith signed a three-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens, worth $11.5 million with a $3.5 million bonus.[15]

Smith would face his former team for the first time in week 4, and would stay true to his word.[16] Smith caught 7 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns as the Ravens beat the Panthers 38-10.[17]

Professional statistics[edit]

Regular season statistics
YearTeamGPGSReceivingRushingPunt returnsKick ReturnsFumb
^† League leader
Pro Bowler
Playoff statistics
YearTeamGPGSReceivingRushingPunt returnsKick ReturnsFumb
^‡ Playoff leader

Career accomplishments[edit]

NFL records[edit]

Panthers franchise records[edit]


Smith and his wife, Angie, have four children. Smith is a partner in Athletes United for Youth, a charity organization that provides educational, programmatic, and structured support to youth housed within under-served communities. In May 2008, Smith announced that he purchased a near-50% interest in the existing Velocity Sports Performance franchise in Charlotte and an equal ownership percentage in any future Charlotte area Velocity centers.[20]

Smith is a Christian.[21] In 2007, Smith went on an evangelism trip to Togo and Nigeria to talk to soccer players about Jesus.[22]

General references[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Steve Smith Makes Big Donation to Utes. (March 26, 2008).
  4. ^ Whitmire, Tim (November 23, 2002). "Panthers' wide receiver charged in film-room fight". USA Today. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ Cranston, Mike (August 1, 2008). "Panthers send Smith home after fight with Lucas". Yahoo! Sports. Associated Press. Retrieved August 1, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Smith sent home by Panthers after hurting Lucas in sideline fight". Associated Press. August 1, 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Panthers WR Smith day-to-day with concussion". August 11, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2010. 
  8. ^ Delong, John (September 29, 2008) Panthers Notebook: Smith's TD ball is given to Lucas. Winston-Salem Journal.
  9. ^ "NFL Stats: by Player Category". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  10. ^ Dan Hanzus (November 22, 2013). "Cheers for Steve Smith swag; jeers to bumbling fans". NFL. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  11. ^ Ken Dorset. "Panthers WR Steve Smith's 'Ice Up Son' Phrase Is Now a T-Shirt". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  12. ^ David Newton (November 27, 2013). "Ageless Steve Smith continues to amaze". ESPN. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  13. ^ David Newton (March 13, 2014). "Panthers release Steve Smith". ESPN. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  14. ^ Alper, Josh (March 13, 2014). "NBC Sports". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  15. ^ Mink, Ryan (March 14, 2014). "Ravens Sign WR Steve Smith". Baltimore Ravens. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  16. ^ Chase, Chris (September 28, 2014). "Steve Smith pays back Panthers with lucky, tipped touchdown grab". For the Win. USA Today. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  17. ^ Ginsburg, David (September 28, 2014). "Smith Leads the Way as Ravens Beat Panthers 38-10". ABC News. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  18. ^ History – NFL Single-Game Records. Retrieved on June 5, 2013.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i Carolina Panthers Team Encyclopedia. Retrieved on June 5, 2013.
  20. ^ Base, Ryan (May 6, 2008) Smith Buys Stake in Training Center. The Charlotte Observer.
  21. ^ "Carolina Panthers' Legend Steve Smith Leading by Example". 
  22. ^ "Pro Service Projects". 

External links[edit]