When Steve Smith became the NFL’s best wide receiver

Steve Smith is NASSSSSSTY! But he’s not the Best Receiver in the NFL. He can do a lot of things.

He can do this…_39500383_smith_300.jpg and this 26.jpg and this

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and best of all, he can even do some of this…

ph2006112601152.jpg and alot of this

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But, he’s still not the best. Steve Smith has had one phenomenal year. He’s had two other solid seasons. The rest of his career has either been marked as his rise from special special teams player to star starter or injury-plagued seasons breaking the hearts of the Panther faithful.

There was, though, a coronation. I don’t know how I missed it, but I understand how it happened. There are other elite receivers in this game: Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald…even Joey Galloway. Smith offers a unique mix of factors, though that tend to separate him from most other receivers.

Harrison, Galloway, Holt are on the back end of fabulous careers. Smith is an excellent route runner and deserves to be mentioned in the company of these stars.

Moss and Owens are supremely talented physically and each has only the other for comparison in that regard. Moreover, both are reviled by the media. Smith may be half a foot shorter, but his blazing speed and capacity to fight for balls at the peak of the throw put him in conversation as well.

In recent years, there has been a new group of big, young receivers who have redefined the position. Andre Johnson is one of those players. Plaxico Burress, Roy Williams, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, and several others have changed the way defenses are called and teams are configured.

Still another batch of fleet speedsters are enjoying some success. Recent Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch is one example. The Jets-Redskins back to Redskins-Jets tandem of Laveranues Coles and Santana Moss are two more examples of this type.

And then there’s Steve’s roommate from junior college, Ocho Cinco, Chad Johnson. He has as strong a claim as anyone to the throne.

Steve Smith is as good as it gets, but he’s going to have to get some more before he’s the best there is. The Houston Texans may be trying to get him to the top by themselves. Yesterday’s line: 8 catches, 153 yards and 3 touchdowns.

3 comments

  1. Steve Smith is one of the greatest player in the NFL to ever step foot in this game. I admit his stats are not the best but his perfromance on the field makes up for that. Did you see Steve game against houston now none of the recivers you have named can do that. Steve also has the will to fight for the ball at his highest peek. Steve may not become a hall of famer do to the fact that Carolina does not have any other stars to help on offense but he will always be remebered as on of the best to step foot in the game.

  2. I saw the stat line for the game – it’s in the post. I didn’t see the game. Obviously my post is not anti-Steve Smith. I think he’s tremendous – but he simply has to stay on the field. He needs more help and creativity from the offense to truly be the force that he can be. He’s a one-man show right now who would probably shatter tons of records in another system. He can be effective in a number of different ways…he can turn short passes (slants, screens, curls, outs, ins) into bombs and he can go deep up the sideline or over the middle. He does it all – just not enough to be listed as the best. From a talent perspective, he’s tops – from a performance-consistency-durability perspective, he’s not.

  3. Steve Smith is the best WR period. Randy moss can only go deep, wes welker is a monster in the slot, and T.O is one of the toughest reciver in the NFL, and Chad Johnson can make, and jump for the ball at the highest peek. You put all that in one and you have Steve Smith. Stats do not tell the whole story. One more point Marvin Harrison has Reggie Wayne. Chad Johnson, has T.J, and Randy has Wes Welker. Look at there numbers, each of these players have had break out seasons along one another side. After 2005 when Stephen Davis left, and the panthers,star slot reciver left there were no more good opitions to run, or throw to. ITs hard to stay heathy when your the only threat on the field. Maybe this seasnon will be different though.

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