Steve Smith is NASSSSSSTY! But he’s not the Best Receiver in the NFL. He can do a lot of things.
and best of all, he can even do some of this…
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.