Just when it appeared as though Steve Smith’s best years as an NFL receiver were behind him, Cam Newton came along. With Newton at the helm, Smith has had a complete resurgence. The four-time Pro Bowler is second in the NFL with 1,060 receiving yards, and fifth with 18 yards per catch. You would figure that would result in sworn allegiances to Cam, but Steve still has love for some of the other quarterbacks he’s played with.
Asked by Dave Dameshek if Cam is the best quarterback he’s played with, Steve Smith said no.
“I have to be honest, I would say Jake (Delhomme) is No. 1 because Jake’s career is over here in Carolina. Cam, he’s been in the league for about 15 minutes. I think that’s one of the things that the media does. They jump on a train too quick. But Jake played for a number of years, for various teams for various reasons, but at the end of the day, he played a long time because he made plays.
“No. 2 would be a guy who’s probably surprising,” Smith said. “When Jake got hurt, we brought in Vinny Testaverde, and Vinny taught me some things to this day that I have at home on my nightstand. He taught me how to run some routes (from) all the guys he played with, Keyshawn (Johnson), Wayne Chrebet, he played with some guys I grew up admiring. So that’s why Vinny’s No. 2 and Cam’s No. 3.”
I really hope nobody interprets this as a shot at Cam. I actually think it’s cool that Smith thinks fondly of both Delhomme and Testaverde. Many people forget that before he became a useless turnover machine, Jake Delhomme was a productive quarterback who made a Pro Bowl and led the Panthers to the Super Bowl. Smith won’t forget that, nor should he, and it doesn’t mean he doesn’t think Cam will improve.
Here is audio of Smith’s appearance on Dameshek’s podcast. The interview begins around the 21:30 mark.Google+