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Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Steve-SmithIn case you haven’t realized, Steve Smith has some issues with the way his 13-year Carolina Panthers career came to an end. On Wednesday, Smith responded a recent report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that indicated the Panthers decided to cut Smith because they were afraid he would be “divisive” in the locker room as they looked to go younger and cheaper at wide receiver.

Smith told WFNZ in Charlotte that reports like the one from Rapoport gave him even more motivation heading into last Sunday’s game against the Panthers.

“To build a case or leak stories that are inaccurate or that I forced something…” Smith said, via WFNZ’s Chris Kroeger. “That’s unfair. I never asked for a release. I wanted to play ball.”

Smith also said that Panthers head coach Ron Rivera never sat down with him before he was released and only texted the 35-year old after the fact to apologize for the way things ended.

“He didn’t come to me man-to-man, he said he’s a player’s coach,” Smith said. “He hid in his office.”

He said that the same was true of Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman. Smith said Gettleman told him he is a “shadow” of the player he used to be and that he was jealous of Cam Newton. When Smith asked him if the Panthers were looking for him to take a pay cut, he says Gettleman told him it was nothing about money but that the team was going to trade him. Smith claims he later found out he had been released by listening to the radio.

“(Gettleman) doesn’t even have the cojones to tell it to my face,” Smith said. “Everybody else says that it wasn’t personal, but if the first thing comes out of your mouth if it wasn’t personal, well guess what, it was personal.

“Now that I play well you’re going to try and say that I’m a distraction … I’ve always been a distraction, but I didn’t beat my wife. Yeah I hit some teammates six or seven years ago but I never beat my wife. I didn’t get arrested for DUIs. I didn’t fall off no motorcycles.”

We’re starting to get a better idea of where all the animosity comes from. Smith went off on the Panthers with a sideline tirade during a game earlier this year and then proceeded to catch two touchdowns against them last weekend. He then made these hilarious comments about his former team while cameras were rolling. Regardless of who is to blame, it’s obvious Smith and the Panthers had a bitter divorce.

Steve Smith to Panthers: Take your a– back to Carolina and mow my lawn (Video)

Steve Smith RavensSteve Smith promised after the Carolina Panthers released him over the winter that he would bring his A-game if he ever got a chance to face his former team, and boy did he deliver. After catching seven passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the Baltimore Ravens’ win, Smith said he was an old man running circles around “schoolyard kids” and vowed to smash the NFL’s record for a 35-year-old receiver. What he said during the game was even more legendary.

During Inside the NFL’s recap of the Panthers-Ravens game on Showtime this week, Smith was shown acting like he was hammering in a nail. Here was the commentary he provided along with it.

“This is a nail in their coffin. You’re dead,” Smith said emphatically. “Now take your ass back to Carolina. Make sure you mow my lawn, too, while you’re out there. Keep it clean for me.”

[WATCH: Steve Smith catches tipped pass for long TD against Panthers]

Is this guy the best or what? There may be no better trash talker in the NFL than Smith, and he clearly hasn’t lost his edge in the twilight years of his career. The way he called out the Panthers after his first touchdown with the Ravens earlier this year was even more intense. Even if Smith’s skills are declining, he more than makes up for it by being such a gamer.

Video via Black and Blue Review

Cam Newton was reportedly a ‘big source of frustration’ for Steve Smith

Steve Smith RavensAt age 35, Steve Smith is on pace for the best statistical season of his career. He will likely slow down a bit going forward, but it seems like Smith has discovered the fountain of youth with the Baltimore Ravens. Has getting away from Cam Newton helped him?

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported on Sunday that Smith was not a big believer in Newton during his time with the Carolina Panthers.

“From what I understand, Cam Newton was a big source of frustration for Steve Smith,” Rapoport said on NFL Gameday Morning. “In fact, he told close friends he doesn’t believe Cam Newton sees the field at all, specifically in the red zone. What Steve Smith told friends is that Cam Newton doesn’t think fast enough or isn’t precise enough to succeed in the red zone.”

While we don’t know how true that is, we do know that Smith could not have been more motivated against his former team on Sunday. He hauled in a 62-yard touchdown catch on a tipped pass early in the second quarter and finished with seven receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns.

[Related: Steve Smith says he is going to 'smash' receiving record]

As Rapoport noted, Newton has only completed 44% of his passes in the red zone since 2011. A lot of that might have to do with the fact that running is more difficult in the NFL, and he did a lot of scrambling in the red zone at Auburn.

Through four games, Smith seems to be Joe Flacco’s most trusted target. If he can stay healthy, there’s no reason he can’t have a great season.

Steve Smith on receiving record ‘I’m going to smash that’ (Video)

Steve Smith RavensSteve Smith had a huge game against his former team on Sunday and was his typical fiery self afterwards.

Smith had 7 catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the Baltimore Ravens’ 38-10 beatdown of the Carolina Panthers. The game marked Smith’s third 100-yard game in four chances this season, giving him 290 for the season.

When asked by CBS after the game what his big effort said about what he can still do in the league — the Panthers cut him partly because of his age — and the 35-year-old said he was going to “smash” the record for yards by a 35+ year old receiver.

“They say no 35-year-old has ever had over 700 yards, right? I’m gonna smash that!” Smith said with a glare.

I’m not sure where Smith is getting his figures. Jerry Rice had three 1,000-yard seasons over the age of 35, including 92 catches and 1,211 in his age 40 season. But I’m not about to challenge Smith on the point. Did you see the look on his face? Shoot, the last thing I want to do is upset HIM. If looks could kill, that glare would have you dead in your tracks. No way I’m telling him he’s wrong about his numbers. Just let him keep thinking he’s right … it will only motivate him.

Also, this quote is precious.

Steve Smith catches tipped pass for 61-yd TD against Panthers (Video)

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The Carolina Panthers were in Baltimore for a matchup against the Ravens on Sunday and, perhaps not surprisingly, Steve Smith Sr. was a central figure.

steve-smith-td-catchIt didn’t take Smith long to make an impact against his former team. Early in the second quarter, he caught a pass from Joe Flacco that was tipped by Owen Daniels and took it for a 61-yard touchdown. With less than two minutes remaining until halftime, Smith hauled in his second score of the quarter, this time from 21-yards out.

It’s no secret Steve Smith was not pleased with the way his time in Carolina came to an end. Earlier this year, he said there would be “blood and guts everywhere” in reference to going up against his former team. Smith also called out the Panthers during the Ravens’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals in week one.

Steve Smith Sr. certainly held up his end of the talk on Sunday with five catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns in just first half.

DeAngelo Williams wears goggles to interview for Steve Smith’s ‘blood and guts’ rant

DeAngelo-Williams-goggles

After Steve Smith was released by the Carolina Panthers back in March, he issued a warning to anyone who might be in attendance if he happens to return to Bank of America Stadium.

“If (my future path) happens to run through Bank of America Stadium, put your goggles on cause there’s going to be blood and guts everywhere,” Smith said at the time.

The veteran wide receiver then went on to sign with the Baltimore Ravens, who happen to be playing the Panthers in Week 4. The game is in Baltimore, but that didn’t stop DeAngelo Williams from showing up to his interview on Thursday with goggles on. Of course, Smith’s former teammate tried to pretend he was wearing goggles for a different reason.

“I wouldn’t say that, man. It’s a football game,” Williams said, via Black and Blue Review’s Bill Voth. “That sounds more like surgery, when you say blood and guts,” Williams said. “I’m just an Eric Dickerson fan; that’s why I have the goggles on.

“I know he’s going to be super excited when we get there. He kind of left us a message the first game of the season, so we’re looking forward to that. I spent eight years with Steve and I know how fiery he is and I know how good the Ravens are. We’ll all know the answer to the end of that message come Sunday.”

Smith has already proven he can still be productive at age 35, having caught 18 passes for 290 yards and a touchdown through three games. He’s one of Joe Flacco’s favorite targets, and you know Baltimore will be looking to get him involved early against Carolina. It should be a fun game to watch.

H/T Pro Football Talk
Photo: Twitter/Joe Person

Steve Smith, Darnell Dockett share thoughts on NFL players in trouble

Darnell-Dockett-CardinalsThe arrests in the NFL have seemingly piled up over the past two weeks, and the attention paid to the alleged crimes have been more magnified than ever.

On top of the Ray Rice scandal, Greg Hardy conviction, Ray McDonald arrest and Adrian Peterson indictment, Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested Wednesday for alleged domestic violence.

In light of all the negativity surrounding the league, outspoken players Steve Smith and Darnell Dockett (pictured) shared their thoughts via Twitter.

Smith, who is in his first season with the Baltimore Ravens, focused on the domestic violence issues:

Dockett, a longtime Arizona Cardinals DL who is out for the season, was critical of all the players getting in trouble, including Dwyer.

Dockett tweets

Both players have done and said a lot of stupid things, but these tweets were among their better ones.