Carolina Panthers No. 89: 3 reasons why Steve Smith was so great

Dean Jones
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Steve Smith
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Steve Smith /
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Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Steve Smith /

Just what exactly made former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith so great?

The Carolina Panthers are now just 89 days away from their week one encounter against the Las Vegas Raiders. With staff set to return to team facilities in the coming weeks, this is a crucial period of preparation as they look to prove some doubters wrong under new head coach Matt Rhule.

Continuing our look at each number heading into the new campaign, we now turn our attention to No. 89 on the list. No player has been allocated this with good reason, as it previously belonged to one of the most recognizable faces that ever put on a uniform for the Carolina Panthers.

Steve Smith had everything one looks for in a wide receiver. The legendary figure was brash and backed it up with a rare ability to make plays consistently.

This made him an instant fan favorite with Carolina’s fanbase. And this is a trend that continued throughout his career. There has not been a player like him before or since. And the Panthers missed him terribly when he eventually decided to move on.

That being said, there is real cause for encouragement regarding the team’s current group of wideouts. D.J. Moore has star potential after coming off his first 1,000-yard season. And the free-agent acquisition of Robby Anderson from the New York Jets is another huge boost for the franchise.

Curtis Samuel could also be in for a big year and can be used in a multitude of different ways by new offensive coordinator Joe Brady. And this trio has the scope to finally remove the Smith shadow from the organization.

Smith is sure to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame sometime in the near future. But just what made the player so great?