Carolina Panthers Player No. 1: Steve Smith (WR)
There isn’t a fan of the Carolina Panthers who wouldn’t want to see Steve Smith suit up one more time. The legendary wide receiver more than left his mark on the organization thanks to his unrivaled competitive edge and a swagger that has seldom been seen before or since.
Not much was expected of Smith when he arrived in Carolina as a third-round pick out of Utah. He was seen more like a wait and see prospect given his lack of height compared to others at the position. But his quality shone through from the moment he stepped onto the field.
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Smith was well known as one of the league’s best trash talkers. He liked nothing more than getting into the heads of opposing cornerbacks. And anything he might have said to them was backed up with outstanding production.
His style of play was hard not to love. Smith was aggressive, fearless, and came up with big plays when it mattered most.
This resulted in the wideout securing 836 receptions, 12,197 receiving yards, and 67 touchdowns during his time in a Panthers’ uniform. And his exceptional 2005 campaign saw the player lead the league in receptions, touchdowns, and yards gained.
Although hit spell with the team didn’t come with a Super Bowl ring, Smith will always be held in the highest regard by Carolina’s fanbase. He was selected first-team All-Pro twice, made five Pro Bowls and was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2005.
Smith moved on to end his career with the Baltimore Ravens. But he will always be a Panther to those who were fortunate enough to see him play.