OWINGS MILLS- While Steve Smith Sr.’s injured Achilles tendon is far from being 100 percent, his determination remains in top form.
Smith, who will turn 37 years old in May, faces months of rehab after recently having a walking boot removed from his right leg. However, Smith has a message for those who don’t believe he can return as a top NFL receiver.
Don’t doubt him.
“Before I got hurt, y’all didn’t think I’d be able to put up the numbers I was at 36,” Smith said to reporters in the locker room Monday. “Will I be able to put up the numbers at age 37? To be honest, you guys don’t know what the hell y’all talking about, so it doesn’t matter. The numbers I put up will be the numbers I put up, and I happen to put up those numbers at the age of 37.
“Can I run like I used to at 22? No. But I’m comfortable being 37 years old, being on this team, and they’re comfortable with me. So we’re going to operate that way. Can I put up the numbers that I (usually) put up? Well, when I started putting up good numbers, you guys told me, ‘Well he’ll tail off.’ I think what you need to do is just let me play, and quit commenting about my play. Because every time y’all tell me something I can’t do, then you have a reason why I’m doing it.”
So there you have Smith, six months before training camp, already finding reasons to get pumped up. It’s no mystery why people weren’t convinced when Smith announced he would retire before the season started. By Week 2, Smith was already thinking about changing his mind. And the Ravens are glad he did.