Don’t expect to see Steve Smith Sr. playing anymore, but you will still hear from him. Only days into his retirement from the Ravens, the always candid Smith described the difficulty of facing the Patriots’ defense as a guest on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” program.
During a 30-23 loss to the Patriots on Dec. 12, Smith had four catches for 57 yards, and felt like he earned every one of those yards.
“I hate to admit it, but the New England Patriots’ staff seems to have it all together,” Smith said on the program. “Scouting department, they know what you’re doing. Nothing is more defeating to a wide receiver, is when you are lined up and the corners and the linebackers are saying, ‘Watch the dagger route, watch the dagger route.’
“So you’re running a route, and you’re going at times, ‘Joe (Flacco), you better not throw this ball.’ …Their scouting department does a great job keeping you on your toes. Your bread and butter plays? They take them away.”
On another subject, Smith said NFL rule changes have made it tougher for defenders to know what constitutes a penalty, and what doesn’t.
“It’s very inconsistent with the calls,” Smith said. “I think a guy will get hit on one play, and they’ll be a penalty. The other team will get hit three or four times - generally the visiting team will get hit three or four times and no call. Our Pittsburgh Christmas debacle? When you look at that game, there were several hits on Dennis Pitta that I was happy my name was Steve Smith Sr. and not Dennis Pitta. But C. J. Mosley got a hit, which was a legal hit, and we got a penalty. So I think it’s become very inconsistent on what’s too much, and what’s not enough.”
Smith likes doing television, which will likely be part of his post-career life. He figures to be very good at it. Expressing his opinion has never been a problem for Smith.