Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith has defied expectations throughout his 16-year NFL career and, equally impressively, has stood up against Father Time.
The 37-year-old could have called it a career after tearing his Achilles tendon in October 2015 but decided he had more fuel in the tank, and now he’s closing in on 1,000 career catches with 997 and counting.
So as you might expect, the hyper-competitive, fiery wideout didn’t take kindly to remarks from former safety and current NBC analyst Rodney Harrison, who is among observers who believe the Ravens are in trouble if the offense depends on a 37-year-old. Harrison said in October:
“I look at Steve Smith and he is your best player, but the problem is he is a 37-year-old wide receiver. He is coming off a major surgery. Once he left the game, then your toughness and production left. They have some good young wide receivers, but they don’t have a lot of NFL experience.”
Apparently it was fuel for Smith’s fire. He said after a fine performance (5 catches, 60 yards and a score) against the Browns on Thursday night:
"I look at a guy like that [Harrison], he’s just upset about what I’m doing at 37, he couldn’t do at 31." Smith said. "He knows how hard it is to play this game. He’s gonna take it away, and say ‘If they depend on him at 37.’ I respect the heck out of Rodney Harrison, but don’t take digs at me, ’cause I dig back and dig deeper.
"My shovel’s bigger than your shovel."
Indeed. Smith has a whole catalogue of hilarious and cutting digs and he has not tired of shoveling.