Steve Smith: the Next Hines Ward

By Mike Samuels

The Carolina Panthers scrappy little WR Steve Smith is one of the toughest in the game.  Smith plays the game very much like former Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward.

Smith, who is only 5’9”, plays like a much bigger receiver. He plays with a chip on his shoulder, which is much like how Ward played the game.  Smith is not afraid to catch the ball anywhere on the field.

Smith is a good blocking receiver and will definitely hit you. He loves the fact that just because you are a receiver does not mean that you have to take the hits, you can give a hit just as well.

Very much like Ward, Smith plays the game like a little kid.  He jumps up after each play and gets set to go all over again.

Smith is in his 12th season and shows no sign of slowing down or that he is ready to quit playing.  The similarities between the two receivers is uncanny and will be compared for years to come.  Smith does not have the accolades that Ward had during his playing time, but he is the same caliber of player.

Like Ward, Smith does not take any plays off.  He is wide open on every play of the game.  When you watch Smith play, you see the kid that still resides in his spirit. Smith plays every game as if it were his last.

If I were building a team at this moment, I would love to draft a player in the model of Smith.  He is not the fastest or the biggest player, but he has ‘HEART” and that is enough for most coaches, teammates and fans to love.

Considering that Ward just retired and Smith is still playing, it is hard to say how Smith will be judged as a player, but I believe he will be judged in the same category.

I see Smith as the next Ward.

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