He’s a five-time Pro-Bowl wide receiver and the face of the Carolina Panthers. He takes on big hits as well as anyone; jumping up after each one as if he actually liked it.
Steve Smith, a former third round draft pick taken by the Panthers back in 2001 is approaching a significant hurdle rather rapidly. The 33 year old currently ranks 31st all time on NFL receiving yards list with 10,384, just 187 yards behind Keyshawn Johnson in 30th and only 675 yards behind Chad Johnson (assuming he doesn’t play in 2012), who ranks 26th all-time.
Smith will need 188 yards to pass Keyshawn, something he should do by no later than week three.
In Carolina’s opener this past Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Smith played to form. Coming off of an infection in his foot prior to week one, Smith looked doubtful to have any kind of impact against the Buccaneers. Smith proved that notion wrong, hauling in seven receptions for 106 yards.
Smith is a gamer, a true football player. In is rookie season with the Panthers, Smith endured a welcome to the NFL type season. He only caught 10 passes for 154 yards and zero touchdowns. Not to mention, the Panthers suffered their worst season in franchise history that year ending up a disappointing 1-15. Two seasons later, Smith and the Panthers found themselves playing in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Smith has come along way and is still as reliable as ever. If Smith puts up a 1,106 yard season, he will finish the year ranked in the top 25 on the all-time receiving list.
A true milestone awaits him after he cracks the top 30.
A milestone that should be reached soon and one that should give Panthers fans something to celebrate.