Steve Smith has reversed fields a little bit.
The Carolina Panthers wide receiver has gone from saying that the team needs to go out and find a complementary wide receiver for him to something else. He says the Panthers need to find someone to replace him in his role as a No. 1 and let him be the “other guy.”
Smith delivered that message on WFNZ in Charlotte, N.C., according to the Web site sportsradiointerviews.com.
“Well the thing is, everybody keeps saying a compliment receiver to compliment me. I don’t want anyone to compliment me,” Smith said. “I’m turning 31 years old, people can say I’m losing speed, yada, yada, yada. Whatever. I would like a younger guy to come in and eventually take my spot. I don’t want to be a No. 1 anymore. I don’t want to be a guy who can’t let go of something he’s got to let go.
“I would like to be a guy that can play in the slot all day, and I would like some of these young guys to start doing some of the out routes like I was doing for Moose (Muhammad) and Ricky (Proehl) when I was fresh legged and when I didn’t know what I was doing, and really start to develop and start handing over the torch. I don’t want to be this guy who can’t let it go when it’s time to let it go. To be honest, the next five years, I want to enjoy playing. And I really haven’t enjoyed playing because I had goals where I was like I want this, I want that. And in the process, I kind of forgot that I’m playing my dream. So I just want to settle down and fade away in a good way, not in a bad way. I really want to feel like I was part of something special to help Carolina be one of those dynasty teams.”
Smith seemed to understand the release of the man that threw the majority of the receptions and touchdown catches he’s hauled in over the years. Jake Delhomme was cut loose.
“Do I think it was the right thing to do?” Smith said. “I personally think this game will either help you or hurt you, and how you end your game will summarize your employment for next year. That’s how I feel about it.”
So what does he think about working with Matt Moore now that he’s set up to be the man?
“To be honest, I’ll be like everybody says I am – I’ll be arrogant,” he said. “I like any quarterback that throws to me.”
You’ve got to give Moore credit. He’s always been candid.
Follow me on Twitter: BradBiggs