Legendary NFL wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. playfully warned that he would suit up once more if Pittsburgh Steelers players weren’t careful.
The Cleveland Browns may have handily won with one-man wrecking crew Nick Chubb, but Jacoby Brissett’s connection with Amari Cooper shouldn’t be overlooked.
Cooper caught seven passes for 101 yards and a touchdown in their Thursday night victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And if Steve Smith Sr. suited up to take on the Steelers, he guarantees that some of those Steelers wouldn’t have even seen the field for the game.
Smith Sr., who is now an analyst for NFL Network, was chatting on the sideline with his mic in hand when rambunctious Steelers players hyped up for the game came awfully close to knocking Smith off of his.
“I’ll tell you what: one of these boys hit me while I ain’t in a uniform, they will not be playing tonight!” Smith joked.
In a stroke of pure comedic genius, Smith smiles for 17 seconds before following up his zinger.
“They want me to come out of retirement — they don’t want that!” Smith said.
Steve Smith Sr. warns Pittsburgh Steelers about pushing him to come out of NFL retirement
The fantastic aspect of having Smith as an analyst is that he brings his trash-talking nature to the booth, allowing all fans to revel in his quips about opponents. Few players have mastered the art of trash talk the way Smith did through his illustrious 16-year NFL career.
For example, when Smith heard that the Panthers were considering a trade for Baker Mayfield in April, Smith offered the world his real-time reaction to the news.
But Smith, like many of the league’s greatest trash-talkers, can back up everything his says with his game. When former Saints head coach Sean Payton was recently asked about which player he never got to coach that he wish he had, Payton named his longtime NFC South opponent.
“Steve Smith was that one guy,” Payton said. “We’d get chirpy with each other. He was competitive. He’d definitely be one of those guys.”
As far as the chirpiness, that was a positive sign, according to Payton.
“Probably means I have a lot of respect for [them],” Payton said.
Smith is also respected by his NFL Network colleagues for his candid perspective.
“No one offers this!” laughed fellow NFL Network analyst Colleen Wolfe as Smith grinned into the camera.
If Steve Smith Sr. is going to remain retired, at least NFL fans can still enjoy his competitive nature as a hands-on NFL analyst.