After announcing his retirement from the NFL following the 2016 season, Steve Smith Sr. is taking steps to ensure he remains sidelined for good.
Among them, Smith Sr. isn’t taking on any projects that involve the game of football, including helping other players train. He spoke with Brad Hopkins of Sirius XM NFL Radio recently and divulged that running backs and receivers, both professionals and soon-to-be professionals, have contacted him about watching film and working on the field to improve their games and learn from a legend.
“And I had to take a step back and I said, ‘You know what?’ If I do all these things, now I’m getting my mind and body to say I can still play,’” Smith said. “So I had to text some guys and say, ‘You know what? I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to watch film with you and work out and train with you because that means I’m telling myself and my family I’m about to go play again. And I don’t want to go through that process. I’m done playing.’ So if I’m training anybody, their last name is Smith, meaning my kids. I’m just going to love on them, and that training is less intense. The goal is so lesser. It’s, ‘Hey, let’s make sure we’re drinking water, fluid, and all that stuff.’ Out there, when you’re training for ball, it’s a different animal. So I said, ‘No.’”
Smith was completely dedicated during his playing days. It sure sounds like he’s utilizing that same focus and determination off the field now to ensure his family has 100 percent of his attention.
It’s not surprising at all that Smith is receiving offers to help train the next generation of receivers and running backs. A dynamo on the gridiron for 16 seasons, during which time caught 1,031 passes (No. 12 all time) for 14,731 yards (No. 7 all time) and 81 touchdowns (No. 26 all time), played with an intensity that was unrivaled. He also stayed relatively healthy during his long career, starting 198 games.
There is a heck of a lot Smith Sr. could pass along, if he ever does decide to help others train and prepare for the NFL grind. In the meantime, Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti still thinks there’s an outside chance the receiver might come back to play one more year in 2017. Don’t hold your breath.