Steve Smith Expects to Play Three or Four More Seasons

In a really nice piece by Steve Reed the big news is Panthers WR Steve Smith plans on playing at least until his oldest son enters college:

"In four years it gives me an opportunity to hang up my cleats and now I become a cheerleader," Smith said. "Now it’s ‘Hey, c’mon honey, we have to hurry up and travel to Peyton's games.’ I'm looking forward to that. It's no longer about me at that point. It’s about him."

So scratch the 'three' and lets make it at least four more seasons. We will hold you to that Smitty!

The younger Smith is apparently a very good soccer player (the other football) who hopes to play at the next level. If he has his dads speed and tenacity I have no doubt he will make that jump easily. Soccer is more of a short mans' game anyway.

Smith goes on to, believe it not, show his humble side. I'm not kidding, he does seem to have been humbled a bit with age:

"It’s funny, everybody talks about (my) age and all of this stuff," Smith said. ''I'm not sure what it's supposed to feel like at 33, but I'm enjoying being an older guy and playing a young man's game - and not being too bad at it.''

Trust me Smitty in the grand scheme of things 33 is not old at all. Reed provides some more vintage Smith...after the jump...

Continuing with the humble, mature Steve Smith, he admits to having 'flaws' and that he is truly blessed even if he never gets a statue or entered into the Panthers Hall of honor:

''With all my flaws I never see myself as all of that,'' Smith said. ''I'm still trying to figure out this football thing and this leadership thing. I think the people (with the statues) out there I've met and I respect and I hold those people in high regard. I won't ever be in a position to say that I deserve that. I have in the past, ignorantly and being immature.

''I work hard on the field and Mr. Richardson has blessed my family with that. If that's all I get I'm pretty appreciative of that.''

Though Smith has admitted to making mistakes and being self-serving in the past I've never heard him so contrite about his career in general. It's very nice to hear this.

I have to say though if the Panthers don't put Smith in their Hall of Honor I can't imagine what it takes to get in. He should be a shoo in right now even if he never catches another pass. Honestly though I think he's not far from being considered for Canton. Four more PB seasons a SB ring should do it!

So when the day comes when its time to hang up those cleats, how will he feel?

''I will be prepared and be ready to take the back seat when the time comes,'' Smith said. ''The hardest thing for an older guy is to be prepared and be ready to pass the torch. Naturally it happens. And to be able to do that, I think a lot of older players struggle with it. I've seen it.''

I'm not sure if he had anyone in mind on that last part but just the fact he noticed again shows this new, more humble side of Steve Smith.

Yet I think he needs the ultimate test to see if he is truly a humble person: Let's see him stay humble with a SB ring on his finger!

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