Midway through the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Steve Smith Sr. took a short pass from quarterback Joe Flacco and turned it into a 30-yard gain. It was another reminder of what the 37-year-old wide receiver can provide the Ravens, who notched a 21-14 victory over Pittsburgh at M&T Bank Stadium.
Although Smith finished with just four catches for 47 yards and took a back seat to teammate Mike Wallace's 124-yard, one-touchdown showing, he ranks second on the offense in yards (357) and third in receptions (31), and proved that he still can make an impact.
"Somebody said something that if our offense relies on a 37-year old, then we're in trouble," said Smith, who sat out two games with an ankle injury. "I guess the difference is, I'm not your average 37-year old. These young guys push me. Mike Wallace pushes me. Kamar [Aiken], Breshad [Perriman], Chris Moore. Bobby Engram, my [wide receivers] coach [pushes me]. Coach [John] Harbaugh [pushes me]. They tell me if I'm out there, they expect me to make plays. That is what I am trying to do."
Smith, who said he knew he would play on Wednesday, demonstrated he can still trash talk, too. Late in the game, he appeared to jaw at Steelers rookie cornerback Artie Burns. That drew the ire of free safety Mike Mitchell, who approached Smith on the Ravens sideline and forced members of both teams to separate the former Carolina Panthers teammates.
After the final horn sounded, Smith made a beeline for Mitchell, but a scrum of players ran interference. Afterward, Smith – who once declared Mitchell was on his "lifetime hit list" for celebrating Smith getting speared in the back by Lawrence Timmons on Oct. 1, 2015 – compared Mitchell to a piece of furniture.
"I am a foundation builder. He is a cabinet. That is the PG version," Smith said. "Any time I mention his name, it just increases who he is. He is not much. He was a teammate of mine, but at the end of the day, I am a Baltimore Raven, and I have done a lot of things in this league. … He ain't on my level. He never will be. He is not even on the same level as my kids. So I am not going to concern myself with him until the cabinets come in."
Mitchell feigned ignorance when asked about verbal altercation. "I'm not quite sure," he said. "I don't remember any of that."