Steve Smith made a little short story of himself on Thursday morning, sort of. As the New York Giants went through OTAs, the former NFL star said he joined the coaching staff. Smith did not reveal his role on the staff, other than that he had just joined the New York Giants in that capacity. He even said people don’t need reporters like ESPN’s Adam Schefter or NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
“Guess what folks, I hate to break it to you, but it’s official” Smith said on Twitter. “Agent 89, now on the New York Giants coaching staff. Sorry. Just wanted to let you know. Breaking news myself. Rap Sheet, Adam Schefter, don’t need it. Scooper is here.
Of course, it was confirmed that Smith had in fact not joined the Giants coaching staff and just happened to be in practice filming a video. Head Coach Brian Daboll confirmed Smith’s attendance, but said the former star receiver has not joined the organization.
The former Utah standout played 16 NFL seasons from 2001 to 2016 with the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens. While well known as a Panther, Smith was productive with the Ravens over the past three years of his career.
During his NFL career, Smith finished with 1,031 catches, 14,731 yards, 81 touchdowns, 14.3 yards per catch, 387 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
His best year came in 2005 with the Panthers where he finished with 103 catches, 1,563 yards, 12 touchdowns and 15.2 yards per catch. Smith won Returning Player of the Year for that 2005 season after playing just one game in 2004 due to injury.
Although he never won a Super Bowl, Smith was integral to the Panthers reaching the biggest milestone of the 2003 season, a 32-29 loss to the New England Patriots. Throughout these playoffs, Smith had 18 catches, 404 yards, three touchdowns and 22.4 yards per catch in four games.
Smith has never coached in the NFL since retiring after the 2016 season, but has worked on television as an NFL analyst.
Smith was inducted into the Carolina Panthers Hall of Honor in 2019.
As for what the Giants do at wide receiver, speaking of Smith, they drafted Kentucky star Wan’Dale Robinson in the second round and last year’s first-round pick. Kadarius Toney is looking for a rebound year in 2022.
Toney arrived at the Giants after a breakout campaign in 2020 with the Gators. Toney had 70 catches for 984 yards and 10 touchdowns en route to Florida in winning the SEC East for the first time since 2016. He also rushed the ball 19 times for 161 yards and one more score, though he played less running back in 2020 than in previous years. Toney finished his four-year career in Gainesville with 120 receptions for 1,590 yards (13.3 average) and 12 receiving touchdowns. He carried 189 times for 1,270 yards (11.7 average) and added 14 touchdowns.
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A former three-star recruit from Eight Mile (Ala.) Blount High, Toney was the 421st player overall, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite, of the Class of 2017. He was also the 25th-ranked athlete and 20th-ranked player in Alabama.