Steve Smith Is a Distraction, and That’s a Good Thing


Sep 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. (89) runs onto the field during introductions prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

By now, everyone has heard about Steve Smith‘s radio call-in, in which he unloaded on Panthers executives who called him a “distraction,” among other things.

Smith’s pointed comments seemed fair, but on one thing, Panthers GM Dave Gettleman has a point. Smith is a distraction. But for the Baltimore Ravens, that’s a very good thing.

Smith will always be a quote-worthy guy. Media could always count on him to deliver something, be it his antics or his quotes. While Smith was admirable in his attempts to distance himself from the “Steve Smith vs Carolina Panthers” story line, he couldn’t resist adding a few digs at the Panthers and their executives.

Contrary to what the Panthers thought when they released Smith, he is the best kind of distraction.

Smith is a guy who will always provide a story line, but generally, those story lines are of the inspirational variety. The Ravens seemed to rally around Smith Sunday, motivated to succeed at least in part because they wanted to do so for Smith. They seemed genuinely happy to help Smith exact his revenge on the Panthers.

Smith is a guy who will always provide a story line, but generally, those story lines are of the inspirational variety.

And every time he makes a big play or provides a humorously fiery quote, regardless of the opponent, it seems to inspire the team.

Terrell Suggs has been doing something similar for years. He too has been an emotional leader, prone to making humorously emotional quotes and predictions. Looking at some of Suggs’ quotes about Ben Roethlisberger is always good for a laugh. My favorite: “His soul may belong to God, but his [butt] belongs to me.” But there’s no doubt the Ravens feed off that bravado.

Like Suggs, Smith has already provided some great quotes, and his leadership and constantly running motor have played a role in the Ravens’ ability to move on from the Ray Rice saga. The team, to their credit, has focused solely on football, and “distractions” like Smith are a big reason why.

Now, the media firestorm is dying down, but Steve Smith will continue to be a distraction. He will help continue to distract the team from outside nonsense and keep them focused on football and their opponents. And that’s a very good thing.