Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith has been involved in some trash talk with some of the younger cornerbacks around the league, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday when the Panthers defeated the division rival Atlanta Falcons.
In fact, Smith had plenty of respect for Falcons rookie Desmond Trufant, and he let everyone know that he appreciated the approach that Trufant and his brothers had for the game.
“I told him early in the game that I respected his brothers and I respected him,” Smith said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “The Trufants are always good. You can tell [Desmond's] brothers have taught him a lot of stuff. He’s patient. Getting in and out of breaks, he’s very fluid.
“When you have an opportunity like that with your brothers, I think that’s pretty cool. I don’t care how old you are, what your statistics are or all that type of stuff, that’s always really cool that you have your family’s legacy and you’re part of that and you’re seeing it unfold.”
For Trufant, it was an honor to receive that kind of praise from the Panthers veteran and he was humbled by the kind words.
“That’s what the game is all about: respect,” Trufant said. “That’s what we play for. It’s humbling because I’ve been watching him since I was young. He and my brother [Marcus] used to go at it all the time. That’s just very humbling.”
It is always a good sign for a younger player when you get that type of respect from some of the most established players in the league, so hopefully Trufant will take Smith’s praise and look to make the rest of the players around the league look at him with that same amount of respect.
Being one of the best at your position is something that will earn that for you.