Shortly after the news broke that the NFL would punish the Saints for running a bounty program, Panthers receiver Steve Smith said he knew all along that the Saints were dirty, because a Saints player had once taken a cheap shot at him and then told him playing that way was what former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams demanded.
But with the Panthers and the Saints set to meet on Sunday, Smith is brushing off any talk of the Saints targeting him. According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, Smith avoided most of the questions when he was asked by reporters today about the Saints’ bounties. And when he was asked if he felt targeted by the Saints, he said that he feels targeted every week, because in professional football, opposing defenses are always looking for an opportunity to drill the other team’s No. 1 receiver.
“This isn’t powder puff,” Smith said.
Smith has never been afraid to mix things up with opposing players (and sometimes with his own teammates), including getting into a scuffle with several Saints last year when Roman Harper hit him late after Smith scored a touchdown. But from Smith’s perspective, that’s just the way business is done in the NFL.