Not long ago, Panthers receiver Steve Smith was regarded as the second best NFL receiver named Steve Smith.
Times have quickly changed.
With former Giants receiver Steve Smith now an afterthought in Philly, Panthers receiver Steve Smith is the top dog again, with 992 receiving yards in 10 games.
The original Steve Smith also has a shot tomorrow to join an elite group. With 124 yards receiving, he’ll become the 35th player in league history to rack up 10,000 career receiving yards.
The active leader is Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, with 13,024. Smith stands at sixth place among all current players, only 13 yards in front of Packers receiver Donald Driver.
Given that Smith is only 32, he could climb much higher on the all-time list, which eventually could inject him into the Hall of Fame discussion.
Then again, only three of the top 12 have made it into Canton: No. 1 Jerry Rice (22,895); No. 7 James Lofton (14,004); and No. 12 Steve Largent (13,089). The other nine in the top 12 are Terrell Owens, Isaac Bruce, Tim Brown, Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, Cris Carter, Henry Ellard, Torry Holt, and Andre Reed.