Steven Sims wants to be another Steve Smith for Ron Rivera

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When wide receiver Steven Sims heard that Ron Rivera was hired as Washington’s next head coach, he reached out to his agent for some information about the former Panthers head coach.

Sims is listed at 5-10 and 176 pounds and he told Sam Fortier of the Washington Post that his agent told him that Steve Smith was the “only small receiver” that Rivera ever had in Carolina. While that’s not entirely true, Smith was certainly the most prominent and Sims said learning that “was more motivation than I ever needed.”

“It wasn’t a bad talk,” Sims said. “It was right after we signed [Cody] Latimer, right after the draft. It was like, “[Rivera] brought in bigger bodies. I was like, ‘Okay, that’s what he likes.’ I’m not saying I’m on the cut block. I’m just saying: ‘Be different. Be another Steve Smith.’ He started off the same guy. They only thought he was going to be a returner, and he’s a [potential] Hall of Famer. . . . He was a small guy who played big. He wasn’t going to limit himself to being 5-9.”

Smith played sparingly on offense during his rookie season and Sims spent most of the 2019 campaign as a returner who rarely got on the field as a wideout. He closed the year with 23 catches and four touchdowns in his final five games, however, and the rapport he’s built with last year’s roommate Dwayne Haskins could help him use that as a springboard to better things in his second NFL season.