Panthers bring back Steve Smith, as an analyst

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers
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“89 is back in the building.”

Eight years after Steve Smith last played for the Panthers, Smith will rejoin the team. The Panthers have announced that he’ll serve as the analyst for the TV broadcasts of the team’s preseason games. And Smith utters the line quoted above in the video announcing the move.

The Panthers, like all teams except the Cowboys and Steelers, have only three preseason games. Carolina faces the Colts, the Ravens (Smith’s other former team), and the Steelers.

Smith, who was cut by former G.M. Dave Gettleman, said that Gettleman “tried to bully a bully” — and that Smith decided he wanted out.

Gettleman is long gone. But Smith, one of the best players in franchise history, is back. Always candid and often feisty, it should be fun to listen to him.