WR Smith Fires Back At Smoot

Carolina receiver Steve Smith took offense at Fred Smoot's pregame chatter and won the battle on the field. Smith also ended up doing some talking and "showboating" during and after his record-setting game.

Here's an idea: If you see Steve Smith, don't talk trash to him.

You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Fred Smoot made plenty of mistakes on the field Sunday, but perhaps none as big as the one he made during pre-game warm-ups. That's when Smoot decided it might be a good idea to talk trash to the red-hot Panthers receiver, the man he was set to cover for the entire afternoon.

Apparently Smoot didn't see how poorly that strategy worked for Miami's Sam Madison earlier in the year.

"When somebody is banging on your door, I'm not going to hide in the corner and say, ‘Nobody is here,'" Smith said. "I'll open it. I'm ready for the challenge."

Oh, and he was ready, all right.

Often matched in single coverage, Smith torched Smoot with 11 catches for a team-record 201 yards and grabbed his league-leading ninth touchdown of the season to lead Carolina to a 38-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

For as much talking as Smoot did before the game, he wasn't talking to reporters after it.

"I wouldn't talk to them either (if I was him)," Smith teased in his post-game press conference.

Smith also took a jab at Smoot after blowing by him along the left sidelines and hauling in a 69-yard reception before being dragged down at the 1-yard line. Thinking he'd scored, Smith celebrated by pretending to row a boat, a direct jab as Smoot, who allegedly paid for the Vikings' boating excursion that has now become known as the Love Boat scandal.

"I was on the boat on the lake," Smith smiled.

Smith did say he wishes he'd let his actions speak for themselves, but said he couldn't help doing a little trash talking of his own after being prodded by Smoot.

"It's one of those things where I try to keep it professional," Smith said. "I probably said some things I shouldn't have, so I apologize about that — just the conduct of myself to stoop down to that level. In competition sometimes, the competitiveness comes out in you. It's football. It's a fun game and sometimes people talk to get themselves hyped up. I kind of got out of character and let it run away with me."

Smith can talk all he wants the way he's playing.

He's in the midst of potentially the most amazing season ever by a wide receiver. He already has 50 receptions for 797 yards and a league-leading eight touchdown receptions — and we're not even to the midpoint of the season.

Sunday marked Smith's fifth 100-yard receiving game and the first 200-yard game of his budding career.

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