Ravens WR Steve Smith Sr. needs 3 catches for 1,000th reception
— With three catches against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Steve Smith Sr. can become the 14th player in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions.
The Baltimore Ravens veteran wide receiver currently sits at 9,997 catches in his illustrious career.
“I don’t really think about it that much. As it gets closer, yes, you think about it. But you try not to focus on it too much, because then you find yourself either reception counting or yards counting,” Smith said Wednesday. “That is not what you need to do, because when the hard ones come, you catch them, and when the easy ones come, you take off running [and] you drop them. I’m just trying to narrow my focus, focus on every ball and every catch like it’s the first one.”
Smith, 37, has the eighth-most receiving yards in league history, having passed Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson, but he previously said the pursuit of 1,000 receptions drove his decision to return for one more year after previously announcing he would retire at the end of last season.
“[I thought about it] last year when I realized I could get it,” he said. “I nev-
er really thought I could get to 1,000 receptions.”
Smith joked during training camp that when he hauled in his 1,000th catch, he may leave the stadium, hop into his car still in uniform, and drive home to Charlotte. That won’t be the case if it happens Sunday.
“Not from Dallas. That is a long drive,” he said. “I would have to rent a car and all that stuff.”
Smith’s season ended with a torn Achilles in 2015. In 2016, he’s caught 36 passes for 417 yards and a pair of touchdowns – despite being the NFL’s oldest receiver and missing two games.
“Everything that guy does is incredible,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “Everybody should look at him, and I don’t know if they should be jealous or what, but they should definitely take notice of how special of a person that they’re watching. I think he’s going to be a guy that we remember for a while. I’m definitely a very proud person to say that I can play with him. With the things that he’s gone through and the way that he’s come back this year, I’ll be telling stories about him for a long time.”
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Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., seen here against the Cleveland Browns earlier this season, can reach 1,000 career receptions with three catches against the Cowboys on Sunday.