Panthers greats Steve Smith Sr., Muhsin Muhammad share emotional moment on podcast

Competition breeds excellence, and there was plenty of both between Carolina Panthers greats Steve Smith Sr. and Muhsin Muhammad.

The two former teammates and standout wideouts chopped it up on this week’s episode of Smith’s Cut To It podcast. Smith Sr. and Muhammad talked about how their relationship—whether it was good or bad at times—inspired greatness.

“For me, I see you as Moose. A guy that I admired and hated at the same time because of the competitiveness of who you were and who I am,” Smith Sr. told Muhammad. “There were times where, ya know, the same thing you were thinkin’ about me, I was thinkin’ about you. And that’s why we rolled our eyes at each other, right?

“But then there’s also times where I knew if I wanted to be halfway decent, I had to do it better than you.”

Muhammad, who had been in Carolina for five years before Smith Sr.’s arrival, then detailed his first impression of the 2001 third-round pick when he joined the Panthers.

“And I looked at it like this . . . when I saw you come in the door for the first time—first I thought to myself, ‘Okay here’s another dude they’re tryin’ to get to replace me,” he replied. “Because every year I was drafted, they were draftin’ after that. It was Rae Carruth, it was Donald Hayes, it was Jim Turner.

“And when you walked in the door, I said to myself, ‘Here’s another guy they’re tryin’ to get to replace me, but I’ma embrace it.’ ‘Cause I wanted to win . . . I wanted to see what kind of guy you were. You were a spitfire, man. You were a ball of energy. Probably one of the most talented guys I’ve seen.”

The duo shared six seasons with one another in Charlotte. One of those campaigns ended in the franchise’s very first Super Bowl appearance—a run where they combined for 1,947 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

2004, the last year of Muhammad’s first stint for the Panthers, saw the then 31-year-old turn in a career year during the absence of an injured Smith Sr.—having amassed 1,405 yards and 16 scores. Then, in 2005, Smith Sr. had his career year in the absence of Muhammad—posting 103 catches, 1,563 yards and 12 touchdowns en route to the NFL’s receiving triple crown.

And that, according Smith Sr., can be partly attributed to Muhammad.

“I’m a product of what you taught,” he said in closing up the emotional conversation. “So, I just wanted to make sure—and also people know, man—ain’t no Smitty without Moose.”


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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire