Steve Smith has gone from Giants receiver to just a giant headache for Big Blue.
The former Pro Bowler and member of the Super Bowl XLII squad has done his share of talking since bolting for Philadelphia as a free agent, and the digs keep coming.
“I used to hate the Eagles, now I don’t like the Giants,” Smith told the New York Post. “I’ve still got ex-teammates that are friends there, but I definitely want to get on that field for the Eagles now. I want to say I won a Super Bowl for both teams.”
Smith suffered a season-ending articular cartilage injury to his left knee during a Dec. 13 game against Minnesota that required microfracture surgery. He's likely to start the season on the Physically Unable to Play list and miss at least the first six games.
But when he gets back, he seems excited by the prospect of catching Michael Vick’s passes and running deeper routes than he was used to with the Giants, a comment that could be taken as a subtle shot at Eli Manning and Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.
“It’s really exciting because they throw the ball so much here, so many downfield throws,” Smith said. “I was used to short [and] shorter stuff in New York. But here, they’re running.”
At a July 14 appearance in Edgewater, the prospect of Smith re-upping with the Giants seemed near certainty. He repeated numerous times to Newsday that he wanted to re-sign, and during the event, when an attendee congratulated Smith on a new contract with the Giants, Smith smiled and said, “It’s not official yet.”
But the certainty quickly turned to surprise when the Eagles deal suddenly materialized.
“The Giants might have [taken me for granted], but the Eagles didn’t,” Smith said.
“It was how many days since free agency [began] that I was out? The Eagles made a great offer. I don’t know...the Giants had a lot of time. Let’s put it that way.”
Terrell Thomas took a much softer stance when asked about Smith at Giants practice on Monday.
“It’s unfortunate, but we’ll find a way to fill that hole,” he said. “We’ve got a bunch of young players that can step up and make some plays and I can’t wait to play against him.
“Steve’s been clutch for us. He was vital in the Super Bowl run, was a Pro Bowler for us. We hate to see him go, but it’s the business aspect of the football game, and best of luck to him.”