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Steve Smith spares Desmond Trufant the trash-talk act

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith can jaw with the best of them.

He'll talk and taunt and call you out afterward, something Janoris Jenkins learned firsthand last month when No. 89 tore into the St. Louis Rams cornerback in a postgame rant session for the ages.


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Firmly embedded as the Walt Whitman of trash talk, Smith called an audible with Falcons rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant in Sunday's 34-10 win over Atlanta.

"I told him early in the game that I respected his brothers and I respected him," Smith said, per ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure. "The Trufants are always good. You can tell (Desmond's) brothers have taught him a lot of stuff. He's patient. Getting in and out of breaks, he's very fluid."

Desmond, of course, is the younger brother of Marcus, an All-Pro corner with the Seattle Seahawks, and Isaiah, currently a special-teamer with the New York Jets.

"When you have an opportunity like that with your brothers, I think that's pretty cool," Smith said. "I don't care how old you are, what your statistics are or all that type of stuff, that's always really cool that you have your family's legacy and you're part of that and you're seeing it unfold."

Trufant, in turn, emerged with his own take on Smith, saying: "That's what the game is all about: respect. That's what we play for. It's humbling because I've been watching him since I was young. ... That's just very humbling."

Steve Smith: Short-fused gabber, classy competitor or Renaissance man? You decide.

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