89 is back and spitting fire already.
Steve Smith Sr. spoke to the media for the first time since declaring that he would return to the Baltimore Ravens in 2016 -- after initially deciding 2015 would be his final NFL season. The 37-year-old receiver is coming off Achilles surgery, but took issue with anyone questioning his production-level.
"To be honest, you guys don't know what the hell you're talking about, so it doesn't matter," he said, via the team's official website. "The numbers I put up will be the numbers I put up, and I'll happen to put up those numbers at the age of 37."
Smith was playing at a Pro Bowl-level before injury swiped his season. His 670 yards and three TDs in seven games were ahead of his 2014 production -- 1,065 yards, six touchdowns.
"Can I run like I used to at 22? No," he said. "But I'm comfortable being 37 years old, being on this team, and they're comfortable with me.
"When I started to put up good numbers, you guys told me, 'Well, he'll tail off.' What you need to do is just let me play and quit commenting about my play, because every time you all tell me something I can't do, then you have a reason for why I'm doing it. ... Just let me play. Quit asking me what I'm going to put up. I'm going to put up the numbers I put up and contribute the way I contribute at age 37."
It's a tenuous proposition to question Smith's ability to bounce back -- one that offers little solid ground to stand on. The 15-year pro adapted his game the past two years to make up for his lost speed. He still possesses the hands and route-running ability to still make life miserable for defensive backs in 2016.
But, please, keep questioning him, whoever you are, we love when Steve is fired up.