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Original Issue

Steve Smith


On leading the NFL in catches and receiving yards after missing last season's final 15 games with a broken left fibula

It's surreal. You are waiting for somebody to pinch you and wake you up. I was just trying to make it past the first game this year.

On his reputation for having a temper and his 2002 fight with then teammate Anthony Bright that led to a one-game suspension and anger-management counseling

I've made mistakes, and I have learned from them. All you can do is move forward and make sure you are the best father and the best husband. My wife, Angie, is happy. My kids, Peyton [far left], Baylee [center] and Boston [in Angie's arms] are happy. That's all that matters.

On coaching eight-year-old Peyton's soccer team

I never wanted to be one of the sports parents that complain. If I am coaching, I can't complain about what the coach should be doing. I set up footwork drills for them, and I run around with the kids.

On being in Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Patriots

The game was so intense. It was halftime before you knew it, and when it was over, I remember thinking, That's it? I have been in games that have dragged on and on, but the Super Bowl happened so fast.

On playing with current Bengals receiver Chad Johnson at Santa Monica College

We lined up on the same side. I played the slot. It was fun, and I learned a lot from him. We still talk all the time, and we laugh at each other a lot. We're opposites. He's tall [6'1"]. I'm short [5'9"]. He's more outspoken. I'm more reserved. He's leading the AFC. I'm leading the NFC. It's fun when you grow up with someone and you get older and are continuously growing together.

On his mom, Florence Young, a former drug counselor in the Los Angeles school system

It was like I was scared straight by going to work with her. I saw people who were in bad shape, who had lost everything or had been in jail. When as a kid you see someone like that and you ask your mom why and she says, "Well, he did this drug or that drug," you sit there thinking, O.K., that will never be me.

On the Posey Foundation, which he started last year with Angie

The foundation is about impacting families as a whole. We named it after a guy who played at Santa Monica with me, Demetrius Posey. He passed away a couple of years ago from a car accident. We've done golf tournaments and coat drives, and my wife works with an organization that helps teens with children become better mothers. My wife and I have created a great family with our kids, and we want to help others do the same.




Photograph by Brian Smith/Corbis-Outline