Steve Smith Sr. To Join ESPN's 'Mike & Mike' For Several Episodes


Ravens receiver Steve Smith Sr. will take his hot takes to television this fall.

Smith will join ESPN's "Mike & Mike" show as an analyst for several episodes. ESPN announced the addition Thursday afternoon.

Smith will discuss the NFL and college football, as well as contribute to Draw It Up, a short, animated digital piece on in which players draw a critical play and explain it from their perspective.

It's a chance for Smith to continue to take steps toward finding his post-football career, which seems destined for the television studio.

"When the idea of joining the show first presented itself, I discussed everything with Head Coach [John] Harbaugh and [General Manager] Ozzie [Newsome] to receive their blessing," Smith said.

"It was important that I be transparent with the organization. While this is an opportunity for me to build a brand outside of football, I want to make it very clear that my current job of playing for the Ravens comes first."

Smith said the team has the right to "pull the plug" if it feels it's a distraction, but he is confident it won't.

Smith hasn't nailed down the dates when he'll be at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn. He'll likely sync some up with the back-to-back road trips to New York (Oct. 16 and Oct. 23) and the trip to New England (Dec. 12).

Smith has long been interested in the sports media field, and he's gradually taken steps to break into the profession. While with the Panthers, he worked for a radio station in Charlotte. Last year, he hosted a weekly four-hour show with Bob Papa on Sirius XM NFL Radio, then was a CBS guest analyst on its Super Bowl Sunday pregame show.

"Steve Smith is charming, witty, opinionated and has no fear," said Kristin Bredes LaFemina, Executive Vice President of Client Services from Playbook, Inc. "Combine that with a legendary work ethic, an amazing sense of humor and a smile that lights up the room and you have a very talented and entertaining on air personality."

Smith said he enjoyed the process of working on television, from the research and production meetings (interviews), to being on camera. He likes watching other former players and coaches, from Herm Edwards to Ryan Clark, and feels he can offer a similar insider perspective.

"I'm excited for and appreciative of this opportunity," Smith said. "What I love about 'Mike & Mike' is that it's a well-balanced show, and they talk about a lot of different topics. It's not just about football or something that aims to be shock-jock radio. I definitely hold Golic and Greeny in high regard, because their programing is thoughtful, measured and entertaining."

Smith said he looks at a future career in sports media as "a very intriguing opportunity."

"I treat this phase of my life just like anything else. It's learn, improve and get better," he said. "Learn from people that I respect and learn from people that make mistakes."

So will Smith be able to bring his trademark fiery statements to the studio?

"I can," he said. "But I've had some very good feedback on being forthright and honest, yet not being that person that's always trying to talk down about people and put them down. It's about giving perspective that's respected and truthful."

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