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Steve Smith will talk trash about every player in the NFL except Josh Norman

There’s mutual respect between the former teammates.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Smith has never been one to shy away from talking trash, and he doesn’t care if you’re Jaguars rookie Jalen Ramsey or a veteran like Aqib Talib. Smith will not hesitate to tell the entire Bengals secondary that they’re garbage. Steve Smith will even tell Santa Claus off, and if he feels like it, he’ll set you straight from the comfort of his couch. Smith isn’t one to hold back -- except he seems to have a soft spot for cornerback Josh Norman.

Smith’s Ravens are preparing to face Washington this Sunday, and Smith was asked if he expected Norman, his former teammate with the Carolina Panthers, to cover him.

When he was told what Smith said, Norman laughed and replied, “He's starting already.”

“That guy’s been making plays since he’s been in the league. So I don’t see him stopping now.”

Smith, 37, has always been known for his willingness to exchange words with anyone and everyone, and he has backed that up on the field. He was planning to retire following the 2015 season, but after that season was cut short by a ruptured Achilles, he changed his mind and returned for 2016. So far this season, Smith has 281 receiving yards and one 52-yard touchdown reception.

Norman’s not one to back down from trash talk, either. He had plenty to say to and about Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. when the Panthers beat New York last season. The chatter continued last summer, and Norman said Beckham was famous simply because of his memorable one-handed catch on Sunday Night Football two years ago.

It’s been an up-and-down season for Norman so far, but he’s coming off of his best game this year. Against the Cleveland Browns, he had a pass deflection and his first interception of the season while covering wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.

Norman said he wasn’t sure if he’d cover Smith for the entire game, but he added that their battles in practice used to be “epic.”

“Lion against a Lion, dog against a dog, beast against a beast.”

Smith is the king of NFL trash talk, and Norman is no slouch, but if you were hoping for a public battle of words between the two this week, you may not get your wish.