Smith has surprising words for Trufant

Some wondered how Atlanta Falcons rookie Desmond Trufant would react to any trash talking from volatile Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith.

Well, guess what? Smith indeed had something to say to Trufant during the Panthers' 34-10 win over the Falcons this past Sunday.

"I told him early in the game that I respected his brothers and I respected him,'' said Smith, referring to the Trufant NFL triad of Desmond, Marcus and Isaiah. "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.

"When you have an opportunity like that with your brothers, I think that's pretty cool. 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.''

Marcus Trufant, now a 32-year-old free agent, was once a Pro Bowl cornerback with the Seattle Seahawks, whom the Falcons face this Sunday. Isaiah Trufant, 30, is a reserve cornerback and special-teamer for the New York Jets who faced his little brother during the Falcons-Jets matchup in Week 5.

Desmond Trufant, this year's first-round draft pick, is coming into his own with the Falcons and recorded his first career interception against the Panthers. His continued development will be crucial during the second half of the season and heading into next year.

Trufant reflected on the high praise offered by Smith.

"That's what the game is all about: respect,'' Trufant said. "That's what we play for. It's humbling because I've been watching him since I was young. He and my brother [Marcus] used to go at it all the time. That's just very humbling.''

In terms of Sunday's game, there appeared to be a heated exchange involving Trufant. Smith made sure to clarify the matter.

"That wasn't me,'' Smith said. "That was [Domenik] Hixon that was talking to him. I don't want to say ... you've got to ask Hixon about that one.''

Trufant was asked about what Hixon said.

"Man, it's just between the lines,'' Trufant said. "I don't want to even think about that because I was kind of hot about it.''