Former Panther Steve Smith spent some time working at a Taco Bell in Charlotte. Smith worked at the restaurant as a teen. Langston Wertz Jr. lwertz@charlotteobserver.com
Former Panther Steve Smith spent some time working at a Taco Bell in Charlotte. Smith worked at the restaurant as a teen. Langston Wertz Jr. lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

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So why was former Panther Steve Smith working at Charlotte Taco Bell this week?

By Langston Wertz Jr.

lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

September 07, 2017 10:16 AM

The NFL Network's Steve Smith filmed a commercial at a Taco Bell in Concord, NC Tuesday, August 29, 2017. (Photo by Jason E. Miczek / AP Images for the NFL)
Jason E. Miczek

So what was former Panthers star Steve Smith doing passing out Chalupas at a Charlotte-based Taco Bell this week?

Smith -- now working for the NFL Network’s “Game Day Morning” pregame show -- picked up a few hours. He offered advice to staffers.

And he had a good time.

“The drive-through at rush hour is really just like a two-minute drill,” Smith told USA Today. “You’re going to make some mistakes. You’re going to mis-hear the order, or mis-hear the play, and you’ve just go to shake it off, man. You’ve got to get to the next customers or get to next play.”

Smith, a recently retired 16-year NFL veteran, used to work at Taco Bell during his high school and junior college years in California. The 5-time Pro Bowler went back to work at a local branch this week, working behind the counter and probably surprising a few fans at the drive-through.

Smith told USA Today that he had a similar experience when he was working at Taco Bell as a youth. Once, boxer Sugar Ray Leonard pulled up, sitting in the passenger seat.

“I remember it like it was yesterday: Sugar Ray Leonard came to the drive-through,” Smith said. “I was in awe, because.....when he pulled up, it was like, ‘Hey, that’s Sugar Ray Leonard!”

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