On the most recent episode of his “Cut To It” podcast, former NFL star Steve Smith Sr. welcomed Broncos receiver Tim Patrick as a guest on the show. Over the course of about an hour, Patrick went deep on his childhood, his path from junior college to the NFL and much more.
Patrick's love for football grew from an early age, he said, as his father got him into a children's flag football league at just 3 years old.
"My dad got into coaching for one year when I was three, just so I could start early," Patrick said. "The football age is five, so he became a coach so I could play early. … Every time I made a play, I let the other guy know. It was just one of those grimy, dog feelings of making a play [and] belittling somebody that excites me. I think I just grew up in a competitive household where everybody was athletic and good at sports. There was never a day where it was just like an easy day."
Patrick has kept that mindset ever since, and after pushing himself to go from a junior college to the University of Utah to the NFL, he still has it. To this day, it helps keep him grounded, he told Smith, and has helped mold him into one of the league's more productive and underrated receivers.
As a fellow Ute, Smith has kept an eye on Patrick.
"You're a fantastic athlete, you know your P's and Q's, you are watching film to the best of your ability, and it's working," Smith said.
Patrick also discussed where he's at in his rehab from the knee injury that ended his 2022 season in training camp. He said he's progressed to the point that he's been running routes, sprints and more.
"At this point, I'm cleared to do everything," Patrick said. "At this point, I'm just doing repetition to get myself ready to play in a game."
That means building confidence in his knee, and he said while he trusts it, he's working to rebuild his route-running mechanics because of the pressure certain routes put on his healing knee.
"I feel like that's going to happen when there's a defender in front of me," Patrick said. "It's either going to be the choice of getting locked up or you're going to get open for a catch. And I want a catch, so I'm not even going to worry about what I've got going on. I'm going to do whatever it takes to get open."