Festival of Books
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Steve Smith (wide receiver, born 1979)
It's hardly the same old in the NFL anymore
It's hardly the same old in the NFL anymore

Before he even laces up his cleats, Baltimore receiver Steve Smith has achieved separation. So has San Diego tight end Antonio Gates. And Buffalo running back Fred Jackson. And Chargers linebacker Dwight Freeney. They are among the rarest of rare — NFL players in their 30s who are still playing. The separation they've achieved? They stand on one side of a locker room generational divide, high-achieving antiques in a league that's getting younger by the year. “There's definitely a generation gap,” said Freeney, 34, the oldest San Diego player, 120 days older than Gates. “You get surprised when you're sitting there talking to [younger...