Steve Smith's First Practice Not What You'd Expect

July 29, 2010 - Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States - 29July2010: Carolina Panther wide receiver Steve Smith.

How long ago has it been since Steve Smith suffered his second broken arm in a six-month span — the same arm he broke in the December meeting against the New York Giants? It’s not been long enough to be fully recovered, that’s for sure. Not even for “8-9 Killa.”

Of course, there’s more to this one…after the jump.

On his edition of “Inside the Panthers,” Darin Gantt, beat writer for the Charlotte Observer, reported a shocker…something that should raise a few eyebrows — perhaps a few neck hairs, too.

Football practice taking place on the field was of little interest compared to what was taking place on the sidelines. Steve Smith was catching passes from assistant trainer Mark Shermanskywith his broken left arm.

Gantt goes on to say (which I completely agree), “If you’re looking for signs that Smith’s going to be OK for the regular season opener, this might have been a decent one.”

Decent, indeed. My initial thought was, how in the hell could this guy be participating in team drills, etc? But then I realized no, he’s not had that cast off long enough. He must be catching some passes and nothing more. So that was good, until I read further that he was using his broken left arm to do so, which got me fired up again, as I scolded the computer screen much like a parent would their child: “SMITTY!!!”

In hindsight, I’d expect nothing less from the guy. If he were still just pacing the sideline, I’d be quite accepting of that, due to the magnitude of the injury. But somewhere in the back of my mind — and many fans too — I’d be wondering, is this it for Smith? Is the man really starting his descent from the apex of his career?

Catching passes on the sideline, using his broken arm, answers my question with a resounding “NO!”

On a side note, there has been very little — none, in fact — news reported on No. 2 receiver Dwayne Jarrett, which if I was a gambling man, I’d bet that’s because Jarrett hasn’t done anything in the last four practices (aside from improve his game) to warrant a verbal beating from Darin Gantt.

All joking aside, I was told by a reliable source, that Jarrett has in fact shown some decent improvement since the team’s first training camp practice. Sometimes, no news is good news.

Follow Cat Crave on Twitter @THECatCrave.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Charlotte Observer Darin Gantt Dwayne Jarrett Mark Shermansky NFL Steve Smith Training Camp

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