Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith sat down to talk to Michael Silver of Yahoo News yesterday at Wofford College, where the team has their training camp. Smith has always been a dynamo on the field and a great player who loves winning like any professional does and spoke about some things regarding the events of the last two seasons.
“To be honest, I was leery about a lot of things,” Smith said. “It’s not necessarily that I didn’t want to rebuild – it’s just that in this game you have a short opportunity. The day that I can’t catch a football or run a route, they’re gonna take Old Yeller behind the barn and blow his brains out – right So why is it any different – as we call this a business – to [question the] product, to expect the assembly line to have efficient workers? The only thing I wanted to do is play football. Would you say the 2010 Carolina Panthers were a football team? I don’t know what it was; all I know is it wasn’t football. And so I wanted to get an opportunity, and I think not just me, other guys. There are a lot of guys who wanted to play ball.”
That 2010 offseason left Smith wondering what to do. His contract was about to expire and he wasn’t getting younger at age 32. Finally, he went to Panthers owner Jerry Richardson’s home and demanded a trade. Reports are he wanted to go to the Ravens or the Chargers.
We all remember the storyline.
“I had guys telling me, ‘Hey, come over to my team, we could use you over here,’ ” Smith remembered. “This was during games!”
But despite his passionate personality, to his credit Smith did some checking up on incoming Head Coach Ron Rivera. After a phone conversation together, Rivera told Smith just to think about things and that they would “see where things stand” once the lockout was over with.
Smith ultimately decided to give Rivera and then-raw rookie Cam Newton a chance to see what they could all do as a team.
They went from dead last in offense in 2010 to 5th, 6th, or 7th depending on what you look at.
He says these days he’s actually having a lot of fun. His relationship with his new Head Coach is obviously much better than it was with John Fox, now the Head Coach of the Denver Broncos.
“I think the old regime did a very good job of planting whatever seed they wanted to plant. Things have to grow from somewhere. The seed doesn’t just sprout up by itself, does it? … I know for a fact that things were said that I’ll just say were interesting.”
Success breeds harmony.
The Yahoo Sports interview can be found here: here: