CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers receiver Steve Smith says he” lit into” Cam Newton about his actions on the sideline when the young quarterback was replaced late in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s 36-7 blowout loss to the New York Giants.
“I don’t want to be passive and not do it because if I don’t do it, who will?” Smith said. “The same way with my son, I can’t expect somebody else (to do that). So yeah, I lit into him because I thought it was an opportunity for him to see and understand what was going on. This is more than about playing football. It’s about becoming a man and understanding what this is.”
Newton declined comment through the team’s public relations staff. The team said he isn’t speaking until next Wednesday.
Players have the weekend off.
Coach Ron Rivera lifted Newton in the fourth quarter against the Giants after his third interception with Carolina trailing by 26 points. Rivera said he took out Newton because the game was out of hand.
“I said, `Get up and learn from this,’” Smith said. “I watched DA (Anderson) and Jimmy (Clausen) observe from the sidelines the last 20-something games and try to get mental reps. This is an opportunity for you to get some mental reps. Don’t just sit on the bench and sulk. I know you feel bad, but that isn’t going to help us.”
It’s the second straight year teammates have questioned Newton’s demeanor on the sideline.
“It’s about not missing an opportunity to give him some advice that maybe I didn’t listen to (when I was young) or maybe nobody told me,” said the 32-year-old Smith.
Smith said former Panthers wide receiver Ricky Proehl “did it to me a few times and maybe he was more subtle than I was. But you know what, if I sit back and say, `Oh look at Cam over there sulking,’ or `look at this, or look at that’ that’s not going to do anything. I told him this is an opportunity for you to learn from this.”View Entire Story
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