Monday, August 10, 2009

Don't play Smith in preseason

Steve Smith hurt his shoulder Monday night during practice at Panther training camp. And if that doesn't send a shudder through you, you're certainly not a Panther fan.

X-rays were negative, the Panthers said, which is good news. UPDATE: Smith said Tuesday that the injury occurred when he hit the ground and wouldn't project when he would be back, although several high-profile teammates opined that he would be ready for the regular-season opener. Smith's agent, Derrick Fox, said Tuesday morning that Smith would be out a minimum of two weeks.

If I were the Panthers, I'd shut Smith down for the entire month of August. No preseason games. No more contact work. Just meetings and non-contact workouts and stuff like that. That's it.

Imagining a 2009 Panther offense without Smith is difficult. Who would be the No.1 receiver then -- Muhsin Muhammad? And Dwayne Jarrett becomes a starter?! Wow. That would change things all right. Other teams would stack 8 on the line all day long, every day, daring the Panthers to just try and beat them deep.

Yes, Carolina went 2-0 without Smith last season while he was suspended for breaking Ken Lucas's nose in a training-camp skirmish. But you don't want to have to do that again if you can possibly help it.

Whether Smith is ready to go by Week 3-4 of the preseason or not, I wouldn't put him out there. For that matter, I wouldn't put DeAngelo Williams out there much, or Jake Delhomme, or Jonathan Stewart.

As my loyal readers may remember, I've campaigned for the preseason to be shortened from 4 to 2 games for years. Four games is a waste. And for veterans like Smith, it's really a waste -- just another chance to get hurt, really. So sit No.89 down and let him get welcomed back Sept.13 in the home opener vs. Philly -- nothing matters much until then, anyway.

15 comments:

Jonathan said...

AMEN. He has a month to get healthy - hopefully that is an adequate amount of time. If so, he'll probably get a hero's welcome at BofA on Sept.13th...right when we actually need him. He knows how to play football; I'm sure he'll be ready to get the season started!

Keith DCPanthersFan said...

Agreed. I have memories of "the season that wasn't" when he broke his leg. We need him. Rest well, Smitty. We'll see you the 13th...

Brandon said...

This should be a no-brainer.

Anonymous said...

This isnt looking good for the panthers. I know the season is a month or so away still, but there are bound to be more injuries and the panthers have absolutley no depth anywhere... Not a very good offseason for Hurney and Fox.

Anonymous said...

Okay,rest him (Smith) NOW but what happens when the regular season games begin? Will Steve Smith walk/play in a bubble to avoid injuries? Was it KARMA or is it a wake-up call to the coaches, etc. to work (harder) with the receivers that they have or get someone who can play close/equal to Smith's caliber. How can a team only have ONE receiver that everyone depends on???? C'mon!!!!

panfan1 said...

Not a very good off season for Hurney & Fox because of Peppers big contract that has them strapped down. We will be in a bind if we have more injuries & no monies to sign a replacement. Ouch!

Anonymous said...

Starting to look like a LONG SUPERBOWL RUN to me! Just like my TARHEELS. FANS, remember it takes a little adversity to get to the mountain top. We need some people to step up and deliver and don't just collect a check. Can you imagine if the Dwayne Jarret from USC starting REALLY playing football in Charlotte and we could move a healthy SMITTY to the slot. Let's go FOX coach'em up! LIKE ROY DID! Because its still SUPERBOWL or BUST!....now Shanahan and Cowher are looking for a J.O.B.

daisyhound said...

There has rarely been a summer camp in the NFL that has produced more injuries to starting players, especially receivers. How does the NFl expect to add two regular season games to the schedule if teams can't even get to what are now called preseason games? Many of the early games are going to be a total joke for a lot of teams. Making them "for real" would be a complete travesty. Of course the whole picture may be shattered by the 2010 negotiations when people with too much money on both sides decide to blow up a beautiful thing.

Anonymous said...

Scott, those who can . . . coach! . . those who can't pretend to be sportswriters!

John Donaldson said...

I totally agree on the length as well as taking good care of our starters. Does anyone know how Morty Ivy from WVU is doing?

Anonymous said...

Rest him all preseason he has nothing to prove.

Ron said...

You "anonymous" writers need to go away. Why would Smith play in a "bubble". That has never been his style. Never will be. He doesn't need preseason exposure. Last year he was the 3rd leading receiver in the NFL even after missing the first two games of the regular season. I totally agree with Scott, with our lack of depth, we shouldn't be exposing him or the two running backs.

Ron said...

Anonymous from 1:03 pm...I wasn't talking about you. Just some others before you.

Anonymous said...

Ron says....

I was not referring to Steve per say. My message was to the coaches - organization, etc. to stop depending on Steve Smith but to focus on their other receivers to step up because there's no guarantee that Steve will not get hurt again unless he is living in a bubble........

MichaelProcton said...

John, he's looked good, as have fellow UFA LBs J Leman and Anthony Heygood. All have flashed good athleticism and instincts.