Sunday, October 18, 2009

Yes, Smith is an asset

Steve Smith is angry.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, nor an unusual thing. Smith told The Observer after the Panthers' 28-21 win over Tampa Sunday, in which he had one catch for four yards: “I am no longer an asset to this team.”

OK, let's dispense with the obvious first. Of course Smith is an asset. Two defenders hover near him on almost every pass play. This makes it a 10-on-9 game for everyone else. Unfortunately, the Panthers' passing attack was so bad against Tampa Bay (65 yards, two interceptions, 1 TD) that they couldn't win even with an extra man.

So Smith is getting tired of it. He's tired of being a decoy. He's tired of watching Delhomme throw underneath to the tight ends for 5 yards. When he is targeted, he's tired of getting thrown to late, or overthrown, or underthrown, or all the other things that have happened when Jake Delhomme tries to get him the ball. (Delhomme tried 5 times to get it to No.89 Sunday. The results: 1 interception, 1 completion for 4 yards, 3 incompletions).

And so Smith dropped that little "no longer an asset" bomb postgame Sunday in a brief interview.

It will undoubtedly be a wake-up call for the Panthers' coaching staff Monday. They will work to soothe Smith's ruffled feathers Monday, for while Smith can be a fiery, high-maintenance prima donna at times, he also can be a great team guy as well as the Panthers' best player when he used correctly.

And they're not using him correctly -- I'd agree with Smith to a point in that he's not nearly the asset he should be right now.

Why not put him in motion more? Put him in the slot? Throw him a few more slants? Let him run the ball on a reverse or in the Wildcat formation every now and then?

Other great receivers are routinely double-teamed, too. And they still come up with far better numbers than Smith (21 catches, 259 yards and ZERO TDs through five games in 2009). At this 52-yard per game rate, Smith isn't going to reach 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in five seasons.

Part of the problem is that Muhsin Muhammad and Dwayne Jarrett can't seem to get any separation with one-on-one coverage right now, so other teams are rarely burned by double-teaming Smith.

The biggest problem I see right now, though, is that Jake Delhomme isn't the same quarterback as he's been most of his career here. He's too scattered, too on-and-off, too mistake-prone. Delhomme is trying to convince himself that's not the case, but at the moment that's true.

Fortunately for Carolina, they still won with no passing game Sunday. The Panthers simply ran the ball down Tampa Bay's throat on the final drive -- 15 runs and 1 pass for an 80-yard, 8-minute game-winning march -- but that only works against teams who aren't very strong.

Smith better become a big-time asset again soon. The Panthers don't have anyone else like him. He's not a disposable asset. He's one of the team's core strengths, and they must remember how to get him the football again.

50 comments:

Jennifer said...

Agree, Agree, Agree...

As I said on one of your other blogs....before I even read about the comment Smitty made, he has to be getting frustrated...and obviously he is!!

Somehow that comment just sucked the life right out of that win....even though Im not taking away from DT on one hell of a run game they had today...

Just miss the announcers and myself going crazy over a infamous Smitty catch...and looks like Smitty is to <:-(

Curtis said...

I second that (or, after Jennifer, I suppose I third that)...I mean, I've been a Jake supporter for a while. Even after the Playoff game last year coming into this season, I had confidence in Jake. But sadly, I have to say, my confidence is just about all gone.

And to Jennifer's point about missing something to go crazy about (in a good way), I couldn't agree more. I mean, when was the last time you not only were excited about a big play that took place? For that matter, when was the last time you actually believed they could pull the big play off this year?

It is painful...painful, painful, painful...

Tom said...

Watching the game, I too, had the same thoughts. I don't like Smith (or any player) airing dirty laundry in interviews. But I can understand giving 100% effort at WR can be frustrating without any payoff. But you got the win. The game isn't decided by Smith's receptions or yards. I commend Fox and Co. for sticking with what worked when it mattered. Why in the world would you put the ball in the air on that final drive? TB could do NOTHING to stop what they knew was coming.

All that said... there are other ways to involve your best playmaker. I'm not a big fan of it, but the wildcat has huge possibilities with him and DeAngelo. Slot is another option. At this point, put him back there on kickoffs. One or two touches a game - that's poor, unimaginative coaching.

Anonymous said...

I FEEL JAKE IS A GOOD LEADER FOR THIS TEAM BUT GREAT LEADERS KNOW HOW TO FOLLOW TOO...JAKE SHOULD BENCH HIMSELF. I KNO HE KNOWS HE'S JUST NOT GOOD FOR THE TEAM RITE NOW...PUT MOORE IN, CAN HE DO WORST, MAYBE, BUT THEN JAKE CAN COME IN AND REDEEM HIMSELF...MY GUESS...MOORE 3 TD 300YRDS AND BIGGEST OF THEM ALL...0 INTS....AND S.SMITH FEELS LIKE AN ASSET AGAIN....

big I alum #8 said...

I was at the game today here in Tampa. Im a die-hard panthers fan and just moved here in 06. yes the safety shifted over almost every play that smith was the wide man , but when he was in the slot, he was matched up against a LB with NO , yes NO help over the top from a safety , I mean damn let him run some post corners or fades from the slot with the outside reciever running a slant !! Have these coaches ever heard of combo routes that make the defense pick and choose one reciever to defend while leaving the other wide open ?? AND ON ANOTHER NOTE , I WATCHED EVERY SINGLE RECIEVER AND HOW THEY GOT OFF THE BALL AGAINST SOME PRETTY DECENT DB'S FROM THE BUCS .. AND ONLY 2 WERE ABLE TO GET OFF THE BALL AND BEAT THEIR MAN CONSISTENTLY , STEVE SMITH AND KENNY MOORE !!! IM TELLIN YOU FOLKS THE KID NEEDS A CHANCE!!MOOSE AND DWAYNE JARRET GET JAMMED AT THE LINE LIKE LITTLE KIDS !!!!! HE CAN PLAY HES BEEN A PLAYMAKER AT EACH LEVEL.... HE HAD A NICE LIL RETURN IN THE GAME..

Hollowearth said...

Nice way to cause drama when the team needs it the least.
What Smith said basically amounts to him being a punk ass.
Oh your touches are down?
Sorry that winning came before your stats there buddy.
Get over it.
Take your cash,and pull the coverage so the running game can drill the defensive line into submission.
THEN you get the ball.
Sorry,I don't view Smith as the biggest asset of my team.
Not when he acts like that.
You don't like it,Lil' Stevie,I'm sure Al Davis would love to have you in Oakland so you can see the bottom of the NFL wasteland.
Keep your mouth shut to the media,because now it's not about the Panthers righting the boat.
Now that attention is on giving a baby his bottle.

BigMikey said...

If this is the only thing Smitty has said or done in frustration so far, then God bless him for being a professional, it could be much, much worse right now.

Keep pounding, Panthers.

Anonymous said...

Hollowearth you hit the nail on the head! This guy is a cancer. Why was he right in the middle of the Wesley incident yesterday? He is FINISHED. I hope he breaks a leg. Trade this hothead while you can still get something for him.

Scott, DO YOU ACTUALLY THINK YOU KNOW MORE THAN THE COACHING STAFF? You and I must not be watching the same game. I saw single coverage with safety help at times. BUt then again, I played the game while you were picking your nose playing the tuba.

Jennifer said...

I just dont get it I guess....

It seems when you voice your opinion on this team or want out because youre frustrated, youre called drama kings, yet the minute they dont play up to the standards of the fans, the fans bring the drama....

So its like play OUR way, like it or not and shut the hell up...

Funny some say take the money you just made during that game and get over it, yet its been ALL about the money or lack of play there of when Peps name is mentioned...doesnt matter if hes tripled teamed, standing around grabbing his crotch, or smling on the sidelines, he better have 90 sacks a game, making that kind of money... NO EXCUSES are made for him!!!

So why dont we just sit Smitty on the sidelines and collect his millions, and be done with it????

Needless to say the bitc!ing will begin again from those very fans, when a player says GET ME THE HE!! OUT OF HERE!!!!!

Money or not they are the ones out there on the field and in house, above house, underground.....eventually the frustration is gonna show, or speak at some point.....and its Smitty's turn!!

JMO...what do I know, I'm just a girl eh!!

Off to work, enjoy your day fella's <:-)

Jennifer said...

Sorry just read this, must have posted while I was writing my 2nd chapter!!

Scott, DO YOU ACTUALLY THINK YOU KNOW MORE THAN THE COACHING STAFF?

Seriously Anon....The Coaching Staff with a 2 and 3 record isnt nothing much to write home about, so yeah maybe he does...

Just saying...Im out!!

Anonymous said...

The chickens have come home to roost. Smith was never anything but a little thug wantabe football playa lucky to be in the NFL and as a special team returner who fumbled half the time initially. Using his thug instincts he luckily hammered his way to being a short WR but now he is outmanned outgunned and lost his will and desire to play and could be injured in the line of fire.

This is the Panthers real problem, It was never Delhomne. Jake thowd the pass but the WR has to go get it. Smith has done nothing and played do defense to stop interceptions.

Beason is the 2nd biggest problem and like Smith needs to be benched and traded. Beason trying to divert his incompetence to Peppers publically was a joke.

Fox and Delhomne have been made SCAPEGOATS for the real culprits Smith and Beason.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer please fo not invade one of the few sancticies men have left. Stay off the sport blogs and go watch Oprah. Your comments cleary show your sports ignorqance. There is more to the game than watching men in tight pants. This is the same staff that was 12-4 last year, sans defensive coordinator. They players play the game! Chuck Hamilton/Charlotte

Aubrey Moore said...

You do not train a great violinist to sit in the wings and force the others to be better or be replaced. You do not educate a great mathematician to teach at a junior college and threaten to replace the lesser ones if they do not achieve at the university level.

Steve Smith was right. This team wants him to make Jake better by surrendering his own career. Jake is on the downhill side of his career and without Steve, he would not have a prayer of playing another game. Steve is about extending a dead career. They need to either bench Jake or trade Steve, or they have shown themselves to be lovers of their own small worlds more than they love the game and more dedicated to a player of very limited potential than to the player that could make them an infinitely better team. It is so sad that I quit watching.

Eric L. said...

Ok, I'm just going to assume one of the previous posters to be an ignorant coward for 1) not posting his name (it's easy to issue criticism and call names hiding behind 'anonymous') and 2) for actually believing Smith and Beason to be the problem with this team. If this team had 53 players with the heart, desire, and effort that those two have, this team would be far more competitive, and would surely be better than 2-3.

The two biggest problems imho are John Fox and Jake Delhomme. I've tried to hold off joining the Jake bashing, but it's clear he's not the player he used to be. He has no pocket presence, makes horrible decisions, and while never the most accurate passer, can't seem to hit a receiver unless said receiver is standing still. There have been times all season where Smith had beat his man, and Jake seems to be incapable of hitting him in stride, if at all.

As for Fox, I don't know why he bothers with coordinators - offensive or defensive. It's clear now that Dan Henning was not the problem with this offense. Fox does not put his best players in position to be successful, nor use all of his weapons to their best effect. Why not have DeAngelo and Stewart on the field at the same time? Why not move Smith around or put him in motion? Why not have the receivers run combo patterns to make the defense make some decisions? Fox's philosophy of playing conservative and waiting for the other team to make a mistake is a formula for failure.

Curtis said...

Wow, Chuckie...you have a lot of nerve to try and call someone out on "ignorqance" when you can't even spell the word correctly.

Hate to break it to you, but if you actually stopped grunting for a minute to show "what a manly man you are" you'd see that Jennifer has some pretty insightful comments. She's dead on about the double standards regarding players and fans (let me know though if that was too complicated of a comment from her for you to comprehend...maybe we can all grunt for you instead).

Some of the best fans I know, the most die hard and most knowledgeable, are women. So Chuckie, take your 1950's attitude about men, women, and sports and go back to the basement at your parents house (which I bet you so cleverly call a Man Cave...oooo, how clever you are) and leave this blog to the REAL Panthers fans.

Stephen said...

A-men! I know I won't take any sports commentary seriously from someone named Jennifer haha. Erin Andrews is the only female I want to hear from. And I think we all know why.

Anonymous said...

If the coaching staff knows so much then why haven't they made the proper adjustments to get their players the ball. I can see having a bad game; but this is a trend with the Panthers. Perhaps there should be a change at qb, Jake has consistantly overthrown and underthrow receivers. We see it every game, at least that is my observation. If the coaching staff don't get the balls and make the changes needed, there will be coaching changes. Why does most of the football world see that Jake is the cancer on this team. I am not saying anything about his character, I don't personally know him but he seems like a good guy, but the Panther organization should make a change at the qb position. Jakes days are numbered.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jake Delhmone and John Fox. We know you are not perfect but it is a shame that you both are being singled out and scapegoated for a sorry overrated few "superstars" who have been discovered as frauds and were blown out of proportion by the media.

Good real recievers always go get the football when it is thrown and wrestle the defender away from the ball playing both offense and defense when needed and not just allow easy interceptions to occur.

Good real linebackers try to never miss tackling the RB and staving off the blockers or not being quick enough to outflank the offense.

Forget these no nothings who are trying to pin the blame on the only QB in the NFL who can truly inspire and a head coach who has done nothing different but watch some overrateds be less than mediocre.

Congrats to 2 running backs and an O-line seemingly getting it done past 2 games. Keep up the good work.

Jeffrey said...

It says a lot about your quarterback situation when you have to totally abandon the passing game, and go strictly to running the ball. We know the Bucs couldn't stop it, but that's only because they are a horrible team. You give a guy an extension, and you can't even trust him to play his position. Although the offensive line has not performed to their capabilities, they are getting blamed for some stuff that is Jake's issues. I have always said he holds the ball too friggin long, because there is only so long you can block a guy. A third of the sacks credited to the offensive line come from Jake's indecision.

Curtis said...

Well said Jeffrey. Well said.

Anonymous said...

Smith is angry...hell, they are all angry!

Anonymous said...

honestly, if we are keeping Delhomme, we should do the Panthers and Smith a favor and trade him. Perhaps we can get a first round draft pick out of him and he can go to a team that has a competent QB and give him the ability to make Hall of Fame type numbers.

Its a shame what a talent like SMith was dealt at QB

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? Trade Beason? wow its a fucking good thing your a nobody

MrBernz said...

You clowns are too funny sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I am a Jake fan but it is what it is. Maybe he came back too soon from surgery or maybe what they say about the surgery is true--no one comes back from it.

One time I was reading about a injured player who was told he was fit to play but he decided to take another season off and felt he did the right thing by doing that cause he came back better and stronger and he feels injured players came back too soon too often.

One thing for sure a team cannot "only"
be a running team.

Anonymous said...

The idiot that suggested we trade Beason needs to tuck his/her tail, and just walk away. What a terrible idea. You don't just trade your BEST defensive player for making a comment that, not only he apologized for, but that has apparently inspired his teammate to make plays (2 sacks the last two weeks). But yeh, great idea you idiot.

Good game for the D, keep it up.

Jonesy said...

Jake Delhomme vs. Drew Brees, Manning's, Flacco, Ryan, Brady, Farve, Palmer, The Burger, Rivers, Cutler, Mcnabb....

Enough said. Stats do not make a leader, but leaders produce good stats...

http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/player/_/stat/passing/sort/quarterbackRating/year/2009/seasontype/2

Anonymous said...

Its too bad the Panthers couldnt trade the short Steve Smith for the tall Steve Smith. Would the Giants agree? Keep dreaming.

Lets see now. The little man SS came out of the poor hoods of LA and went to a Jr college and then Idaho? Nothing special to report.

The big guy SS came from the rich burbs of LA and got a full ride to USC playing with the likes of Heismans Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer being the alltime #1 WR there and on the '03 and '04 NCAA championship teams under coach Pete Carroll before heading to NYC and being on the '07 NY Giant Super Bowl winning team.

Could the Panthers trade SS for SS and throw in Beason for free?

Anonymous said...

It's time: dump Delhomme, Jarrett, and Gamble -- all over-priced with limited production.

Dexter Jackson's speed was a strong contributor to ASU's championships. Pull him off the practice squad and try a couple routes down the opposite side from Smith and let the competition decide which one to cover downfield. If you outrun your defender, it matters a lot less how tall you are!

Anonymous said...

I noticed where Scott says that Smith is double-teamed and Muhammad and Jarrett can't separate...making this part of the problem. Are you kidding me? I see Moose open quite often, but #17 can't get him the ball.

dan said...

Jennifer, you must be a dude. I only say this because I cannot imagine someone that looks like you wasting your time on this blog.

Anonymous said...

The NFL has finally figured out Steve Smith and got his number down pat. Thats obv what he is alluding too. His height has finally come into play when double teamed.

Can he run back punts and kickoffs again or tackle? Special teams may be his only hope.

Anonymous said...

I can't see why Steve saying he's not an asset makes him airing any dirty laundry. He's just frustrated and he has been nothing but a team player thus far. And he's not blaming anyone with his comments. He is merely stating how he feels. Something men should do more often anyway.

Jennifer said...

Ignorance is running rampant I see...Figures considering this blog about the " Panthers" is suppose to be a santurary for the "so called men"

So from the comments, Im suppose to assume that..

1, Women cant like the game (amazing how so many women are at the game itself though).

2. If I comment here, I'm wasting my time? Damn does that mean all the men on here are just "I dont have a life" bloggers?

3. Stephen ...(Erin Andrews needs to bitc! slap you like she does all the other ignorant pigheaded men.

And last but surely not least....I will state again and again, I didnt ask any of you to like anything I said...its called opinions....so take your beer belly a@@es off the couch, get out and actually do something, other than bitc! about some chic talking about Panther football..

And while youre at it grow the hell up!!

Sorry Mr. Scott, but Mr. Benz is right, you do have some anonymous clowns running amuck on here ....but hey,...to each their own...

Go Panthers!

Cynthia said...

Several Questions:

1) Is there another NFL team that would sign Jake as QB?

2) Is there another NFL team that would hire Fox as head coach?

3) Is there another NFL team that would sign Smitty as WR?

My prediction: two no's; one yes.

It is what it is.





3) Did you know that th

David I said...

lol. Nice response Jennifer. A women knowing something about football seems to trip some idiots out here.

As far as Smitty's comments, he's free to say whatever he wants. I'm sure he is frustrated. I know I'd be.

Plus he's killing my fantasy squad! ;-)

dar456 said...

its no surprise that i dont like steve smith, i used to before he was tagged with the "one of the NFLs best" logo. seems like his head has gotten way to big for his short body. his sideline meltdown was ridiculous this season and did more to hurt team morale then help it. now he makes this selfish comment after we win 2 in a row. what a leader. he doesnt make anyone on this team any better. our team looked the best it ever has when he was suspended last season. given jake hasnt done anybody any favors this year but im pretty sure he could find #89 if he was wide open and he hasnt been.

Anonymous said...

Please can someone understand that the games this season are being won by the passig game. so it seems...but we wont be able to do anything if steve cant get the ball when they shut down the run. and they will so we really need to be prepared.....

Anonymous said...

Damn Jennifer
YOURE SMOKING HOT!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

While I am not as adamant about it as some...I do get tired of Jennifer's comments. What type of narcistic person puts up a photo like that? Just my thoughts. Most likely a nice girl put ditch the photo. For one thing I do not think it is safe with the idiots in today's society.

Jennifer said...

If you dont like reading my comments related to the blog then by all means ...Dont...

And now I'm narcissistic because I dont hide behind anonymous blogs, and pretend to be someone I'm not...

The subject is Panther football....get over whatever inadequacies you may have personally and deal with women posting on here as many times as we like...


Ignorance is when you allow a man to come on here and post as many times as they wont, but bitc! when a girl has something to say ABOUT THE GAME, I might add...

Quash the bs about calling someone an idiot, when your post is full of ignorance itself, yet you call out TODAYS SOCIETY.....worry about your own glass house <:-).

Anonymous said...

Jennifer is really an ugly man with a beer gut.

Anonymous said...

Jen,
You'r STILL hot....

Curtis said...

Holy crap, are you guys serious? You're giving Jennifer a hard time about her comments which more often than not make a hell of a lot more sense than the garbage that most guys post. Trade Beason? Sanctuary for men? Dexter Jackson is the answer...DEXTER JACKSON??? You are tired of Jennifer's comments because she's narcissistic (which by the way you don't even come close to spelling correctly)??? And you made that judgement because of her photo? Whatever dude.

All I have to say is, post something better...you may find it threatening that a chica actually knows more about football than you do. I don't hear you complaining about posters though. Just because she's a woman? Dude, that is weak.

Anonymous said...

All I know is Smitty is a play-maker, and you cant make to many plays with 1 catch. Trade Beason.. you got to be joking how many tackles this cat have last year. Get real and leave the girl alone. she makes more sense then a lot of you... FOOLS

Jamie said...

It's plan and simple.."JAKE" is the problom PERIOD! Smitty is one if not the best wide receiver in this league and deserves much much better..No one plays as hard and with as much heart as he does... With that said i'm getting a giggle out of all the so called panther fans on here talking all this trash,knowing good and damn well the majority of you are fans of other teams just wanting to get shit started...Try getting a life and worry about your own teams douchbags!

Shane said...

Jump all over Smitty like you jump all over Pep. Smitty is cut slack because he doesn't make a mil a game and doesn't talk about leaving. Now that Smitty says he's no longer an asset I wonder if people will turn on him? Smitty may not be an asset but Pep still is and we're gonna lose him to free agency. Nice going Panthers front office.

Anonymous said...

Why is it possible for the opposing teams to double up on Smitty every play? Because they have NO OTHER THREAT at the receiver position. Moose is a better blocker than receiver. Dwayne Jarrett can't read the playbook. Who else does that leave us with? An to add insult to injury, we have a quarterback who can't find his own receivers if they are wide open.

66 Points off of interceptions this year? GEEZ!

This team is such a non-entity in the league this year that they don't even get an honorable mention during the half time of Monday Night Football.

This team doesn't qualify for mediocre.

Anonymous said...

He's a PRE MADONNA!! Why do all you PANTHER fans defend this nut? Are you going to defend him next year when he wants out of the QUEEN CITY?

Jon said...

My god, the racist and misogynistic comments in response to this post really go a long way toward explaining the obnoxious crowds of "fans" at Bank Of America Stadium. What, did the functionally illiterate rednecks not receive enough attention from their mommies? Or maybe you're just embarrassed to see a female fan with a better understanding of the game than you can manage. How pathetic. The word for which the cowardly, anonymous troll was so desperately groping is narcissistic, not narcistic. Way to wear your utter lack of education on your sleeve, though.

And people wonder why Julius Peppers wanted to play elsewhere.