It took the other kind of "futbol" to get Steve Smith's comments on the Carolina Panthers' dizzying array of moves this offseason.
Smith hadn't commented publicly since the team released Jake Delhomme and a slew of other 30-something players in the Purge of 2010. He said what a lot of people are thinking but haven't been saying Tuesday, to our David Scott: "If the season started today, we would be down. We don't have a potential third-string quarterback or a bona fide backup quarterback. We don't have a guy we're considering for [Muhsin Muhammad's starting) spot. There's a lot of areas we're missing. So now, we're an unfinished product."
Smith said that before a Mexican soccer team practice at Bank of America Stadium Tuesday. No.89 has long been a fan of the game and has children who are active in the sport.
You can read more of the interview here if you scroll down to the March 23 entries, but I thought in general Smith was on his best behavior in the interview. He's getting a little more politically adept, as you would expect of the team's union leader. Smith simply said "I lost some friends" about all the Panthers' personnel moves, noting: "One day, I'm going to be released as well. It's part of the game."
Meanwhile, John Fox talked down in Florida this morning to our Charles Chandler and others at the NFL's March meetings. There were no huge screaming headlines out of that, it sounds like, but some tidbits of news (including the fact Fox likes Tim Tebow). You can read more of Fox's comments in the "Inside the Panthers" blog here.