NFL

Newton downplays Smith's criticism

Share This Story

   
 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)

Like brothers, Cam Newton and Steve Smith have already moved on after a brief moment of not seeing eye to eye.

Newton downplayed the criticism he received last week from Smith, saying he and his Pro Bowl receiver are still ''on good terms'' entering Carolina's showdown at Atlanta on Sunday.

WHO SETS THE CURVE?

Check out the FOXiest fans from stadiums across the country and tweet us your photo.

Smith told reporters last week he chided Newton on the sideline last Thursday night for sulking during the closing minutes of Carolina's 36-7 blowout loss to the Giants.

Newton, 23, reacted with a shrug of the shoulders in his first interview since the incident, saying he didn't read anything special into Smith's actions.

The quarterback said he views the 12-year veteran receiver as ''a big brother'' who's always giving him advice on football and life - and the Giants game was just another example of that.

''Steve Smith talks to me every single day,'' Newton said. ''And obviously it's a teaching moment, so to just single something out like that is kind of bogus for me. Because after this meeting he's probably going to say something to me. I look up to Smitty as if he's my big brother, and he has a very big impact on how I play and just having a mindset because he has done it and has lived it.

''Yeah he talked to me after the game, but he talked to me the day after too, and will probably talk to me again today. It's not like when Smitty talks to me it's a big deal because I feel like I can call Smitty on any case - on the field or off the field,'' he said.

LET'S GET NUTS!

NFL fans are a special breed, and they bring their own brand of craziness on game day.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said earlier this week he doesn't mind Smith mentoring Newton, but would have preferred the team captain kept the conversation private rather than sharing his thoughts in the media.

In hindsight, Smith agreed.

''Sometimes when you try to help, you do more harm than good,'' Smith said.

There's little doubt Smith really likes Newton, not only as a player but as a person. He admires his athleticism, his dedication to improve and his desire to win.

And when asked why he's so hard on Newton, Smith paused for about 20 seconds before replying.

''It's because I see the impact he can have on this organization,'' Smith finally said. ''The impact that I don't think I can ever have. The quarterback position is a whole different ball game. It really is. I see something in him that few men have, I really do. I really do.

''As Cam's career keeps going, I want to be able to look at my kids and say, `That's a man you can watch.'''

WHAT'S GOING ON?

Touchdown? Touchback? See how it all unraveled Monday night.

The incident stemmed from Smith's reaction to seeing Newton sulking on the bench after the second-year quarterback was benched late in the game against the Giants. Smith said he felt Newton should have stood up and supported backup Derek Anderson and taken some ''mental reps'' so he could learn from his own mistakes.

In Smith's words, he ''lit into'' Newton.

Smith defended his actions at the time by saying ''If I am afraid to say something, who will? The same way if I'm afraid to teach a son from mistakes, I can't expect somebody else to be that.''

He later added, ''This is more than about playing football. It's about becoming a man.''

Smith said he doesn't foresee any problems moving forward.

''We're good,'' Smith said. ''Hey, I look at Cam as a big little brother. You're going to fight. You're going to spat. But you'll always be able to come back to it.''

After three games Newton is 23rd in the league in passer rating and the Panthers are 1-2.

Proving Rivera know his team. The coach said during training camp - as Newton goes, so go the Panthers.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said there will be rough patches for any quarterback, regardless of age, but is confident Newton will get through it.

''That's part of the deal, that's part of every NFL quarterback's maturity,'' Ryan said. ''I went through it and I think everybody has gone through it. And I think I will go through it again. There are ups and downs throughout a season and throughout a game. I think he's probably of the same mindset I am - that you keep your head down and keep working.''

Tagged: Falcons, Giants, Panthers, Steve Smith Sr., Cam Newton

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NFL Videos

Best Person in Sports: Keenan Lewis Posted: Jul 15, 2014
Saints CB Keenan Lewis hosts a back-to-school event, giving children medical ser...

NFL Roundtable: New York Jets Posted: Jul 14, 2014
They're a team with plenty to prove and a roster of players primed to get it don...

NFL Roundtable: Detroit Lions Posted: Jul 11, 2014
A team with so many weapons, is this the season that the Lions put together and ...