- David Newton, ESPN Staff Writer
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Smiles: For the first time after an 0-2 start players actually were happy to see reporters and talk about the game. "More than anything I wanted our young players to feel success,'' tackle Jordan Gross said.
Oh say can you see? This wasn't in the locker room, but it is worth sharing. Coach Ron Rivera apologized to reporters before his opening postgame comments for having his sunglasses and not his reading glasses so he could see the final stats. No apologies were necessary, and he would have liked everything he saw.
Lost at sea: Rookie strong safety Robert Lester, a week removed from being on the practice squad, was buried behind a sea of cameras and reporters after collecting five tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery in his first NFL start. How did it feel? Like after an Alabama game.
Alone time: Steve Smith sat alone in front of his locker, no reporters around, and read messages on his cell phone. For once he wasn't the center of attention during or after a Carolina game as his fellow receivers finally stepped up.