Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas
Carolina receiver Steve Smith caused a controversy among some fans when he was wired for sound (Gee, who with the Panthers thought that would be a good idea?) during last week’s opener with Philadelphia.
Some fans have made a big deal out of some of the things Smith said to struggling quarterback Jake Delhomme. It should never have come to this because if you’ve ever been around Smith and watch and listen to the video, you instantly know he’s not ripping on Delhomme. It’s obvious Smith is joking with Delhomme and trying to make him feel better. You can see and hear that clip here.
Smith certainly has his flaws, but he did nothing wrong in this instance. Still, that didn’t stop Smith from calling WFNZ in Charlotte to try to clear the air.
“I just called in because it just got me,’’ Smith said. "Got under my skin a little bit. Got a little local buzz or national buzz over me being miked up last week and what I said to Jake. It is very interesting that some of the YouTubes and some of the people have taken it like …. Well first, some of the people saying that I don’t have confidence in Jake or how could a real teammate or the “real leader” quote unquote say that and how immature I am. I stand by what I said in … I said that completely in jest.’’
Smith is completely right in this case. Kudos to him for calling in. But he didn’t owe anybody an explanation.