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Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Have at it: Smith's value to the Panthers

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Smith

NFC North colleague Kevin Seifert came up with a brilliant idea today and we're going to borrow it. Seifert's feature is called "Have at It," which is a nice way of saying, "Here's a topic, talk about it" in the comments section below or hit the mailbag.

The debut topic comes courtesy of a friend, who recently threw out the idea: Are the Carolina Panthers better off with Steve Smith?

My friend's rationale was that quarterback Jake Delhomme locks in too much on Smith and makes the offense one dimensional. She also pointed out she thinks Smith can be disruptive in the locker room.

I disagree with her basic premise, but her points are taken. Although the Panthers started 2-0 with Smith suspended, I don't see any way a team can be better off without its best player. So what if Delhomme locks in on Smith? He should. Anytime you've got a guy like Smith, you need to get him the ball as much as possible. As far as the locker room aspect, I don't think it's that big a deal when Smith is back on the field and producing.

Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe my friend is. We'll let you sort through it. Have at it.