Every time I drive the last stake into this Alex Smith-Cam Newton thing, it stirs to life unexpectedly -- this time in the form of an emailed transcript featuring new comments from Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason.
SiriusXM also has a link to the audio from the interview hosts Evan Cohen and Steve Phillips conducted with Beason.
We've gone over the subject enough to avoid republishing a full accounting of Smith's comments each time Beason or someone else advances the story (or non-story, as some would have it). Welcome to those arriving here in spite of the headline.
Cohen: "When you heard the comments by Alex Smith you thought what?"
Beason: "I was initially taken back. When you read the comments it seemed like he used the Carolina Panthers as a way to take the pressure off himself, in the meantime taking a shot at us. Based on what he said I think couldn't be any further from the truth, actually what happened this season."
Cohen: "Who would you rather have as your quarterback, Alex Smith or Cam Newton?"
Beason: "I think if you look at the body of work -- and we’re going to talk about stats here since he’s about stats -- I think [Cam Newton] is way ahead of Alex was as a former first-round pick. You know, going into a situation where you’re on the worst team in football, or in an offense that finished 32nd in scoring last year, to an offense that finished fifth, I think you should at least take your hat off to him and understand the situation and the type of pressure that Cam Newton was under this year.”
Phillips: "When you look at Alex Smith's performance over his years in San Francisco, they won games last year but they haven’t really won as many games with him quarterbacking prior to that. Do you believe that he improved his game as a quarterback last year or the system and the team around him was better and that’s why they won?"
Beason: "Well, like we said, if we go based on stats -- and, like I said, I'm a big fan of stats, I think they tell the truth more than not -- I think their defense was unbelievable last year. You know, I think  touchdown passes is, you know, not going to get you in a Super Bowl. I think five interceptions is an amazing stat, but it is just like in basketball, if you don’t shoot, you can’t score. So, based on what they were able to do and the parts around him -- the coach, the defense -- I think they did a great job. You win 13 games, you're the best in the league. I think that’s the right formula for them, but that wouldn’t have been the right formula for us. So do you take your hat off to Alex Smith? Yes. Should he feel good about himself? Yes. Should he get upset about having to answer questions about him finishing 29th in the league in yards per game? Um, that's a stat. If you don’t like it, maybe fix it but, like I said, in the meantime, don't take shots at other people or other players because you are tired of dealing with that question.”