As I was replaying the Panthers victory over the Bucs I came across the short piece ESPN ran on the Steve Smith - Ken Lucas altercation back in training camp. It appears that no matter how many times Smith, Lucas, coach John Fox or any Panther players says its in the past, the media is going to keep bringing it up. A few days after the ordeal I pondered the potential for any lingering affects it may have on the season.
The next few weeks of the preseason will give us an idea as to whether this incident lingers like a black cloud or becomes nothing more than an afterthought.
The truth is the team put thing to rest around week 4 I would say. I do think in the end it did have a positive affect on Steve Smith. Even his most recent interview, the one after the Bucs victory (lets see how many times I can bring that up :P) Smith was as gracious and level-headed as ever. His interviews always had a certain edge to them that is now gone. In fact, he seems to sound a lot like John Fox with his ‘one game at a time' and ‘we haven't won anything yet' comments. Imagine that!
I realize that by bringing this up on this blog I run the risk of perpetuating the very thing I'm saying other people need to stop talking about. Maybe there is something we can all learn from Steve Smith...nah. I just don't want to see those damn pictures of those two wrestling around like school kids on the ground. That was about $10M bucks trying to knock each others head off. Okay, now I'm perpetuating it.
So is it too much to ask to put this one to bed? Or will be see during the first playoff game? Then we'll see it at the NFC Championship and probably then in the Super Bowl. I mean by now it's blown up into the very reason the Panthers made the SB. Enough already!
While we're at, Jake's elbow is just fine too!!
WR Steve Smith scores against the Bucs in the Panthers 38-23 Victory