Just read this little bit this morning from SI's Fan Nation Truth and Rumors and was taken a little bit aback:
In a segment from the Week One game between Philadelphia and Carolina, during which Panthers receiver Steve Smith was wearing a microphone, a bizarre exchange unfolded between Smith and quarterback Jake Delhomme, who coughed up five turnovers in a 38-10 drubbing. Delhomme, whose confidence clearly is shattered, apologizes to Smith while the duo are sitting on the bench. Says Smith: "I never really liked you as a quarterback. But as a person . . . I love you as a person."
Very interesting. I wonder if there is any context to this and also wonder if this was being recorder by NFL films. Was Smitty trying to motivate Jake? Was he giving a little bit of tough love? Is that Smitty's back handed way of making Jake feel better? Thoughts on this guys? Without turning this into a total bash Jake-fest...
Update by Jaxon: Darin Gantt feels he was kidding:
For one thing, he also made a crack about Jake's looks immediately before, and is clearly trying to relieve some of the tension that was hanging over the team like a fog.
There's also the simple fact that busting chops is part of the institutional modus operandi for dealing with stress.
But does Smith really like Delhomme as a quarterback? Probably not completely.
Gantt offers a nice analysis:
So if the question is, does Smith hate working with Delhomme because of all the picks, I guess my answer would be "No more than before."
They get along, in part, because they're of like mind. They're both fighters, and that translates whether you're from South Central L.A. or south central La.
But the bottom line on their relationship remains, Smith's probably not going to be happy with any quarterback, so I don't know that this is necessarily evidence of any greater problem.
So Smith was probably kidding in this case but if he is losing faith in Delhomme no one would blame at this point. Let's hope this doesn't manifest itself any further.