Was Smith right or wrong?

Yes, he had every right to lay into Newton
49
98%
No, he was out of line and should have let the coaches handle it
1
2%
 
Total votes : 50
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers receiver Steve Smith says he" lit into" Cam Newton about his actions on the sideline when the young quarterback was replaced late in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's 36-7 blowout loss to the New York Giants.

Smith said he was upset when Newton sat sulking on the bench instead of getting up to watch backup Derek Anderson and trying to learn from his own mistakes.

As a team captain and the elder statesman of the team, Smith felt something needed to be said to the 23-year old Newton about the importance of remaining positive and better handling adversity.

"I don't want to be passive and not do it because if I don't do it, who will?" Smith said. "The same way with my son, I can't expect somebody else (to do that). So yeah, I lit into him because I thought it was an opportunity for him to see and understand what was going on. This is more than about playing football. It's about becoming a man and understanding what this is."

Newton declined comment through the team's public relations staff. The team said he isn't speaking until next Wednesday.

Players have the weekend off.

Coach Ron Rivera lifted Newton in the fourth quarter against the Giants after his third interception with Carolina trailing by 26 points. Rivera said he took out Newton because the game was out of hand.

After Newton was replaced by Anderson, Smith spoke to Newton on the bench because he felt he was sulking over the impending loss.

"I said, `Get up and learn from this,'" Smith said. "I watched DA (Anderson) and Jimmy (Clausen) observe from the sidelines the last 20-something games and try to get mental reps. This is an opportunity for you to get some mental reps. Don't just sit on the bench and sulk. I know you feel bad, but that isn't going to help us."

It's the second straight year teammates have questioned Newton's demeanor on the sideline.

Last year offensive linemen Ryan Kalil and Jordan Gross both spoke to Newton in private about the importance of not getting down during a game.

It's about not missing an opportunity to give him some advice that maybe I didn't listen to (when I was young) or maybe nobody told me," said the 32-year-old Smith.

Smith said former Panthers wide receiver Ricky Proehl "did it to me a few times and maybe he was more subtle than I was. But you know what, if I sit back and say, `Oh look at Cam over there sulking,' or `look at this, or look at that' that's not going to do anything. I told him this is an opportunity for you to learn from this."

Rivera said he'll probably have a talk with Newton but wouldn't discuss what the conversation will be about.

Rivera knows Newton is an emotional player and said there's a "fine line" to walk between maintaining his burning desire to win and keeping his emotions in check.

"You look at things like, well, if something positive happens do you want to hide the emotions? And if something negative happens do we want to hide the emotions?" Rivera said.

Gross, a longtime teammate of Smith's at Utah and with the Panthers, said he doesn't have a problem with Newton's demeanor. And he didn't think anything needed to be said about Newton outside of the locker room.

"Cam wears his heart on his sleeve and you know how he's feeling based on his actions," Gross said. "He wants to win as much as anybody, and when we don't he takes it to heart. I would like any of my teammates, if they're upset about things, to talk it out with us in the locker room, and know that we're all in it together."

Smith knows he might take some criticism for calling out Newton, but doesn't care. Smith said he hopes the lesson will pay off for Newton down the road when he's retired and the quarterback is setting NFL records.

"If this is something wrong for saying that, well, I'd rather be wrong and one day during his long career he goes, `Ah, I hated to hear that, but maybe that's what Smitty was talking about,'" Smith said.
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I would say that Smith is right in calling Cam out, but wrong in discussing it with the media. It's every persons job on a team to help elevate themselves and others. I don't know Cam well enough to know how effective or ineffective Smiths approach would be. Things like this should be kept in house. A real leader doesn't need to brag in public about their influence.

I'm not sure how this option falls in your spectrum though. I'm leaning toward he was right to do it though.

edit: Did Elmagister and I just agree on something? :Drink)
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bradburyesqu wrote:I would say that Smith is right in calling Cam out, but wrong in discussing it with the media. It's every persons job on a team to help elevate themselves and others. I don't know Cam well enough to know how effective or ineffective Smiths approach would be. Things like this should be kept in house. A real leader doesn't need to brag in public about their influence.

I'm not sure how this option falls in your spectrum though. I'm leaning toward he was right to do it though.

edit: Did Elmagister and I just agree on something? :Drink)


I hadn't even thought about the media aspect of the whole thing. I was only focused on the team aspect. Excellent point!!
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This isn't something that happened on a personal level where his peers pulled him to the side and gave advice. This is something broadcasted around the world for the 2nd year now, that we've seen it. If you've been watching football in the last 12 months, you've heard and maybe seen Cam doing his emotional "pouting". Therefore given the level of national attention, I think it's just fine to be public about it. In a way, it's also about assuring the fan-base and media that such things will not go intolerated on both a professional and personal level. Because after all, Cam IS their franchise...as far as marketing is concerned. And any tarnished product needs to be remedied; even if on a perception-only level. And Steve Smith was being "that" guy. Few are ever in such a position to mediate on that level, and luckily he is for that team.
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The game is over at the end of the 4th quarter and coverages/defensive players/etc... is different. The game was over and basically all your watching at that point is a team playing pass defense waiting for you to run the so it kills the clock. Don't see the need to call Cam out, he is in his second year and look at what he has to work with.

Steve Smith is a decent offensive option but that is about it. The Panthers don't make good enough use of Olson often enough, what a waste of talent. Lafell is an ok player and running backs just want too much production. That being said, I don't think the Panthers win games running the ball unless Newton is taking 40 and 50 yard strides.
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bradburyesqu wrote:I would say that Smith is right in calling Cam out, but wrong in discussing it with the media. It's every persons job on a team to help elevate themselves and others. I don't know Cam well enough to know how effective or ineffective Smiths approach would be. Things like this should be kept in house. A real leader doesn't need to brag in public about their influence.

I'm not sure how this option falls in your spectrum though. I'm leaning toward he was right to do it though.

edit: Did Elmagister and I just agree on something? :Drink)

Maybe he announced it to the media because he was laying into Cam on the sidelines and didn't want rumors to begin? I didn't finish watching the game but did turn it back on towards the end and they showed Cam pouting with a towel on his head. Or maybe Smith was showing that not only can he knock out the DBs on his team he can mentor his QB too.
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Or maybe Smith was showing that not only can he knock out the DBs on his team he can mentor his QB too.


see, they cant have it both ways, so thats a slight problem
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I equate this to disciplining an employee. If you call someone out in front of their peers or customers you might intimidate them with embarrassment but you also lose respect. Long term it's a poor way to get results and causes more problems that it solves. I get in with the instant access culture people feel less private about their own lives, but when you hang others out to dry it makes you seem untrustworthy. Cam deserved to get talked to, by his coaches, by his team mates and by anyone else who cares about the kids success. I just don't think those corrections need to be played out publicly.

Maybe I am a dinosaur.
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I don't think there's anything wrong with being upset that you got pulled from a game that your team is about to lose. What does standing on the sideline and watching a qb with a completely different style do for Newton. Let the kid sulk, id be more worried if he was standing with a smile on his face. Losing sucks, you should be upset wheb you lose and there's nothing wrong with letting that show in that manner.
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Eh whatever... Hey Crocks what's up I haven't seem you around as much lately. I figured this was your thread as soon as I read the title.

I applaud Smith for giving Cam a pep talk =D>
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I was at the game last night. Wouldn't take too much direction from Smith. Spent most of the game jawing at the G-Men's sidelines.
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mightyCOW wrote:I was at the game last night. Wouldn't take too much direction from Smith. Spent most of the game jawing at the G-Men's sidelines.

Smith is probably the only guy on the team who Cam will listen to. If the coaches aren't going to tell him something then somebody has too...Cam better Man up and listen because Smith will put hands on him fast.
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Agreed, however he is not exactly the guide you want to have mentoring young teammates.
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