The AP reported today that the Carolina Panthers’ mercurial wide receiver, Steve Smith, broke his forearm playing flag football. Smith’s agent said that he’ll recover in time for the season.
DBSF has some advice for Smith—-take the whole season to recover. Grant it, Smith is 31 so his prime years might be dwindling, but with Jake Delhomme leaving for Cleveland**, the Panthers are left with Matt Moore for a starting QB and rookie Jimmy Clausen as a back-up.
This is, of course, the same undrafted Matt Moore, who’s played in 16 games over the last 3 seasons over which he's accumulated 11 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Moore finished strong last season (8 TDs, no pics in his final four games) but he’s basically unproven.
Clausen, a much more heralded QB who fell in the second round in this year’s draft, is coming off of a 28 TD, 4 interception junior year at Notre Dame. But, under Clausen the Irish also dropped their final four games which included losses to quasi-D I teams, like Navy and Connecticut.
Grant it the NFC South, isn’t the NFC East (or even the SEC East) but for a receiver, who doesn’t take well to quarterbacks not being able to get him the ball, Smith might want to consider parlaying the injury until at least mid-season to see if Moore's going to be bounce-passing him twenty yard outs.
(Of course, if Moore struggles and the Panthers turn the reigns over to Clausen mid-season, DBSF would like to see Smith play for totally selfish reasons. It would be entertaining to see Smith yell at the rookie, who by the looks of the one-time SoCal spiked hair-do doesn't strike DBSF as a guy who takes kindly to getting publicly harangued. Best case scenario, it would be like if Terrell Owens in his Eagles' days was playing with Ryan Leaf in his Ryan Leaf days.)
**DBSF recognizes the tragic comedy of Delhomme coming off a year where his QB rating was just shy of 60 going to the perennially inept Cleveland Browns. It's like asking Baron Davis to turn around the LA Clippers.