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June 06, 2008

Smith: Jake stronger than ever

Who better to talk about the recovery of Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme's right arm from Tommy John surgery than wide receiver Steve Smith, his favorite target?

Asked following Thursday's OTA workout if he thought Delhomme's arm was stronger than before, Smith said, "Yeah, I think so. I can tell he worked out real good; you can see the difference in  his body. I'm going to say he looks better.

"It seems like he has a stronger arm; he's not showing any signs of weakness with that major surgery."

Delhomme's arm has looked strong to reporters in the practice session. There's occasionally some rust, but he appears to have the ability to make all the types of the throws an NFL quarterback needs to make.

A little more zip on those passes, Steve?

"Uh, you know, he can't out-throw me; he's never really out-thrown me, so that hasn't changed," Smith said to general laughter.

-- Stan Olson

Posted by Observer Sports on June 6, 2008 at 11:10 AM | Permalink


Man this was such

a great blog entry.

I like it so much I

typed my response in triple

spacing also.

Posted by: bob pearson | Jun 6, 2008 11:28:07 AM

Maybe you should have used 35 font, like you did on your band website. Get off Olson's jock.

As for the actual substance of this post, I'm not surprised. Most pitchers come back throwing harder, as the replacement ligament is usually stronger than the one it replaced.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jun 6, 2008 11:52:50 AM

I'm really pleased to hear about all the progress Delhomme is making...and have it confirmed by the players around him, and not just the coaches who can sometimes cover for a guy in order to avoid giving anything away to the competition. As a fan, it also puts your mind at ease knowing you'll have a good, proven QB going into the season. Not super-great, of course, in terms of statistics...but still quite good compared to the rest of the NFC.

All this talk about Delhomme being stronger and more fit and more rested mentally because of the workouts and time away, gives you hope that he might do something really special this year and pick up right where he left off 3 games into last year. I also think he brings really good leadership to the field. With all the changes this year (on both sides of the ball), I think the team needs it. And given the QB carousel they experienced with Testaverde, Carr, and Moore, it would be nice to see it stabilize upon Delhomme's return.

I also think one of the more telling things that will emerge from Delhomme's successful recovery is the precedent it will set for QBs who suffer similar injuries down the road. He's demonstrating NFL QBs can come back from this surgery in a relatively short amount of time and stay productive. Of course, we won't know how productive until we see him go through the regular season. But, much like Procton described about MLB pitchers who undergo Tommy John surgery, we're now seeing the success level a QB can have from it.

Everyone sort of expected it, too. QBs don't put nearly the same stress on their arms as baseball pitchers do. But still, I think the trainers have done an excellent job with Delhomme in strengthening up everything and keeping him on a slow, steady pace in his recovery. I suspect the track they've used to rehabilitate him will serve as a model for future QB injuries of this type.

Lastly, as for commenting on the blog and the length of posts, I don't really care. It's the middle of OTAs right now and we're about to go into a really dead period of football news between now and training camp. So I'm just happy to see an occasional couple of paragraphs and a few articles in the paper on the Panthers from time to time. The Panthers are the best thing going for sports in Charlotte. Period.

Just my two-cents,

Posted by: NSpicer | Jun 6, 2008 12:45:21 PM

Well said !

Posted by: greenstreet | Jun 6, 2008 1:05:03 PM

Well said !

Posted by: greenstreet | Jun 6, 2008 1:05:29 PM

Haha, I love Steve Smith's attitude. He is by far my favorite Panther. He works hard and never takes a play off, even when we're getting beat. He's matured so much since entering the league and has gone from being a hot headed jerk to a real role model. He loves the game of football and has just the right amount of cockiness and faith in his abilities. Just get him the ball, and good things will happen. He can carry our team back to the Super Bowl, with the help of the new and improved Jake of course.

Posted by: Christian | Jun 6, 2008 1:07:41 PM

Christian, I have never heard of a Reciever taking a team to the superbowl and if there is one then correct me. But I always thought the QB brought the team to the super bowl "with the help of the reciever Steve Smith" not the help of a QB. Just saying that thats probably one of the most stupid comments I've ever heard, sorry but it just makes no sense.

Posted by: Cameron | Jun 6, 2008 1:45:26 PM

"...he appears to have the ability to make all the types of the throws an NFL quarterback needs to make."

I am assuming a 40 - 50 yard rope is NOT a pass that an NFL QB needs to make then. Brady, Favre, and Peyton, they don't need to make those..they just thrown them for fun..

Posted by: Scott | Jun 6, 2008 1:47:02 PM

Christian.....Try the 2005 Super Bowl (see Terrell Owens).

Posted by: rhackney | Jun 6, 2008 2:13:00 PM

I would say a 40 - 50 yard rope isn't a pass an NFL QB NEEDS to make. It's one that every fan probably WANTS them to make. And it's obviously great when they can. The Hall-of-Fame QBs that you've listed can do so, of course. But that's what makes them special.

Does that mean everyone throwing the ball in the NFL NEEDS to do that? No. And especially not in a West Coast style offense. A lot of it depends on the system anyway. For Jake and the style of offense the Panthers run, it isn't necessary. Doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice if his newfound arm strength after the surgery gives him that ability now.

Another two-cents,

Posted by: NSpicer | Jun 6, 2008 2:15:46 PM

The Eagles went to alot of Super Bowls without him.....

Posted by: rhackney | Jun 6, 2008 2:18:04 PM

I believe that no single player (WR, QB, or otherwise) takes a team to the Super Bowl. It's the team that gets there. And they do it together. Individuals can certainly achieve great things, and their teams count on them to do so. But a truly effective WR is nothing without a QB who can't get him the ball. A productive QB-to-WR combination also opens up the running game. And RBs with their O-line support open up the passing game. That O-line protection is also what gives the QB enough time to throw a pass and a receiver enough time to get open down the field. So it all has to work together.

That's just on the offensive side of the ball. Everyone also knows a good defense is needed to survive the playoffs and reach the Super Bowl. It's very rare that teams with nothing but a high-powered offense gets there without a decent defense helping them along the way. And they're all executing the game plan to defeat an opponent. It isn't one guy, no matter how many plays he makes because of his individual talent.

So, I wish people would set aside the individual accolades that get heaped on NFL stars a lot of the time. From the fan's perspective, it might seem like a single player carried a team the distance. But I think the more important lesson is to observe how the players defer much of that praise to their teammates. Because they know the truth. Without everyone else doing a good job on the field, they'd never have succeeded on their individual talent alone. That's the underpinning of this whole sport. And I think it's what makes the NFL so much more compelling than just about anything else out there.

Just my two-cents,

Posted by: NSpicer | Jun 6, 2008 2:26:29 PM

Actually, the Eagles never made a Super Bowl without Terrell Owens. They lost three consecutive NFC championship games before they acquired him in 2004. And some would make the case that he provided the final lift to get them to the Super Bowl. Of course, they lost to the Patriots.

Posted by: NSpicer | Jun 6, 2008 2:34:10 PM

I really don't understand why every post following this blog isn't something along the lines of "Hooray!" Hearing the same good news about Jake's arm from a different perspective should make any Panther fan happy. Instead, some of you will always find something negative. "He still can't do this," "This blog sucks," "Smitty is a better QB than Jake," or whatever BS some of you guys come up with. I've got a novel idea, how about supporting any good news that you hear about the Panthers and be happy you get anything this time of year? Maybe some of you were thriving on the team's struggles last year. Maybe you'd be better off as a Dolphins fan too then, they'll make you happy.

Posted by: James | Jun 6, 2008 2:53:33 PM

Well said James.Some people will find anything to complain about.They'll be the same people cheering us along when were winning this year.

Posted by: bryant80 | Jun 6, 2008 3:13:18 PM

Tell me about it James and Bryant, all I tried to do was give some praise to one of our best players and somehow it launched into one big slam fest.

Some of you guys, namely Cameron, need to lighten up. I don't know if you feel like you have to prove your football knowledge by knit-picking others' posts and then hurling insults at them despite the fact that they're fellow Panthers fans and trying to support praise their team, but give it a rest. Why don't you try coming up with original posts of your own or, if you feel you need to argue, try doing it in the form of a debate over a meaningful topic?

Cameron: Honestly? That was one of the stupidest comments you've ever heard? First of all you read comments, not hear them. Secondly you must not read very many comments if you think praising Steve Smith's play was the stupidest of them all. And if you were solely trying to knit-pick my last sentence, then perhaps you should learn about the phrase "tongue in cheek." Do you honestly think I believe that Steve Smith and him alone will get us into the Super Bowl? Of course not. I know it's a team game, and believe it or not, even quarterbacks need a receiver who can get open and catch those passes. So why don't you give it a rest and lighten up next time. If you're sole purpose on these threads is to argue over a little bit of hyperbole then you have absolutely nothing to contribute at all.

Posted by: Christian | Jun 6, 2008 4:14:42 PM

GET 'EM JAKE!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Xavier | Jun 6, 2008 4:38:18 PM

Hackney...Terrel Owens? Um....he didn't even play in the entire playoffs before the super bowl. Try again

Posted by: Wes | Jun 6, 2008 5:11:49 PM

well said chistian i was about to post something like that.

Posted by: cboss | Jun 6, 2008 5:15:23 PM

Fans! I love it!

Posted by: James | Jun 6, 2008 5:32:38 PM


You summed it up(complaining about these little tidbits of info) brilliantly, and much more diplomatically than I ever can. Thanks!!

Posted by: SYRPIS | Jun 6, 2008 9:34:49 PM

As for being hooray..I suppose I am in the minority here, but I want the Panthers to be a team, a franchise, that doesn't base a successful season as 9-7 and a wild card birth to the playoffs. I hope Jake doesn't fumble, throw interceptions, and that the team never finds itself down by 6 with 3 seconds left and the ball on the opposing team's 40, because that is one hail-Mary that aint happening..might as well take a knee.

Every season, I would like the Panther's to be Super Bowl contenders. The best teams in the league have become prolific scoring teams now. If the Panthers are going to go out and kick field goals and score 14 or 17 points a game - which is pretty much John Fox/Jake Delhomme football -- then the defense is going to have to be STELLAR.

Posted by: Scott | Jun 7, 2008 6:25:59 AM

"Actually, the Eagles never made a Super Bowl without Terrell Owens. They lost three consecutive NFC championship games before they acquired him in 2004. And some would make the case that he provided the final lift to get them to the Super Bowl. Of course, they lost to the Patriots."

This is false. The eagles made it to the superbowl in 1980. TO was 7 years old then.

Posted by: injuredpatella | Jun 7, 2008 7:46:40 AM

"The Eagles had the far and away best team in the NFC and proved that right from the start. Possessing a high-powered offense which featured McNabb and Owens they steamrolled opponents on the way to a 13-1 start to the season. After resting starters for the final two games, the 13-3 Eagles soared past the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs, earning a trip to Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville against the defending champion New England Patriots. The game was hard fought, but the Eagles fell 24-21, ending their magical season one score short of the ultimate goal."

Your right Wes....I guess T.O. had nothing to do with the Iggles having the best record in the NFC that year and Home field advantage throughout.

Posted by: rhackney | Jun 7, 2008 11:55:57 AM

On a related note to my earlier comment...

Why can't we ever get a half dozen reports on stories like this one....


...This is the kind of stuff I would love to see as the top article on every website as front-page news... not whether or not Jason Taylor is going to play for Parcells or play somewhere else to further his Hollywood career. Give me a break...

Posted by: SYRPIS | Jun 7, 2008 12:02:53 PM

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