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August 04, 2008

Smith makes appearance, greeted by fans

Steve Smith walked out of the Carolina Panthers' locker room at 8:45 a.m. The first people he saw were the ever-present autograph seekers who line the sidewalk that stretches toward the practice fields at Wofford.

"Mr. Smith, how you doing?" asked one to Smith.

"All right," Smith said. "I'll get you after (practice)."

With that, Smith, who has been suspended for two regular-season games for his part in a fight Friday with teammate Ken Lucas, walked to practice with tight end Dante Rosario.

As the team went through stretching excercises, Smith chatted with kicker John Kasay and tight end Jeff King. The practice was routine. Smith worked out with the first team for much of morning. He made one particularly nice catch in the end zone, bringing down what appeared to be an overthrown ball with one hand.

Lucas, in the mean time, talked with coach John Fox early in the practice, watching the drills in black sweat pants, a blue jersey and a Panthers visor pulled snuggly over his eyes. A black eye and slight swelling and bruising were all that appeared to be evident from the broken nose he suffered when Smith punched him on Friday.

At one point, Lucas put an ice pack on his face. He jogged a few times to watch drills and spent time on an excercise bicycle.

-- Among those missing practice Monday morning were Rosario (hamstring), linebacker Adam Seward (abdominal), defensive back Nate Salley (hip) and Damione Lewis (leg). Linebacker Jon Beason "tweaked" his ankle, according Fox and sat out most of the practice.

-- David Scott

Posted by Observer Sports on August 4, 2008 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

Comments

just reading this seems very draining, i have to assume its pretty weighty out there. there was so much momentum and to read this one would think the fight might have been sucked any positive energy this team had goin right out of the whole group.

Posted by: catdawgman | Aug 4, 2008 12:10:17 PM

I'd like to comment on this post but it's too small.

Posted by: JanitorDan | Aug 4, 2008 12:10:33 PM

For those of you who are defending Steve Smith, you should be standing in the sidelines when he returns to practice. That way, he can punch YOU in the MOUTH for something you may have said! Let's see then if you still feel the same way about the situation. After all, "it's Steve Smith" so we "should just get over it."

Posted by: SYRPIS | Aug 4, 2008 12:10:50 PM

That being said, Lucas needs to be applauded for his approach to this insanity. He has the opportunity to cash in and choose another team. Obviously, that's not what he wants. He does want to be a Panther and is obviously willing to sacrafice of himself GREATLY to see this organization make a run for the Superbowl. Without any guarantees to himself of fame and fortune and the end of this season if he plays along and does what he is asked, Ken Lucas has just shown the world what he is really made of.

Ironically, so has Steve Smith.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Aug 4, 2008 12:15:22 PM

While the positive energy does seem to have been dampened alittle bit. These type of things sometimes lead to a better connection and team chemistry. I've gotten in fights with my best freinds over stupid little things involving words, and eventually the scars healed and there's not a week that goes by where i don't touch base with him (he's in Dallas and I'm in Jacksonville). Also, while Smith is out the first two weeks of the season, our players have to play as if he's not on the team. Sometimes not being able to rely and lean on your best player allows other players to step up and become better themselves. Then when Smith returns we could potentially have a stronger team emotionally and phyiscally. It could go either way really.

Posted by: Craig | Aug 4, 2008 12:29:19 PM

Very good point Craig. Believe it or not, I'm actually hoping that happens too. Putting Panthers success this season to the side though, young Smith fans need to realize what's really important here.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Aug 4, 2008 12:50:02 PM

Syrp

I understand that we are all dissapointed w/what Smith did. But when you guys sit on high and cast down judgement it really irks my nerves.
Yes, he made a terrible choice and should and will pay the penalty for it. The end. If Ken can forgive him why can't you? I'll bet if at the end of the season Smith has 2K yds and 27 Td's you'll be on this blog going on about how great he is.
People like you love people like him when he's up but are the first to put your foot on his neck when he's down. I can't stand hypocrasy (sp?).
If he is down to his last chance, then that's where he is. So be it. In the mean time, I'll be pulling and praying that he will be able to recognize his shortcomings and fix them.
Not for the sake of the Panthers but for his and his families sake. So that he can be the best man that he can be in and more importantly out of football. This incident may follow him forever, but I don't believe they will define the man in the end.

Posted by: rawjem | Aug 4, 2008 1:00:05 PM

Actually, rawjerk, I refused to kiss up to the guy and get his autograph a few years ago because of the the thug punk that he is. Only until he showed maturity did I jump on his bandwagon. Now I do regret that dearly, because he obviously is the same person, just like you will be for the rest of your life... speaking of sitting on high judgement.... thought you had me pegged but you were all wrong, but you on the other hand are all too common.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Aug 4, 2008 1:05:14 PM

Must we sink to name calling? How do you feel I am "All too Common"?
Am I to believe that you have never made a mistake that you are greatly sorry for? Have you never done something that made you ashamed of yourself. Have you never repeated a mistake in the spur of the moment, even though you knew better?
Why does he have to be a thug punk?
I'm sure he would describe himself as having been such, at one time, but he says he wants to move on.
Even with all the good he's done, will you never allow him to be more than what he was. He seems to want to be a good man. He has taken steps toward that, although he has recently fallen. He now says he is ready to get up and continue on that journey. Are you willing to support and help him? Or do you think he should just stay in the mud where he placed himself?

If I remember correctly, you posted as to be a Christian. If that's correct, how many times are you prepared to forgive your fellow man?

Posted by: rawjem | Aug 4, 2008 1:52:19 PM

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