Smith said Newton should have watched backup quarterback Derek Anderson instead of sulking on the bench after coach Ron Rivera took him out of the game in the fourth quarter. Newton had thrown his third interception as the Panthers trailed by 26 points, and Rivera felt the game had gotten out of control.
As the team captain, Smith said he felt the need to instill the importance of being positivity and learning to deal with adversity into the 23-year-old QB. Smith said:
“I don’t want to be passive and not do it because if I don’t do it, who will? 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.”
Smith also told Newton to watch Anderson so he could “get some mental reps.” The 33-year-old told the young quarterback, “I know you feel bad, but that isn’t going to help us.”
Cam Newton declined to comment through the Panther’s PR staff. The team said he wouldn’t be speaking until next Wednesday.
Smith has also said the team needs to get rid of the plays from Thursday’s loss. He said:
“Everything that we did tonight, we need to go ahead and get a trash can – a good, tin one – and burn those plays and never go back to them. Because it was shameful for the fans. It was just flat-out terrible. We just got our tails whipped from the beginning to the end in every aspect. It was pretty disgusting.”
What do you think of Steve Smith’s comments, and his reaction to Cam Newton’s performance?