Steve Smith, Panthers – Is it too early to hail Matt Moore as the answer in Carolina? Sure, but his 104.9 QB passer rating in five starts last season suggests at the very least that he's not an unmitigated disaster under center. And that's all that matters when it comes to Smith.
From 2005-2008 Smith posted an incredible per-game average of 5.87 receptions, 93.65 yards, and 0.65 touchdowns with the pre-meltdown version of Jake Delhomme. Over that time period, his production only slipped in the 11 games started by the putrid troika of Chirs Weinke, David Carr, and the 44-year-old, off-the-couch version of Vinny Testaverde. In those 11 games, Smith plummeted to 4.8 receptions, 49.1 yards, and 0.18 touchdowns per game.
Our hero's production suffered again in 2009 with the fork-in-back version of Delhomme, limiting Smith to 4.18 receptions, 54.9, and 0.36 touchdowns. Now that looks a lot like the earlier damage done by the law firm of Weinke, Carr and Testaverde. But let's get down to the nitty-gritty. What are Smith's per-game averages in the seven starts he shared with a raw Matt Moore in 2007 and 2009? The line is almost identical to his 2005-2008 numbers: 5.86 receptions, 90.7 yards, and 0.57 touchdowns.
Though small sample size is an obvious caveat, Smith has consistently produced close to six receptions, 90-95 yards, and 0.6-0.75 touchdowns when he receives the bare minimum of competence from his quarterback. The early returns suggest Moore meets the bare minimum requirement.
see the rest of his offseason buys here and here
Edited by Dpantherman, 15 March 2010 - 04:18 PM.