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Is it time for us to admit that Smitty is done?


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#1 LinvilleGorge

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 04:39 AM

First of all, I don't mean this to turn into a Smitty bashing thread.  He's the best offensive football player this franchise has ever had and I still think he has an outside shot at a HOF bid.  But, let's just look at the facts...

 

Smitty is 5'9" and much of his game is built around his speed and explosiveness.  Those are the first things to go with age and I think we can all agree that we've finally seen the signs that old Father Time is finally catching Smitty.  Time is not friendly to short WRs and Smitty has been shucking and jiving Father Time longer than almost all the rest.  More concerning to me are the drops.  Smitty has always had the occasional drop as many WRs who are dangerous after the catch do.  Those types of guys are always thinking about what they're going to do after the catch and that causes them to simply look past the catching part on occasion.  But, I think Smitty is simply letting his declining physical skills mess with his head.  He's still trying to be that dynamic guy and he's trying to overcompensate.  I wish he'd simply focus on catching the football and take the YAC opportunities when they come.  Speaking of YAC, the old Smitty smoke screen should be put out to pasture.  He simply no longer has the explosiveness to turn those into 10+ yard plays.  We're lucky to get a couple of yards out of that play these days. 

 

I think Smitty can still be a valuable player for us, but I do think we need to change the way we use him and he needs to change his approach to the game.  Smitty can no longer be our game breaker.  He no longer has the speed to blow the top off of the defense.  I think this is directly tied to our lack of big plays.  During Cam's career the Panthers have been known for big plays.  Steve Smith was a big part of that - both directly and indirectly.  When you look at our passing game numbers, I think our lower numbers all point directly back to Steve Smith no longer being a legit #1 WR.  Our WR corps is built to revolve around a true #1.  We've always relied on Steve Smith to carry the brunt of the load.  Now that he doesn't have game breaking speeds and other teams know that, we're simply getting less big play opportunities.  He's also no longer a huge threat after the catch unless we can get him the ball in space.  He's not that guy who's going to make multiple people miss and who can run through tackles.  We still see occasional glimpses (just ask Janoris Jenkins), but they're few and far between.

 

I love Smitty to death, but he's done as our #1.  It's simply time for us to accept that.  I don't blame him for his decline.  He's 34 years old and we should've seen it coming, especially with the type of WR that he is.  It'll be interesting to see what Gettleman does in the offseason with this WR corps because it needs an overhaul.  Part of that overhaul may be revisiting Smitty's contract.  His production and impact are no longer in line with his contract.  To be honest, I'm not sure that we're not watching his swan song.  He doesn't strike me as a guy who will be willing to hang around as just a guy.  I know he's been talking about wanting the Panthers to acquire some WRs to take the burden off of him, but I just don't think Smitty has it in him to be a 600-700 yard WR.  It's just not in his nature.  If he can't be a true difference maker, I think he'll hang up the cleats.

 

I'll put my flame suit on, but before you go to raving like a madman, understand that Smitty is on pace to barely surpass 700 receiving yards this season.  His last season worse than that was an injury shortened season with Jimmy Clausen as his QB



#2 jasonluckydog

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 04:50 AM



I totally disagree with your statement in section 2, paragraph 3, lines 8 through 10.

#3 SauceBoss

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 05:03 AM

9/10 would recommend.



#4 ed bell

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 05:54 AM

It's a transition he and the team are going through, IMO. Teams still place defensive attention on him as a dangerous #1, and that is what is starting to show his decline. The silver lining will begin to be seen when others can consistently benefit from this to the point where teams begin to think twice about keeping that attention on Smitty. I think LaFell and Olsen are starting to do just that. So we'll see a game very soon where Smitty will take advantage of teams sleeping on him and hopefully it's something Shula can begin to harness. I don't think anyone from teammates all the way up to JR think that he was going to be the dominant #1 forever, they just wanted to let him try as long as he is willing to do the work.

#5 Boner Champ

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 05:57 AM

TL;DR....sorry but you wrote a book and my attn span is too short on a Monday after blowing out our division rival.

Smitty isn't done. He just doesn't have the same tools he once had to be a #1 WR. It's the FO fault for the way he is playing. We should have a younger, taller, physical threat as Cams goto guy (see Dalton's AJ Green or Staffords Megatron, hell even Blain Gabbart had Blackmon).

If #89 had a different role, like a slot receiver or #2, his production would be much better.

#6 DirtyMagic97

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 05:58 AM

You ask if he's done and then go on to say he can still be a valuable player for us. I think you answered your own question.



#7 Urrymonster

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:09 AM

Smithy is amongst the top receivers for the amount of forced missed tackles. He is in the top 15 in the league in catch to drop ratio. He only has been targeted 9 times this season with throws over 20 yards, which is less than ginn. Perhaps you are over reacting and it's just that his opportunities have decreased as we have some viable receivers on the team now...

#8 Panthro

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:25 AM

Don't care. .. we are winning

#9 KSpan

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:32 AM

The team's receiving numbers indicate that this year's offense is not centered around Smitty like it was in the past. While the team needs to build for the future at the WR position (been that way for years now), the scheme seems to be accounting for his natural decline.

#10 bonafidebanter

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:32 AM

TL;DR....sorry but you wrote a book and my attn span is too short on a Monday after blowing out our division rival.

Smitty isn't done. He just doesn't have the same tools he once had to be a #1 WR. It's the FO fault for the way he is playing. We should have a younger, taller, physical threat as Cams goto guy (see Dalton's AJ Green or Staffords Megatron, hell even Blain Gabbart had Blackmon).

If #89 had a different role, like a slot receiver or #2, his production would be much better.

 

Steve Smith said that he's wanted to go to the slot for the last 3 years. I totally agree and thinks he'd be a more productive receiver in the the slot.



#11 NCstoner420

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:11 AM

TL;DR....sorry but you wrote a book and my attn span is too short on a Monday after blowing out our division rival.

Smitty isn't done. He just doesn't have the same tools he once had to be a #1 WR. It's the FO fault for the way he is playing. We should have a younger, taller, physical threat as Cams goto guy (see Dalton's AJ Green or Staffords Megatron, hell even Blain Gabbart had Blackmon).

If #89 had a different role, like a slot receiver or #2, his production would be much better.


We haven't been in the right situation to draft a Green or Blackmon. I wouldn't change the direction we've drafted the past two years in the first round so where would we have drafted a first round talent?

#12 chknwing

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:13 AM

Smitty is done when Smitty says hes done.



#13 panthers55

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:44 AM

Truth is Cam missed Smitty 2 or 3 times when he was wide open. He hits those passes, Smitty would have close to 100 yards and everyone would be discussing how great he still is.



#14 PantherPhann89

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:44 AM

Steve Smith is the best WR on the team and will remain the #1 WR on the team until we sign a WR that is better and even then he can still ball. 89 is Still in the building.

#15 CPcavedweller

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:49 AM

Drank too much man and went on a rant. Put the gun down, and step away.


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