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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Kris Versteeg

Jimmy Clausen failed to develop good chemistry with Steve Smith, and it was one of the reasons why he was horrible last year. He got on Smith's nerves by showing hubris during training camp, and that carried over into the regular season. He didn't give the ball to his star, and he threw it far too often to Dante Rosario.

While I have been critical of Cam Newton, I commend him profusely for a move that he recently made. It may seem like a small gesture, but what Newton did may help out this offense more than you would think. He has made it clear that he wants Steve Smith to stick around in Carolina and not leave, and he also tipped his cap and said that Smith is a great receiver. This is exactly the opposite of what Clausen did last year, and I think this move will work out for Newton if Smith indeed does stay. Smith, however, wants to play on a winning team as his storied career winds down to a close. He won the Triple Crown of Receiving and is the best player in Panthers' history.

“I’ve grown maybe a little bit of maturity. So what I’m going to do is keep saying it: It’s between me and my family,” Smith said. “And when we decide what we’re going to do, whether people like it or not, as long as my family is happy, I hope they would understand.”

Steve Smith is one of my favorite players in the NFL, and it makes me mad when people talk crap about him. He has always contemplated retirement because of his family. He doesn't want to sustain an injury that will force his family to pay for the expenses. He also wants to spend time with the people he cares the most about.

“Obviously, skills are diminishing, losing a step. So we’ll see,” Smith said, mocking critics. “We’ll see how many 24-year-olds can cover a 32-year-old, 4.3 runner, wide receiver who wasn’t supposed to be here anyway.”

One of the main reasons why the star receiver contemplated retirement was because his wife may of had lupus. She didn't, and the person Smith cares about the most didn't have a dangerous disease.

“Retiring at that time was one of the things that we were thinking about, because I needed to be home with my wife,” Smith said. “I needed to make sure I didn’t let her down.”

Smith also praised the rookie quarterback. I personally think that character concerns about Newton are overblown now that I have seen his actions in the NFL. He's been nothing but a leader so far, and his work ethic is incredible. Newton has incredible athleticism, but I'm still worried about him busting. The Panthers did a very thorough check up on him, so I am optimistic about Newton's future. Marty Hurney is the last guy in the league to make a rash decision. If Smith says he's good, then he's probably good. Smith doesn't usually dole out praise on young QBs unless if they really are that good.

“His athleticism speaks for itself,” Smith said. “You can see an athlete walk in the door. He doesn’t have to wear a sign or a jersey. You can tell if a guy can play or if he can’t.”
Wants Smith to stay

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