Some of you believe that Panthers receiver Steve Smith was joking when he told quarterback Jake Delhomme during Sunday’s game, “I never really liked you as a quarterback. But as a person . . . I love you as a person.”
And we realize that there’s a good chance that Smith was joking. Or that it was a serious statement couched as a joke.
Or maybe Smith was dead serious.
That’s why we posted the link to the video, so folks could watch it and come to their own conclusions.
Our conclusion? We don’t know whether Smith was joking, but it was a bizarre thing to say. And that’s what we said last night.
It becomes even more bizarre in light of the fact that Delhomme was in a fragile mental state during his Sunday meltdown against the Eagles.
Per Steve Reed of the Gaston Gazette, Delhomme believes after watching film of the game that he was too down on himself, and he vows to change.
“You can’t let a negative thought or what not creep into your mind, like, ‘Oh gosh, something bad’s going to happen,’ because if you think that, something will happen,” Delhomme said Wednesday. “That’s just the game. The game’s a roller coaster, up and down. If you do something good, hey, all right, got to move on.
“To say I did that great on Sunday, probably not. I think I let things hang with me and that wasn’t me. They didn’t hang with me in the playoff game, I know that. I think Sunday I kind of let it get to me a little bit, and that was something that was very different for me. I think you are always looking at yourself and thinking what can I do better? . . . . You can’t worry about making a mistake. You’ve just got to go out and play. That’s something I’ve always been able to do, and I didn’t do it well on Sunday. How do you fix it? Well, it will be fixed, I promise you. It will be fixed. I’ll be back to me.”
Time will tell whether Delhomme can get it back, or whether the guy who had Tommy John surgery now has Steve Blass Disease.
Regardless, it won’t get any easier in the short term. This week, the Panthers travel to Atlanta. Then, it’s off to the North Texas Football Cathedral.