Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith took responsibility for his own drops, but had plenty of blame to spread around.
Smith said Monday that the Caridnals’ coverage moved from physical to “molesting,” and took shots at umpire Dan Ferrell, calling him “garbage.”
“I got a [pass interference] penalty, which is very interesting. I got leg-humped and hugged a few times,” Smith said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “Being a pretty good flag football player, I think I got my flag pulled on my jersey a few times. . . .
“I was told by the referee — whatever judge he was, No. 64. He told me on my route [that] I felt like I got held, where [Patrick Peterson] had the back of my jersey and used that to slingshot his way through and bat the ball down. He said he grabbed my jersey, he saw it, but he didn’t think it was enough that changed the course of the route.
“I’ve only been playing football for a little bit, just picked it up. So I said OK. I really believe years past I would’ve went off. But that’s what he felt and that’s what he said and he repeatedly explained it to me.”
Smith, who has enough self-awareness to make a joke about the time he broke his arm playing flag football in the offseason, knows full well that his comments might not sit well with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“To be honest, I make enough money where if Roger wants to fine me he can,” Smith said. “But I really think that referee probably was the sorriest referee that I have ever met.
“When I dove for the first down [and] he was standing right there, he didn’t even acknowledge — he received a check that day and I hope he feels good. He was terrible. He was garbage.”
Of course, the same could be said of the game Ferrell was calling, which Smith had a hand and a leg in as well.