Steve Smith Fantasy News
Monday, July 28, 2014, 1:29pm
Losing Kelvin Benjamin would be a potential disaster for the Panthers.
So the fact they’re not freaking out about his “precautionary MRI” is probably a good sign.
Benjamin was sent back to Charlotte for tests after banging knees with a teammate Sunday afternoon. He finished practice and signed autographs afterward, so there was no early sign of panic.
“It could just be one of those things where if he had iced it right away and not finished [Sunday’s] practice, maybe it would have been better,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said, via Black and Blue Review.
The result of the MRI is just a bruise. Benjamin is expected to play a pretty big role in the Panthers offense after losing both Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell in the offseason. Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery are next in line in terms of WRs. It will be important for Benjamin to get back and continue to get his reps.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 10:22am
The Panthers added a bunch of guys to their receiving corps this offseason, pinning much of the hope on first-rounder Kelvin Benjamin.
Now, they have to hope he’s well.
The Panthers announced this morning that Benjamin was “getting a precautionary MRI” after banging knees with a teammate in practice yesterday.
Benjamin wasn’t going to replace veteran Steve Smith immediately, but if he’s out any amount of time, they could be in real trouble throwing the ball. It's also key Benjamin gets his reps in practice. They’ll go two-tight end more (or maybe three), their next-best options at wide receiver are Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 1:44pm
Jerricho Cotchery doesn't mind being "the old guy" on the Panthers wide receiver corps — just as long as he's the productive old guy. The 32-year-old Cotchery realizes the team's younger wide receivers are looking to him for experience and occasional words of wisdom given his 10 seasons in the NFL. Cotchery is good with all of that, but said his primary concern right now is proving to his new team he can play at an elite level. "I want to be known as a guy who can help individuals — not just on the field, but off the field as well," Cotchery said. "That's fine with me. But that doesn't get you anywhere in the NFL. Teams don't bring you in to be counselors or anything of that nature. They want you to come in and contribute and make plays and help the team win." Cotchery was brought in as an unrestricted free agent to replace Steve Smith, Carolina's all-time leading receiver and a fan favorite.
Cotchery is coming off a year where he quietly caught 10 TD passes for the Steelers, but he's only ever had one 1,000-plus yard season. That came back in 2007 with the Jets. He's likely not getting drafted in a lot of leagues but he could end up being a free agent pickup if in fact he does end up starting for the Panthers.
Sunday, July 6, 2014, 12:32pm
Torrey Smith, a second-round pick in 2011, enters the final year of his rookie contract with no current indication that the Ravens are prepared to extend his deal. In his third season, Smith cracked the 1,000-yard barrier for the first time, generating 1,128 yards on a career-high 65 catches. That puts Smith at No. 17 among all pass-catchers, and it creates a potential conundrum regarding his worth. On one hand, Smith had a great year given the lack of complementary weapons. On the other hand, a high-end wideout should have had even better numbers, especially without players like Anquan Boldin (who was traded in the 2013 offseason) and tight end Dennis Pitta (who missed most of the year with a dislocated hip) not siphoning off throws.
This year Smith will battle with Pitta, newly signed WR Steve Smith, newly signed TE Owen Daniels and even WR Jacoby Jones for catches. We rank Torrey Smith 26th among WRs with an ADP of the 7th round. We think he'll break the 1,100-yard receiving mark, however, his projected 4.4 TDs is second lowest to only Kendall Wright among our top-30 WRs.
The Panthers' receiving corps is aware of its perceived standing in the league. “The elephant in the room has already been stated,” Cam Newton said, via the Charlotte Observer. “Those guys have already accepted the challenge. You don’t have to go in there and tell those guys, ‘Hey, you’re projected the sorriest receiver [group] in the NFL.’ We already know. But with that, those guys already have that fire in their eyes. I would rather those guys be like that and for them to go out there and bust their tails like they’ve been doing. It’s kind of like a slap in–not only their face–but my face as well. The things that have been said, the reports, who cares? Because at the end of the day, we will be ready to play football, and Carolina Panthers football. Hard-nosed, and everybody’s going to have to do their job.” While Steve Smith has long been held in high regard, Newton points out that there were questions about Carolina’s overall receiving corps heading into last season as well. Things went well enough for Newton to throw 24 touchdowns and the Panthers won the NFC South, so his confidence that everything will come together doesn’t come totally out of left field.
We're projecting Jerricho Cotchery and Kelvin Benjamin to start, with Tiquan Underwood playing the Ted Ginn role in the offense and Jason Avant manning the slot. That's not pretty, but if Benjamin can progress, then the team won't be that far behind where they were last season. Cotchery is a sleeper given the circumstances.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 11:14am
Marlon Brown was the best rookie on offense last season, making 49 receptions and catching seven touchdown passes. He won't have to start after the Ravens signed Steve Smith in free agency. But Brown will still play a major role as the No. 3 wide receiver.
Brown had a nice rookie season (49-524-7 in 14 games) and would be a 2014 breakout candidate if not for the arrival of Steve L Smith, who is likely to start ahead of Brown.
Panthers beat writer David Newton predicts eight TDs for rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin: "If Kelvin Benjamin doesn't score more than four touchdowns, I would be surprised. One of the reasons the Panthers drafted Benjamin was because at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds he is a huge target in the red zone. From what I've seen so far there will be little hesitation to throw it up high and let him go get it. I'll go one step further. I wouldn't be shocked if Benjamin equaled or surpassed Steve Smith's touchdown total (eight) of the past two seasons combined."
Kelvin Benjamin figures to play right away for the Panthers even though he’s something of a project as a route runner. At 6’5”, he should be a factor in the red zone at least.
Friday, June 6, 2014, 11:18am
Steve Smith had made up his mind. Last January, in the days following the Carolina Panthers' disappointing one-and-done playoff appearance against the San Francisco 49ers, Smith's heart and body started leading him in the direction of his own one-and-done experience. His decision was clear. He would play one more season with the Panthers, his 14th in Carolina, and then retire, heading home to his burgeoning family and whatever life after football held. But plans can change rapidly in the NFL, and Smith is thankful they did. Days after his surprise release from the Panthers in mid-March, Carolina's all-time leading receiver signed a new lease on his football life, agreeing to a three-year, $11 million deal in Baltimore, with a Ravens organization that has a long and successful history of adding still-productive veterans to its winning mix. The unexpected jolt Smith, 35, received this offseason might have been exactly what he needed, and he's freshly motivated by the possibility of a career-capping three-year run in Baltimore. "When I got released, and how it happened, it made me feel a certain way,'' Smith said, moments after finishing an impressive OTA workout at the Ravens' team complex. "It gave me a little bit maybe that I had been missing. My wife said, 'How do you feel about that?' And my response was to start working out again every day after that. I started jogging, my knee started feeling better, and the next thing you know, I got a three-year deal here.
Panthers Inactives Travis Bond OG Dan Connor ILB Wes Horton DE Tavarres King WR Marvin McNutt WR Josh Norman CB Jonathan Stewart RB
Steve Smith is active, but not 100% for today's matchup. Expect a heavy dose of DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert with Jonathan Stewart out.
Panthers HC Ron Rivera said WR Steve Smith sprained his PCL. Won't play against Falcons.
Ted Ginn will start opposite Brandon Lafell in Week 17 for the Panthers. Carolina needs to win this game to lock up the division, so Ginn could have some value if you're hurting. Overall, it's good news for Smith, who could be back for the playoffs.
Steve Smith, the Carolina Panthers’ all-time receiving leader, will undergo an MRI exam on his left knee Monday morning after he injured it during the first half of the Panthers’ 17-13 win against New Orleans on Sunday. Smith went down grabbing his knee after running a slant route in the first quarter. After going to the locker room to be evaluated, Smith returned to the game for one play in the second quarter. But he left the field limping and did not return.
Smith said when he planted to jump for the ball he felt it pop. He actually returned to the game but left limping and didn't return.
Buccaneers CB Darrelle Revis said during his weekly radio show on WDAE (620 AM) on Thursday that his reconstructed left knee prohibited him from playing the press man style that has made him arguably the best cornerback in the league. “Earlier in the year, I didn’t have the explosion to play press; the receiver would just run the (vertical) 9-route on me and I didn’t have the stamina to do that play in and play out, especially playing press. “I mean, you get physical up there playing press coverage and then actually just running. That’s running full speed — you and the receiver. I didn’t have that yet. “I’m starting to get that back now, which is awesome because I like to be in receivers faces and try to put my hands on them and try to be physical with them.” Revis said he began to play more press coverage a week ago during the Bucs loss to Carolina, when he spent a good part of the day shadowing Panthers Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith. He said he responded well physically to that test.
If Revis is going to shadow Golden Tate (who caught two TDs against the Rams in Week 8), it may cause for concern for Tate owners. With Sidney Rice (ACL) out, Tate may see more targets, which could offset the bad matchup. Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse could get a few extra opportunities if QB Russell Wilson avoids throwing in Revis's direction.
Saturday, October 12, 2013, 9:09am
Panthers QB Cam Newton is certainly limited in his read progressions and has a tendency of locking onto one receiver, but his teammates have to help him out. Carolina’s pass protection has bordered on awful—the Panthers are fifth-worst in our ratings—and dropped passes by receivers have been huge. Steve Smith (two) and Brandon LaFell had drops that would have been big plays or touchdowns against the Cardinals last weekend.
Newton hasn't lived up to draft-day expectations so far. This week, he ranks seventh among our QBs. The potential is always there for Cam thanks to his running ability, but so far he's been at least a little bit of a disappointment.
Friday, August 16, 2013, 7:10pm
In eight series over the first two exhibitions, Panthers QB Cam Newton has guided just one touchdown drive – on a short field (18 yards) last week following Norman’s interception of Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler. The other seven series have produced four punts, two field goals and an interception. Newton completed eight of 17 passes for 112 yards Thursday. It was the kind of inconsistent performance Newton has said he wants to eliminate. Newton overthrew Steve Smith several times, including a fade route after the Panthers had driven inside the Eagles’ 10 late in the first half. But Rivera was not worried about Newton’s showing. “I thought he did some nice things. He got us down there twice in scoring position,” Rivera said. “We did miss a couple throws. But he was running for his life twice, and both times he overthrew the ball. I'm not sure you put that on the quarterback alone.” New offensive coordinator Mike Shula kept his calls conservative, but it's hard to know how much of that is his philosophy or simply not wanting to reveal too much.
Newton got off to a slow start in 2012, but finished on a tear. We wouldn't worry too much about preseason struggles, though it should be noted that he's playing for a new offensive coordinator this season.
Third-year Panthers quarterback Cam Newton spent most of training camp in the pocket, with new offensive coordinator Mike Shula only occasionally breaking out the read option. Newton interacted more with teammates – whether it was making one-handed catches before practice or playing cards between meetings.
Seems like all good signs for Newton. The story also added he's been working real well with WR1 Steve Smith. He could easily be the fourth QB taken in just about any draft, behind Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. He'll still collect the rushing yards and TDs despite the team wanting him to stay in the pocket more.
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