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Panthers receiver Smith has words with QB Newton

Sat., Sept. 22, 2012

Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith says he “lit into” Cam Newton about his actions on the sideline when the young quarterback was replaced late in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s 36-7 blowout loss to the New York Giants.

Smith said he was upset when Newton sat sulking on the team bench instead of getting up to watch Panthers backup Derek Anderson and trying to learn from his mistakes.

As a team captain and the elder statesman of the team, Smith felt something needed to be said to the 23-year old Newton about the importance of remaining positive and better handling adversity.

“I don’t want to be passive and not do it because if I don’t do it, who will?” Smith said. “The same way with my son, I can’t expect somebody else (to do that). So yeah, I lit into him because I thought it was an opportunity for him to see and understand what was going on.

“This is more than about playing football,” he added.” It’s about becoming a man and understanding what this is.”

Newton declined comment through the public relations staff.

NFL, refs far apart

The NFL and its locked-out officials met the last two days, but a person familiar with the negotiations said the sides remain far apart and no talks are scheduled.

The person said in an email to the Associated Press that there are “significant and serious economic gaps.” The person requested anonymity in characterizing the negotiations because they are intended to remain private. Michael Arnold, counsel and lead negotiator for the NFL Referees Association, acknowledged the discussions, saying his group reached out to the league last week and the NFL agreed to meet. He said there may be additional talks, but it is “not appropriate” to comment.

A fan’s dying wish

A terminally ill Indianapolis Colts fan will get his wish Sunday when he attends the team’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Seventy-four-year-old Danny Webber, who is battling prostate cancer that has spread to his lungs and spleen, will attend the game through a program started by the senior community where he lives.

Around the league

New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott and a reporter needed to be separated after the two got into an argument when the reporter tried to take a picture. … Halfback Matt Forte will sit out the Bears’ game against the Rams with a sprained right ankle. … New York Giants players Kenny Phillips ($30,000), Andre Brown ($15,750), David Bass and Kevin Boothe ($7,875 each) were all fined by the NFL for unnecessary roughness.

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