Every week in the NFL beat writers for every team are included in a conference call with the opposing team’s coach and one of their players. The Carolina Panthers play the Seattle Seahawks opening weekend, and veteran wide receiver Steve Smith was the Panther selected to answer questions from the Seattle media. Some of his remarks didn’t paint a friendly picture of new Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski.
“The prior offensive coordinator [Chudzinski] really was positioning himself to just apply for that head coaching job,” Smith said Wednesday on a conference call with Seattle Seahawks reporters. “I think our offense suffered a little bit because of that.”
Smith, 34, a five-time Pro Bowler, felt Chudzinski had the Panthers get away from some of their strengths last season.
“At times, we got cute,” Smith said. “We did things that weren’t necessarily us, like the underutilizing of [running back] Mike Tolbert. But we’re out of that. The past is the past.” [Blount/ESPN]
Smith caught 73 passes for 1,174 yards and 4 touchdowns last season for the Panthers. Carolina was 12th in total offense, 16th in passing and 9th in rushing. They averaged 22.3 points per game.