|Smith to Jarrett: "You're here to play football"|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 21 April 2008 11:37|
Carolina's three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver was asked Monday if the embattled Jarrett was due for a coming-out party after his disappointing rookie season was followed by an offseason charge of driving by impaired.
``You know, the party session is actually over. This is the NFL,'' Smith said. ``You make plays. You're here to play football. You do the party scene at your own discretion, but on Sundays, we're here to play football. If you can't play football, you won't be playing with the Carolina Panthers or any NFL team.
``So, this isn't a poke at anybody,'' he added at a charity golf tournament hosted by fellow NFL players Torry and Terrence Holt. ``That's just the way it is. You know, you produce, you're in. You don't produce, you're out.''
For years, the Panthers have searched for a second capable receiver to relieve the double teams faced by Smith seemingly every week, and team executives drafted Jarrett in the second round last year with the hope that he would develop into that kind of threat.
But he struggled to adjust to the NFL, never cracked the starting lineup, played in just seven games and caught six passes for 73 yards with no touchdowns. Then, when he reported last month for the team's offseason conditioning, Jarrett was arrested after police said he crossed the center line and ran a red light in the Charlotte suburb of Mint Hill.
The police report said Jarrett's blood-alcohol level was .12, above North Carolina's legal limit of .08 for driving. He pleaded not guilty to the DWI charge and faces a June 23 court date.
Now the Panthers are turning to one of their best players from their past to mentor Jarrett and become a quality No. 2 option to Smith.
They re-signed Muhsin Muhammad, who was released by the Bears. Muhammad turns 35 in May, spent nine seasons with Carolina after he was picked in the second round of the 1996 draft and still holds three club records.
``A lot of people look at (his) age, but I think he's like fine wine,'' Smith said.