SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) -When Steve Smith punched teammate Ken Lucas during a break in practice last week, Jake Delhomme knew the incident could tear apart the Carolina Panthers.
Smith, the team's top offensive weapon, was suspended for the first two regular-season games after breaking Lucas' nose. The starting cornerback will be out a couple of weeks.
The potential was there to hold grudges, take sides and lose focus. Delhomme feels his teammates have avoided all those potential pitfalls.
``I don't know if you put a letter grade on it, or a number from 1 to 10, it's been fantastic,'' Delhomme said Thursday. ``That was a rough deal, everybody knows that. I really truly believe we have the right guys in the right areas on this team to get everything out in the open.
``Guys talked, Steve knew he did wrong. But the biggest thing out of all of them was Ken Lucas. For Ken Lucas to get up here, guys could really release a lot of emotions about listening to Ken and feeling how he felt.''
Smith has since apologized to the team and has been noticeably less feisty in practice. But there are questions of whether Smith, who has a history of playing his best when he's angry, will lose his edge.
``I know the question you're saying. But when Steve came out of his mom, he had that edge,'' Delhomme said. ``I truly believe that. Guys feed off Steve when Steve plays - offensively, defensively, everybody feeds off Steve. That is just my opinion. I know when the lights come on he will still be the same Steve.''

Recent NFL Discussions

Carolina Wise Guy NFL Picks 10/23 on Sun, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961
sun night play on Sun, Oct 2016 by sharkey11
sun night play on Sun, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961
nfl 2nd set on Sun, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Seahawks vs. Cardinals Prediction Which team will cover tonight on Sunday Night Football when the Cardinals host the Seahawks at 8:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Seahawks vs. Cardinals Odds Two NFC West rivals collide tonight when the Arizona Cardinals face the Seattle Seahawks at 8:30PM ET on NBC....
Thumbnail Patriots vs. Steelers Prediction With Ben Roethlisberger out for the Steelers, are the Patriots a safe bet to cover today when they visit Pittsburgh at 4:25PM ET?
Thumbnail Bucs vs. 49ers Prediction Will the 49ers cash as a small home favorite today when they host the Bucs at 4:05PM ET?
Thumbnail Chargers vs. Falcons Prediction Are the Chargers one of the better underdog plays in Week 7? They'll visit the high-flying Falcons at 4:05PM ET today.
More inNFL Articles  

NFL Team Pages