CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -For more than three years, Steve Smith and Ken Lucas talked trash, argued and generally disliked each other, culminating in Smith's sucker-punch at training camp last month that broke the cornerback's nose.
Shortly after the incident, which caused Smith to be suspended two games, the Carolina Panthers teammates finally sat down and talked. Smith said it quickly became apparent a lack of communication was behind their problems.
``Flat out, we said it: I thought he didn't like me and he thought I didn't like him,'' Smith said Thursday. ``It's plain and simple.''
The 2 1/2-hour conversation at training camp last month is one of the reasons the Panthers were quickly able to move on from the ugly incident. Lucas, who has gone up against Smith in practice daily since he signed with the team in 2005, has said he's forgiven Smith.
``I would think we're friends. I think the conversation we had would indicate we are,'' Smith said. ``There were some frowns going on, some laughing and we talked about a lot of things. I think that was kind of the icebreaker. Hopefully it continues and I think it will.''
Smith talked for more than 20 minutes Thursday, the first time the three-time Pro Bowl receiver answered questions from local reporters since the Aug. 1 incident. The Panthers suspended him without pay a day later for the first two regular-season games. Carolina won both games with late fourth-quarter comebacks.
Smith was reinstated Monday and will start on Sunday at Minnesota. While his teammates have accepted him again after the incident in camp in which Smith punched Lucas in the face while Lucas was on one knee with his helmet off during a break in practice, it's likely Smith is running out of second chances.
Smith was suspended for one game in 2002 for punching teammates Anthony Bright during a film session.
``Is it my last chance?'' Smith asked, repeating a reporter's question. ``I don't really see myself really as trying to put myself back in this predicament, no matter what people may speculate or say or bring up.''
ive years. His teammates have warmly welcomed him back, keyed by the end of a long-running feud between competitive teammates.
``I mean I've always respected Ken,'' Smith said. ``I guess it was just two prima donnas.''

Recent NFL Discussions

Betting the 2017 NFL Draft on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
NFL Draft Preview on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade
College / NBA today on Sun, Mar 2017 by TtomBoBadly
SNOW on Tue, Mar 2017 by Michael Cash

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Alabama NFL Draft Odds The Alabama Crimson Tide could have a lot of players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft next week. How many...
Thumbnail Odds Theory & Fantasy: Perfect Combo In America alone over 110 million people settled down to watch February’s Super Bowl and were rewarded by a game which saw many twists and turns along the way. Of...
Thumbnail Romo moving to CBS After a lot of discussion about where Tony Romo will be next season, it appears that he will be behind a broadcast booth.
Thumbnail Patriots remain SB52 Favorites With NFL free agency slowing down dramatically over the past week, here's a look at the most recent Super Bowl 52 odds to win.
Thumbnail The Next Atlanta Falcons Despite suffering one of the greatest collapses in sports history at Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons still managed to overcome significant odds to reach the NFL’s...

NFL Team Pages