NFL: Panthers WR Steve Smith rips into QB Cam Newton
NFL notes • Ex-Ute gives second-year star a lecture on sulking.
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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, a former Utah Ute in his 12th season with Carolina, said he was upset when Newton sat sulking on the bench instead of getting up to watch backup Derek Anderson and trying to learn from his own 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. It's about becoming a man and understanding what this is."

Newton declined comment through the team's public relations staff. The team said he isn't speaking until next Wednesday.

Players have the weekend off.

Coach Ron Rivera lifted Newton in the fourth quarter against the Giants after his third interception with Carolina trailing by 26 points. Rivera said he took out Newton because the game was out of hand.

After Newton was replaced by Anderson, Smith spoke to Newton on the bench because he felt he was sulking over the impending loss.

"I said, 'Get up and learn from this,'" Smith said. "I watched DA [Anderson] and Jimmy [Clausen] observe from the sidelines the last 20-something games and try to get mental reps. This is an opportunity for you to get some mental reps. Don't just sit on the bench and sulk. I know you feel bad, but that isn't going to help us."

It's the second straight year teammates have questioned Newton's demeanor on the sideline.

Last year offensive linemen Ryan Kalil and Jordan Gross both spoke to Newton in private about the importance of not getting down during a game.

"It's about not missing an opportunity to give him some advice that maybe I didn't listen to [when I was young] or maybe nobody told me," said the 32-year-old Smith.

Smith said former Panthers wide receiver Ricky Proehl "did it to me a few times and maybe he was more subtle than I was. But you know what, if I sit back and say, 'Oh, look at Cam over there sulking,' or 'look at this, or look at that' that's not going to do anything. I told him this is an opportunity for you to learn from this."

Rivera said he'll probably have a talk with Newton but wouldn't discuss what the conversation will be about.

Rivera knows Newton is an emotional player and said there's a "fine line" to walk between maintaining his burning desire to win and keeping his emotions in check.

"You look at things like, well, if something positive happens do you want to hide the emotions? And if something negative happens do we want to hide the emotions?" Rivera said.

Gross, a longtime teammate of Smith's at Utah and with the Panthers, said he doesn't have a problem with Newton's demeanor. And he didn't think anything needed to be said about Newton outside of the locker room.

"Cam wears his heart on his sleeve and you know how he's feeling based on his actions," Gross said. "He wants to win as much as anybody, and when we don't he takes it to heart. I would like any of my teammates, if they're upset about things, to talk it out with us in the locker room, and know that we're all in it together."

Smith knows he might take some criticism for calling out Newton, but doesn't care. Smith said he hopes the lesson will pay off for Newton down the road when he's retired and the quarterback is setting NFL records.

"If this is something wrong for saying that, well, I'd rather be wrong and one day during his long career he goes, 'Ah, I hated to hear that, but maybe that's what Smitty was talking about,'" Smith said.

League levies fines

Safety Kenny Phillips has been fined $30,000 by the NFL for unnecessary roughness, one of four New York Giants disciplined for their conduct in last Sunday's win over Tampa Bay. Phillips drew the fine for striking defenseless Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson on a pass play. No penalty flag was thrown.

Other Giants disciplined were running back Andre Brown, $15,750 for a horse-collar tackle on Brandon McDonald during an interception return; and offensive linemen David Baas and Kevin Boothe, fined $7,875 for unnecessary roughness.

Fined $21,000 were Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons for helmet-to-helmet contact with Jets QB Mark Sanchez; Patriots LB Jerod Mayo for hitting defenseless Arizona WR Early Doucet in the head and neck; and Bills safety Da'Norris Searcy for the same against Chiefs TE Kevin Boss.

Around the league

Bears • Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte will sit out Chicago's game against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday because of a sprained right ankle he suffered in last week's loss to Green Bay. With Forte out, Michael Bush figures to be the primary ballcarrier.

Redskins • Receiver Pierre Garcon appears likely to miss his second straight game with a sore right foot. Garcon was limited in practice again Friday and listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against Cincinnati.

Eagles • Receiver Jeremy Maclin won't play at Arizona on Sunday because of a hip injury. Maclin was hurt in the season opener and aggravated the injury throwing a block against the Ravens last week.

Mom razzes Dumervil

So Elvis Dumervil doesn't have any sacks through the first two games.

Hardly a big deal this early in the season. Or so the Denver Broncos defensive end thought.

His mom recently called and asked him very matter-of-factly, "Why don't you have any sacks yet?"

So maybe this was a little bigger deal than he figured.

Dumervil insists his sackless start has more to do with double teams than anything else. Blockers have simply figured out a way to neutralize his patented moves, the ones that led to a league-leading 17 sacks in 2009.

Now, it's up to Dumervil to counter. He's watching tape of sack specialists from around the league, looking for new maneuvers he can incorporate into his pass rush.

"It's a chess match," said Dumervil, whose Broncos (1-1) will host Houston (2-0) on Sunday. "It's all about studying film, knowing what's coming and when it's coming. I've got to get a step ahead of them."

Them, of course, would be offensive linemen and whoever else tries to get in his way.

Dumervil frequently has to go through a hulking offensive tackle, with a tight end or a running back waiting for him should he break free.

His reputation has simply preceded him. So low to the ground and so fast to the quarterback, the undersized Dumervil is difficult to contain. Well, with one blocker anyway.

"Teams just account for you. It happens. It's not like I'm just running around one-on-ones," said Dumervil, who didn't have his first sack until Nov. 6 last season and still finished with 9½. "I've just got to do a better job chipping and getting around double-teams.

"When (the sacks) come, they will come in bunches."

That's been the case for Von Miller, who's taking advantage of all the attention lavished on Dumervil. The second-year linebacker is off to a soaring start and is tied for the AFC lead in sacks with three.

Dumervil and Miller teamed up last season to form Denver's vaunted "Doom & Gloom" pass-rushing duo.

Given Miller's production, offenses may soon roll their protection toward Miller. Should that happen, Dumervil said he will be ready.

"They can't chip both of us all the time," said Dumervil, who is 5-foot-11and relies heavily on his massive wing span to gain separation from offensive linemen.

As for his mom chiming in, Dumervil just laughed.

"She just loves sacks, too," he said. "She's my biggest fan. She's always asking me about sacks."

Dumervil nearly had a few against Pittsburgh in the season opener, hitting Ben Roethlisberger five times. But he just couldn't bring the big QB to the ground.

"If I get there quicker, we wouldn't be having this talk," said Dumervil, a fourth-round pick in 2006 out of Louisville. "It's not like I'm nowhere around the quarterback."

Nor is he shirking his other responsibilities. Dumervil has been solid against the run.

"Look, sacks are going to come. Dumervil is going to get his sacks," defensive tackle Justin Bannan said. "It all comes down to situational football. The odds are going to increase greatly if we get a nice, big lead and then Dumervil and Von can get on the pass rush. As far as stuffing the run, he's done a great job of that. But it will all come eventually."

Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio isn't concerned about his premier rusher.

"He's been outstanding," Del Rio said. "We've played some good defense. There are some things we need to do a little bit better and we're working on it. We're cleaning it up. As coaches, we're never happy. It's never good enough. But I'm very pleased with Elvis, in particular. A lot of our guys on defense have started their year the right way."

It was a tumultuous offseason for Dumervil, who was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Miami Beach, Fla., two months ago, only to have the charges dropped.

"I'm just ready to continue my life," he said in August when he was cleared, adding that he "didn't do anything wrong," but was "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

As for his slow start, Dumervil simply shrugged it off.

"All you can do is just play ball and overall become a better player," said Dumervil, who missed the 2010 season after tearing a chest muscle in camp, shortly after signing a $58 million contract. "Sacks are what I love; that will never change. Obviously, I do want sacks, but at the same time I've got to do what's best within the scheme of the defense and do my part."

Around the league

Bears • Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte will sit out Chicago's game against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday because of a sprained right ankle he suffered in last week's loss to Green Bay. With Forte out, Michael Bush figures to be the primary ballcarrier.

Redskins • Receiver Pierre Garcon appears likely to miss his second straight game with a sore right foot. Garcon was limited in practice again Friday and listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against Cincinnati.

Eagles • Receiver Jeremy Maclin won't play at Arizona on Sunday because of a hip injury. Maclin was hurt in the season opener and aggravated the injury throwing a block against the Ravens last week. —

Week 3 schedule

Thursday

N.Y. Giants 36, Carolina 7

Sunday

Tampa Bay at Dallas, 11 a.m.

St. Louis at Chicago, 11 a.m.

• San Francisco at Minnesota, 11 a.m., Ch. 13

Detroit at Tennessee, 11 a.m.

Kansas City at New Orleans, 11 a.m.

• Cincinnati at Washington, 11 a.m., Ch. 2

N.Y. Jets at Miami, 11 a.m.

Buffalo at Cleveland, 11 a.m.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis, 11 a.m.

Philadelphia at Arizona, 2:05 p.m.

Atlanta at San Diego, 2:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Oakland, 2:25 p.m.

Houston at Denver, 2:25 p.m., Ch. 2

• New England at Baltimore, 6:20 p.m., Ch. 5

Monday

Green Bay at Seattle, 6:30 p.m., ESPN