Panthers' Steve Smith: Saints Players Fined for Easing Up

Aaron Nagler@Aaron_NaglerNFL National Lead WriterApril 24, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 9: Steve Smith #89 of the Carolina Panthers catches a 54-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter against Jabari Greer #33 of the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It has officially reached the "Piling On" point when it comes to the New Orleans Saints.

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith had some rather pointed remarks about the Saints defense under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams when he spoke with NFL.com's Dave Dameshek for Dameshek's podcast.

Via Gregg Rosenthal at NFL.com

I actually had an altercation with a guy who told me firsthand. I was going out of bounds, and the guy went for my ankle. I said, 'Hey, man, cut that out.' He's like, 'Well, we get fined if we don't go after your legs when you go out of bounds.' ... And actually this past year, this last game when we played them, I had a little conversation with Gregg Williams. ... He took responsibility, he was saying it wasn't right, but that's who he was.

Think about how far things have come in regards to the public perception of Williams' defense, and the Saints in general, when we can read the above and shrug our shoulders and say "Figures."

But that's exactly where we are now. 

We have read, ad nauseum, about the proliferation of a bounty program under Williams, but this is the first time anyone has mentioned, at least publicly, Saints players being fined for NOT trying to intentionally injure an opposing player, or at the very least play just beyond the edge. 

It's certainly interesting to read Smith's comments in light of the insane cheap shot laid on him last year by Saints safety Roman Harper. 

Whatever happens with this latest revelation, that 2012 Week 2 matchup in Carolina promises to be all the more interesting.