Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith had four catches for 60 yards on 10 targets in Week 5's 22-6 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and he blamed the team's defeat at least in part on official Dan Ferrell.
Smith was furious on Monday in discussing Ferrell's officiating, per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer:
Panthers WR Steve Smith teed up official Dan Ferrell, who was the umpire in the Cardinals game. "Probably sorriest referee I've ever met."— Joe Person (@josephperson) October 7, 2013
More Smith on Dan Ferrell: "He received a check that day and I hope he feels good because he was terrible. ... He was garbage."— Joe Person (@josephperson) October 7, 2013
Perhaps it will be Smith receiving a check of his own from the league office for a fine for these comments. And that's fine with Smith:
Smith said Roger Goodell can fine him. He will. ... Story coming on @theobserver.— Joe Person (@josephperson) October 7, 2013
When asked what was specifically wrong with the officiating, Smith noted that the Cardinals were covering with far too much physicality and weren't being whistled for it:
Smith was upset about the Cardinals' coverage tactics, which he said crossed line over physical into "molesting."— Joe Person (@josephperson) October 7, 2013
More Smith: "I got leg-humped & hugged a few times. Being a pretty good flag football player, I think I got my flag pulled a few times"— Joe Person (@josephperson) October 7, 2013
Arizona was called for three penalties for 30 yards for the game, while Carolina suffered nine penalties for 79 yards.
The 34-year-old veteran seems to be venting frustration for the NFL's 30th-ranked passing offense that has been inconsistent and turned it over four times against the Cardinals. Despite being quarterbacked by talented former No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton, the Panthers can't seem to get on track to a possible playoff push.
It seemed Carolina had generated some momentum after a 38-0 win over the New York Giants in Week 3 and a bye week preceding the trip to Arizona, but it was all usurped in University of Phoenix Stadium.
Smith is averaging just 11.3 yards per catch for the 1-3 Panthers after averaging 17.6 and 16.1 respectively in his first two seasons playing with Newton.
Carolina travels to Minnesota to take on the struggling Vikings in Week 6.