David Newton | ESPN.com
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith was livid over comments he said St. Louis cornerback Janoris Jenkins made about his family during Sunday’s 30-15 victory against the Rams.
Smith let Jenkins know it on the field, pointing his finger at the second-year player out of North Alabama in the third quarter after scoring a touchdown on his 800th career catch.
I don’t play them games. When you try to take it personal like that, I don’t have any great humbling things to say. So he can take his a– back to St. Louis and watch the f—— film, ’cause I don’t play them games. And if I see him on the street, I’m going to bust him in the f—— mouth.
— Panthers WR Steve Smith to
Rams CB Janoris Jenkins
He then unleashed a profanity-laced tirade against Jenkins in the locker room after the game.
“What I don’t like is a young guy who comes in, who obviously his first time ever using the Internet and Google, and he Googles information about me, talks about my wife and stuff like that,” Smith said. “That’s just some of the b——- I just don’t play with.”
Asked what Jenkins said specifically, Smith reiterated his anger with the cornerback.
“I don’t play them games,” Smith said. “When you try to take it personal like that, I don’t have any great humbling things to say. So he can take his a– back to St. Louis and watch the f—— film, ’cause I don’t play them games.
“And if I see him on the street, I’m going to bust him in the f—— mouth.”
This was the norm in a game where there were five personal-foul penalties — four against St. Louis — and a couple of skirmishes, including one in which Rams defensive end Chris Long was ejected for throwing a punch two plays after receiving an offsides penalty with which he vehemently disagreed.
With players from both sides pushing, shoving and yelling at one another, Long was caught throwing a right cross that was much easier to see than any other throws, punches or elbows.
The result was his first career ejection and a misstep he’d like to have back.
“It was a frustrating situation,” Long said. “We weren’t playing to our potential at the time and there was a big scuffle in there. I just got caught and probably lost my cool the most. I apologize for that. That was wrong. I need to be more composed. When you play with a lot of emotion, there’s a fine line between being over the line and reeling it back in. I need to reel it back in.”
Smith left Jenkins and safety Matt Giordano grasping for air on the 19-yard touchdown that gave Carolina a 27-12 lead. He was so busy taunting Jenkins that he yanked away from quarterback Cam Newton, who was trying to help him celebrate the milestone catch.
“Yes, I directly pointed to him,” said Smith, who wasn’t penalized for taunting. “I don’t give a damn.”
Smith then did an imitation of the dance Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders used to do.
“He thinks he’s Deion,” Smith said of Jenkins. “He’s not.
“When you embarrass people, you rub it in their face. When your dog p—– on the carpet, you rub it in his face.”
Smith said Jenkins wasn’t the only Rams player that got personal with comments as the Panthers (3-3) improved to .500 for the first time under coach Ron Rivera this deep into the season.
“When I don’t know a guy and he’s talking about how’s Angie [Smith’s wife] doing, those things. C’mon,” Smith said. “A few of their guys had something to say about it, talking about I know her birth date and I did this to her.
“If that continues, I’m going to call some people out their names.”
Jenkins tweeted the following after the game:
— J.Jenkz (@JjenkzLockdown) October 20, 2013
I’m just being honest… Hahahahaha Pow pow #RamsUp
— J.Jenkz (@JjenkzLockdown) October 20, 2013
With Long, Rams coach Jeff Fisher believed the stage was set for a scuffle before he was called for offsides. That’s when Rams defensive end Robert Quinn hit Carolina’s Newton a split-second after he handed it off to running back DeAngelo Williams on a zone-read play.
Newton left the game for a play before returning just one snap later. No penalty was called.
“My take on it was there were some hard feelings on their sideline after our hit on Cam,” Fisher said. “I think there was a little bit of a retaliation from that and then things just kind of escalated from that.”
The Rams drew three more penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct, including two on guard Harvey Dahl.
But nobody was angrier after the game than Smith.
“I don’t play games,” Smith said. “I’m here to play ball. When you try to make it personal and you say stuff, I don’t play that.”
ESPN.com Rams reporter Nick Wagoner contributed to this report.
- Covered Panthers, NFL for 11 years
- More than 25 years experience covering NFL, college football and NASCAR
- Joined ESPN in 2006