Steve Smith denies calling Clausen a “punk”

Last week, ProFootballTalk.com reported that Panthers’ rookie Jimmy Clausen had already “pissed off multiple receivers” during a recent mini-camp and also claimed that Steve Smith “basically thinks Jimmy is a punk.”

Today, Charlotte Observer writer Charles Chandler denied the rumors cooked up by the hit-or-miss PFT.com.

Earlier today, Smith strongly denied having a problem with Clausen.

There was also a mention in the aforementiond item that Carolina tight ends were upset at Clausen for yelling at them. The most vivid memories I have of Clausen from minicamp were two passes he threw in red zone drills through traffic for touchdowns to tight ends Jeff King and Gary Barnidge. Both of those guys looked extremely happy. King even spiked the ball through his legs in a much more expressive gesture than he normally does.

A lot of people love PFT.com because of its rumor mill section. But the problem that I have always had with the site is that it rarely, if ever, cites its sources. So you don’t know whether or not the rumor is coming from a general manager, the team janitor or Mike Florio’s neighbor.

PFT.com is standing by its story, but I’m more apt to believe Chandler, who covers the Panthers for a respectable news outlet and who was actually in attendance during the mini-camp. Plus, as Chandler notes in his report, Smith isn’t the type to hide his feelings. He’s a fiery guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve, so if he did have a problem with Clausen, the whole world would probably know about it by now.

As usual when it comes to a rumor by PFT.com, this story is probably much ado about nothing.


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