Steve Smith happy again in Carolina

What a difference a new coaching staff makes.

Steve Smith has gone from consistently unhappy to pretty darn upbeat in training camp with the Carolina Panthers.

Sure, it’s early. But from the sounds of things, change has been for the better for the veteran wide receiver, who could play a key role in helping develop No. 1 draft pick Cam Newton.

“I respect coach (John) Fox and I respect the offensive coordinators that have been here. But at the same time I'm a wide receiver. Run blocking is not my forte," Smith told Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.
“It is nice to have layers, have multiple sets, not to just be stacking to one spot for 70 plays. I get to line up in different spots. It's just refreshing. It's not saying, 'Well, we're going to move you around,' and then never do it. Here they're actually saying it and it's happening. It's not just me. It's other guys as well.”

Smith will be highlighted more in the offense designed by Rob Chudzinski and the Panthers will play to his strengths even if they remain a run-first attack.

“When you're sitting on the outside for 70 plays, standing on the left trying to run around the linebackers pressing and a corner over the top, and a safety over the top, and the other linebacker buzzing. And sitting there and I'm told I'm losing a step and he's not catching as much and all that stuff," Smith said. "It's real refreshing now because in the offense now I can move around."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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