Carolina Panthers legend Steve Smith keeps it real about players – good or bad. So when 89 says something about a player people listen. During Saturday’s broadcast of the Panthers vs Ravens preseason game, Smith had very positive things to say about linebacker Jermaine Carter, proclaiming the 4-year vet can be the quarterback of the defense.
“I think Jermaine Carter is the key guy,” Smith said. “Jermaine Carter Jr. has been doing an exceptional job in the last four years in his career. He lined up at SAM, MIKE, Rover. I believe he is the guy that can step up. He is not Luke [Kuechly], but he can be the quarterback of that defense.”
After Monday’s practice I asked Jermaine if he’d heard Smith’s comments. He had. And although he admitted they come with heightened expectations, they’re expectations he’s worked hard for and is therefore embracing.
“It just comes with a lot of expectations- a lot of expectations I haven’t had my last three years here. I’ve been flying under the radar. I’m one of the guys coming in and is working hard every day. So to hear him say that, it meant a lot. But at the same time, I’m still humble.”
Carter will get the opportunity to prove that his hard work and has study paid off, as Matt Rhule confirmed he is the Panthers’ starting Mike linebacker.