Illegal hit on Clifton Smith still fresh for Bucs, Panthers
I stumbled across an interesting story from the Rock Hill (S.C.) Herald about the Panthers' Dante Wesley, the culprit in the illegal hit that knocked Bucs return man Clifton Smith senseless in the team's first meeting on Oct. 18.
The article talks about Wesley's efforts to reach to Smith (which he did) and to sort of rehabilitate his image in the wake of a play that forced both players to miss their next games. Wesley was suspended by the league and Smith was having recurring headaches from the concussion he sustained.
It remains to be seen whether there are any lingering issues after brutal hit, but any mention of the play in the Bucs' locker room is still met with a scowl nearly two months later. Wesley said he plans to find Smith before the game to try to squash the matter, but it's hard not to wonder how much of that is about self-preservation -- surely Wesley doesn't want to have his own helmet rattled after kickoff.
Hopefully it's a clean game and everyone gets along, but I'm willing to bet Wesley, at the very least, takes an extra elbow or two once the game gets underway.