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Panthers star stern with QB

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers receiver Steve Smith says he "lit into" Cam Newton about his actions on the sideline when the young quarterback was replaced late in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's 36-7 blowout loss to the visiting Giants.

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Smith said he was upset when Newton sat sulking on the bench instead of getting up to watch backup Derek Anderson and trying to learn from his own mistakes. As a team captain and elder statesman, Smith said he felt something needed to be said to Newton, 23, about the importance of remaining positive and better handling adversity.

"I don't want to be passive and not do it because if I don't do it, who will?" Smith said. "The same way with my son: I can't expect somebody else (to do that). So yeah, I lit into him. … This is more than about playing football. It's about becoming a man and understanding what this is."

Newton declined comment through the team, which said he isn't speaking until next week.

Players have the weekend off.

Andre Brown ran for 113 yards and two scores for the Giants.

Chad JOHNSON SENTENCING: Former receiver Chad Johnson pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge involving his then-wife, reality TV star Evelyn Lozada. Johnson, once known as Chad Ochocinco, was sentenced to a year's probation and a counseling course under a plea deal with prosecutors. Johnson also must pay unspecified restitution.

LOCKOUT: The league and its locked-out officials met for two days, but the Associated Press reported that the sides remain far apart and no further talks are scheduled. Also, the league warned teams that it won't tolerate confrontational behavior toward officials.

BEARS: Running back Matt Forte will sit out Sunday's game with a sprained right ankle.

BROWNS: Two years after a messy breakup with the team he led to its last NFL title in 1964, Jim Brown attended an alumni golf outing and said, "I am forever a Cleveland Brown." The Hall of Fame running back, 76, had been estranged from the organization after he was relieved of his duties as a senior adviser. Brown hopes to work again for the team and said he'll meet today with incoming owner Jimmy Haslam III.

JAGUARS: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert practiced in full for the third consecutive day and will start Sunday at Indianapolis. He injured his buttocks last week against Houston.

JETS: Bart Scott and a reporter needed to be separated after an argument. The linebacker, who has refused to do interviews since Week 1, was speaking to a female reporter off the record when Dan Leberfeld of Jets Confidential magazine approached to snap a picture to use on his website, angering Scott. … Cornerback Darrelle Revis is fully recovered from a concussion and will play Sunday after practicing fully for the second straight day.

STEELERS: Linebacker James Harrison (left knee) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) were ruled out of Sunday's game at Oakland.

FINED: Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons (helmet-to-helmet hit), Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo (hitting a defenseless receiver in the head and neck) and Bills safety Da'Norris Searcy (same offense) were docked $21,000 each.

Panthers star stern with QB 09/21/12 [Last modified: Friday, September 21, 2012 11:26pm]

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