Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith blames himself for his team's loss Sunday, but he believes another person on the field was even worse.
Smith called umpire Dan Ferrell "garbage" after disputing several of Ferrell's calls in the Panthers' 22-6 defeat against the Arizona Cardinals.
"To be honest, I make enough money where if Roger (Goodell) wants to fine me, he can," Smith said Monday in Charlotte, N.C. "I really think that referee probably was the sorriest referee I have ever met."
Smith detailed his grievances regarding Ferrell, particularly those involving the physical play of Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.
"I was told by the referee -- whatever judge he was, No. 64 (Ferrell). He told me on my route (that) I felt like I got held, where (Peterson) had the back of my jersey and used that to slingshot his way through and bat the ball down. (Ferrell) said (Peterson) grabbed my jersey, he saw it, but he didn't think it was enough that changed the course of the route," Smith said. "I've only been playing football for a little bit, just picked it up. So I said OK. I really believe years past I would've went off. But that's what he felt, and that's what he said, and he repeatedly explained it to me."
Smith added, "It was pass interference in Mexico, Europe, rugby -- in pretty much every other sport but in Arizona yesterday. But then when I pushed off, it was pass interference."
Another play drawing Smith's ire was the spot of the ball on one of his receptions. Ferrell originally marked Smith short of a first down, but the call was overturned after a challenge by Panthers coach Ron Rivera.
Smith went on to add that his dropped pass in the end zone was the key to his team's defeat.
Ferrell is in his 11th season as an NFL umpire.
"He received a check that day, and I hope he feels good. He was terrible," Smith said.
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