Carolina WR Smith calls referee ‘garbage’

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Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith is still upset with the officiating in Carolina’s 22-6 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, calling a member of Sunday’s crew “garbage.”


The 34-year-old Smith took aim Monday at umpire Dan Ferrell, saying Ferrell was “the sorriest referee I’ve ever met.”


Smith added that Ferrell “received a check that day and I hope he feels good, because he was terrible.”


Smith acknowledged his comments would likely draw a fine from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but added that he doesn’t care.


Smith said, “To be honest, I make enough money where if Roger were to fine me, he can.”


Ferrell is a veteran official. He has been refereeing NFL games since 2003 and Sunday was the 156th career game he’s officiated, according to Pro Football Reference.


Smith wasn’t thinking about Ferrell’s credentials Monday.


The receiver was upset over several calls, including one where he was flagged for offensive pass interference and another where he felt Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson grabbed the back of his jersey on a route and used that momentum to “slingshot” past him to break up a pass.


Smith said Ferrell explained to him it wasn’t enough to warrant a pass interference penalty.


“It was pass interference in Mexico, Europe, rugby in pretty much every other sport but in Arizona” Sunday, Smith said. “But then when I pushed off it was pass interference.”


Schaub still the starter in Houston: Matt Schaub still has his starting job.


Houston coach Gary Kubiak is sure of that. He less certain of how to get his veteran quarterback back on track and the Texans back in the win column.


Schaub threw three interceptions in Houston’s blowout loss to San Francisco on Sunday night that extended the team’s losing streak to three games.


His first interception was returned for a touchdown, marking the fourth straight game that an opponent had taken one of his interceptions for a score.


Kubiak says he’s worried about Schaub’s confidence and is looking for ways to help him be successful again. Kubiak says he believes you have to give players a chance to play through their struggles.


Houston hosts St. Louis on Sunday.


Buffalo’s QB choice a surprise: Thad Lewis will be the Buffalo Bills interim starter after the team elected to stay in-house in its search for an interim replacement for injured rookie quarterback EJ Manuel.


Lewis was promoted off the Bills practice squad and will start Sunday when Buffalo (2-3) hosts Cincinnati (3-2), coach Doug Marrone announced on his weekly show on Buffalo’s WGR-Radio Monday morning.


“Thad gives us the best chance,” Marrone said. “We’re going to give him an opportunity to see what he has.”


Marrone and Bills players won’t be made available to the media until later in the day.


Lewis’ elevation was regarded as a surprise move, coming a day after the Bills worked out two prospective candidates: Pat White and Dennis Dixon.


Raiders release QB Flynn: The Oakland Raiders released quarterback Matt Flynn on Monday, just six months after bringing him in to be the starter.


Oakland acquired Flynn in April from Seattle for a 2014 fifth-round draft pick and a conditional pick in 2015. The Raiders also reworked Flynn’s contract to give him $6.5 million in guaranteed money this season.


But Flynn was beaten out for the starting job in the preseason by Terrelle Pryor and then fell to third string behind undrafted free agent Matt McGloin last week, leading to his eventual release.


“It just didn’t work,” coach Dennis Allen said. “Terrelle came in and he took over the job. He’s earned the position that he’s in. So, we just felt like it’s probably best to move on from that.”


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