Carolina Coach Fox: Wesley Hit “Not Deliberate”

Here’s video and a photo montage of Carolina Panther Dante Wesley’s vicious hit on Tampa Bay Buccaneer Clifton Smith today in Tampa:

Dante Wesley Hit On Clifton Smith

(Video after the jump)

Smith suffered a concussion and a throat injury and was unable to speak after the Bucs 28-21 loss to the Panthers. Wesley was ejected from the game and will undoubtedly get fined and hopefully a suspension.

Tampa Bay Safety Sabby Piscitelli had the reaction most of us had. He said, “I was in shock like everyone else. I was trying to keep my cool as a professional and not kill him.

I say “most of us had”, because Carolina Coach John Fox has a reax that will probably surprise you.


Fox told Tom Balog of the SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, “I know the kid and I know the kid’s character and I know he would never do anything like that intentionally, anything cheap. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. I’m sure he’ll learn from it.

The video doesn’t lie. There was no ball and Wesley had a 10-yard run-up, what else do you need to call it a dirty play?

So what Fox is really saying is there’s no such thing as a cheap shot.