Some expected the Panthers to make QB Matt Moore one of the offensive captains in a show of support before his first opening-day start, but the team voted for WR Steve Smith and OLT Jordan Gross on Wednesday. Neither selection stunned observers — those are two of the team's best and most accomplished players — but the choice of Smith was notable since it was the first time he had been named a captain since punching his then-teammate Ken Lucas in a 2008 training-camp scuffle. Smith had been a captain before the incident, but he had to regain his teammates' trust before he would be put in a position of leadership again. Smith has handled himself well since then and we're told he continues to set an example for players with his work ethic. Leadership from veterans like Smith likely will be as important as ever for the Panthers this season. Smith, who is just 31, is the team's oldest position player.
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