HONOLULU — The Pro Bowl can be a lonely place for a rookie, as evidenced by Jeff Darlington‘s observation on Cam Newton dining by himself last night.
But if Newton is looking for dinner company, he needs to look no further than his own offensive teammates.
Wide receiver Steve Smith and center Ryan Kalil are both here, and to make things even better, Smith brought the rest of the Panthers’ receiving corps with him to Hawaii.
“I wouldn’t be here without those guys,” Smith said after Wednesday’s practice, “So I just wanted to do something nice for them, bring them out here and show them Hawaii.”
A classy move, no doubt, by Smith, who actually was able to save the cost of one plane ticket on Panthers rookie Kealoha Pilares, who’s from the island and lives here during the offseson.
Smith said he and his teammates plan to use Pilares’ knowledge of the local terrain to their advantage.
“Us guys, we get to experience his culture,” Smith said. “We’re mainlanders, as he calls us, so we get to show him around the mainland. Now it’s his turn to show us around his island.
“We knew he was already going to be here. Today or tomorrow, we’re going to go to the North Shore and just experience — not the touristy spots — but this beautiful place and see the parts that if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t find them.”
— Aron Angel