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Archive for March, 2010

Panthers 2010 Preseason opponents announced

31 March 2010 Leave a comment

The Panthers learned today who they will face in the 2010 Preseason, and just like last year the team has a game on National Television (ESPN).

The Panthers will open the Preseason on Thursday, August 12 in Baltimore against the Ravens on ESPN. After the Ravens game, the team travels to Charlotte to face the Jets and Titans before making a trip to Pittsburgh for the customary Preseason contest with the Steelers.

After going 0-4 in the 2009 Preseason, the Panthers will hope to get off on the right track this time around. (Not that the Preseason record makes that much of a difference, but it is still nice to win a few Preseason games.)

After the Ravens game on ESPN, the remaining three Preseason games will be shown locally on Panthers TV. The only date that is set at this time is the Ravens game, but I will update the information once it is available.

Categories: Preseason Tags:

Fox doesn’t really want to draft Tebow, does he?

25 March 2010 Leave a comment

ESPN’s NFC South blogger Pat Yasinkas had some interesting comments about John Fox in reference to the comments Fox made about Tim Tebow at the owner’s meeting.

I know John Fox caused a bit of a stir in some circles when he spoke highly of Tim Tebow. I’m telling you right now, calm down. Let’s put this one in perspective. Fox always praises players on other teams, available free agents and every member of the year’s draft crop that he’s asked about. He also never closes the door on anything. Remember last summer when everybody was sure the Panthers were going to sign Michael Vick just because Fox wouldn’t publicly close the door on that possibility? It never happened. Look, I know Fox better than any other coach in the NFC South. If the man is going to make a move that likely will shape the rest of his career, he’s probably not going to reveal it over breakfast with the media.

I really hope you’re right Pat, because the last thing I want is for the Panthers to draft Tim Tebow. Words can’t even describe how much I will hate it if he is picked – a boycott may even be necessary (I hope not, but I am keeping it as a last resort).

I’m not too worried though, because I genuinely think he will be gone before the Panthers’ first pick comes along at #48. Which is fine – let some other fan base worry about the fact that their team wasted a draft pick on a quarterback who will most likely suck in the NFL. As long as I don’t have to worry about it, it’s all good.

Categories: Offseason Tags: ,

Steve Smith wants another receiver

24 March 2010 Leave a comment

The Panthers have a lot of choices to make in the upcoming draft. Do they take a defensive end to replace Peppers, do they take a defensive tackle, or do they take a wide receiver? There are certainly plenty of arguments for each one of those choices, and each one makes sense in it’s own right – but the Panthers have at least one player who feels that offense should be the main focus in the draft.

In a recent interview*, Panthers receiver Steve Smith said that he would like for the Panthers to pursue another fast receiver to complement him in the offense.

After being asked about a previous statement in which Smitty claimed that the team needed to get a faster receiver, the Incendiary One felt that he needed to clarify what he meant.

Smitty:

What I meant by getting a fast receiver … is that I am getting older. I’ll take that role of getting older. Let me get in the slot. Let a young guy run outside. I ran clear-outs for Moose Muhammad and Ricky Proehl back in the day, and I was happy to do that. Now we need another guy to do that.

He also had these nuggets of information:

Not that I am losing a step … I can dominate the outside, but I want to move into the slot and prolong my career. Let the new guys play outside and just run aimlessly. I am looking for a young, aimless runner. … I don’t want to be the grumpy, old receiver who can’t let go of the No. 1 spot. I’ll give the freedom to the young guys; let them be kings. Let those guys catch the 50-yard bombs. I can take a five-yard out route and run 50 yards with it. … As long as I am in the car, I am straight. I ain’t riding on the hood and I am not in the trunk. I don’t have to drive, but don’t get me in the car with (a receiver) who doesn’t have his learner’s permit. He’s got to be certified to drive. And I’ll be the guy to complement him, not the other way around.

What do I think? I think that Smitty is dead on target with this. It’s hard not to agree with a guy who understands what this team needs, and if anyone knows what it’s like to be the only receiving threat in an offense, it’s Steve Smith. I just hope the front office listens to him and drafts a receiver who can play outside and let Smitty work the middle like he wants. Because if that happens, linebackers everywhere will learn just how dynamic Steve Smith really is.

And that’s all he wants to do. He simply wants to let the world know just how good he is, and how much he loves the game of football. What more can you ask for in a player?

* – Author’s Note: My favorite part of the Smith interview has nothing to do with this article, but I love the fact that he says Matt Moore is “just a little squirrel trying to get a nut” … hilarious stuff.

Categories: Offseason Tags: ,

Panthers Links – 3.18.10

18 March 2010 Leave a comment

Here are just a few recent links of Panthers news around the web…

Panthers head coach John Fox spent time watching Tim Tebow debut his new throwing motion. [God, I hope that he was really there to scout other players and this is just media sensationalism (not that they would do that), but I just hope he wasn’t really there to scout Tebow. Can anyone confirm that Tebow wasn’t the reason for the trip?]

Charlotte Observer columnist Scott Fowler thinks that 2010 is John Fox’s last chance to win in Carolina. [He may be right – if the Panthers completely tank this season, I would expect to see Big Cat hire a new coach instead of giving Fox a new deal. But, if the Panthers make a serious playoff run and finish with an 8-8 record or better, then I would expect Fox to be at least offered a new contract – whether he signs a new deal or not is a completely different matter.]

James Dator from Real Bits of Panthers offers his analysis on the Panthers decision to re-sign DE Tyler Brayton (one of the best decisions they could have made, if you ask me).

Darin Gantt tells us that the Panthers are showing serious interest in Appalachian State QB Armanti Edwards, but they may not be looking at him for the backup QB position.

Pat Yasinkas offers his thoughts on Tebow’s workout as it applies to the NFC South. [Again – I truly hope that Tebow does not end up in a Panthers uniform. I don’t know if there are words to explain how much I am against the thought of drafting him.]

Categories: Panthers Links

Panthers sign DE Tyler Brayton to 3 year contract

17 March 2010 Leave a comment

It appears that the Panthers will have some decent depth on the defensive line after all. According to several sources, Tyler Brayton has re-signed with Carolina. The financial terms of the deal have not been announced, but according to the information I’ve seen, the deal is for three years.

This is great news for the Panthers, who were going to need to pick up some veteran help on the defensive line after Julius Peppers signed with the Bears, and Brayton is the best available option because he has a year under Ron Meeks’ system and several years in the Panthers locker room. His veteran presence will be helpful to Everette Brown and Charles Johnson, who appear at the moment to be the future of the franchise at the defensive end position.

Darin Gantt provides an interesting thought on his twitter page:

Brayton made it clear early on he wanted to stay. Said in December he’d have been “heartbroken,” if Panthers didn’t want him.

Even though Brayton is 30 years old and goes against what the Panthers have apparently decided to do this offseason, this was a good move to bring him back. I really think they will be glad they did this when the season starts.

Also, this completely changes the Panthers’ draft strategy. Now they can go after a WR with the first pick in the 2nd round instead of focusing on defense. (Mardy Gilyard, anyone?)

Categories: Offseason Tags:

A new opportunity

16 March 2010 2 comments

People of Earth:

I am pleased to announce that I have been offered an awesome opportunity to become a writer for SB Nation’s Panthers blog, Cat Scratch Reader, and I have graciously accepted the offer and will start writing for the website in the near future.

Some of you may be familiar with SB Nation, and some of you may not be. For those who are not: SB Nation is a sports blog site that is full of fan blogs for pretty much every team in every sport. Regardless of what your favorite team (or sport) is, there is a blog for you to join and be a part of a community with other fans just like you. CSR is, in my opinion, one of the best sports blogs on the planet – not because I’m now a part of the writing staff, but because the fans there all understand the concept of being a true fan, and there is a true camaraderie involved. CSR will make any Panthers fan feel right at home, and if the other team blogs are anything like CSR, you must join and get involved with your favorite team now, because you will truly enjoy the experience.

What does this mean for the status of The Panther Playbook? Nothing, really. I’m still going to maintain this blog, so don’t worry about that (because I’m sure you were nervously awaiting confirmation that this blog would still be active).  I just wanted to share this exciting information with everyone, and invite anyone reading this to take a look at CSR (or any other team site you would like to look at).

Thank you for reading.

Categories: Off-Field Issues Tags:

Panthers add OL depth with Petitti

15 March 2010 Leave a comment

Update: Marcus Hudson has signed a 1-year contract.

The Panthers have added depth to the offensive line by signing RFA OT Rob Petitti to a one-year deal, according to his agent.

According to Darin Gantt, this is a good signing:

Petitti was a late-season injury replacement, after playing in the UFL last year. A one-time 16-game starter for Dallas, he’s at least a good complement to Geoff Schwartz and Garry Williams on the second line. He was a restricted free agent who they chose not to tender, but they made it clear to his agent from day one they wanted to bring him back.

This looks to me like nothing more than a  move to ensure that there is some veteran depth on the offensive line next season, and since Petitti is a cost-effective option, it’s a good move.

In other free agency news, the Panthers are also expected to meet with former San Francisco defensive back/special teamer Marcus Hudson soon. Could this be the man who replaces Dante Wesley on the ST unit?

Categories: Offseason Tags: