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Steve Smith activated from PUP list

16 August 2010 Leave a comment

According to Darin Gantt, Smitty is cleared to practice with the team after suffering a broken arm during the offseason (the same arm he broke against the Giants in Week 16 last year).

Gantt:

WR Steve Smith was activated from the physically unable to perform list, and ran a few routes during individual drills this morning. … That’s not to say he’s going to take any contact soon, as they want to make sure that broken left arm is ready for the regular season opener.

This is great news! Smitty has been seen on the field since the start of camp, but this is the first time he’s been cleared to participate in team drills, though they probably will hold off on the contact since it would be best for him to be ready for opening day.

Categories: Preseason, Training Camp Tags:

Did the Panthers steal the next Peppers?

2 August 2010 1 comment

There has been a lot of chatter lately about Panthers 6th round pick Greg Hardy, the defensive end from Ole Miss, and most of the talk centers around the pre-draft rumors that Hardy “[was a guy with] a poor work ethic and a guy who simply disappeared for long periods of time”.

The funny thing is: he was at one time projected to be the first pick overall. In the entire draft. But, that was before he went back to Ole Miss for his senior year, and before he developed his reputation for being a problem child. (Some sources say that he missed as many as 20 team meetings and constantly challenged his coaches.)

So how did the kid end up on the Carolina Panthers, the one NFL team above all with the reputation of avoiding trouble-makers at all costs? Could it be that the rumors about Hardy just simply aren’t true? Could it be that the kid got an undeserved rep while in school? Apparently, the Panthers brass feel that the knocks on Hardy’s reputation are simply rumor, because what they saw was an early round talent sitting in the stockpile in the sixth round, and they knew that they could use a guy with Hardy’s speed and athleticism on the defensive line, so they took a chance.

And so far, they are glad they did.

Panthers defensive line coach Brian Baker says he heard the rumors about Hardy before the draft. But after working with him for a few months, he’s convinced they simply aren’t true and that the kid does have the desire. “I was a college coach for 12 years before I came to the league, and in the 15 since then it’s the same thing — guys get labels on them sometimes … sometimes it’s legit and sometimes it’s not. In his case it hasn’t been legit.”

To Hardy it’s all a bit perplexing, because he prides himself on his work ethic. Perhaps that’s why he seems like a caged animal fighting for his freedom every day on the field. Case in point. On the final day of OTAs every year, the Panthers run conditioning tests. Hardy ran against the rest of the team’s linemen, four times back and forth across the width of the football field. It wasn’t close. Hardy blew away the competition by more than 20 yards. Then he did it again. And again.

Hardy, on his work ethic:

That’s one of the things a lot of people don’t think I have, but I’m going to constantly prove that I do … I’m going to be more in shape. I’m going to be more physical. I’m going to be faster because I’m out here grinding. I came to camp like that and I’m going to leave camp like that. That’s me in general every day of the week, all year long…

Sounds to me like he’s a kid with an undeserved bad reputation who wants nothing more but to come out and prove his detractors wrong.

It would be nice if he can come out and give the same production he had at Ole Miss — 26.5 career sacks, 7 forced fumbles (recovering 4)  and  39.5 tackles for a loss — because the Panthers can use all the help on the defensive line they can get. It would be an added bonus if that help is a reincarnation of the best defensive end in franchise history.

* * * *
Quotes courtesy of Steve Reed, Carolina Growl.

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It’s that time again…

25 July 2010 1 comment

The start of training camp is just around the corner for the Panthers (Thursday, to be exact), which means that there should be plenty of things to talk about in the next few weeks. There will be camp battles for various positions, rookies trying to make a name for themselves and get significant playing time,  and of course there will be a few of the “I didn’t see that one coming” moments before the Panthers break camp on August 18.

So sit back and relax, and prepare for football season, because it will be here before you know it. Hopefully I will be here, blogging the team news from camp as I get pumped for a new season of Panthers football. And hopefully you will be here as well, reading right along with me.

More to come in the next few days as the team heads off to camp…

Categories: Preseason, Training Camp

Steve Smith is the man

14 August 2009 Leave a comment

Steve Smith won’t let a nagging shoulder injury get the best of him. The “most awesome WR in the league” returned to the practice field in full pads today after hurting his shoulder while doing one-on-one drills in practice on Monday night.

It’s even more amazing when one takes into consideration that he still had his arm in a sling as late as yesterday afternoon.

This is great news for Panthers fans, because we need Smitty on the field to be successful in the passing game this year.

It is still unclear if he will see any playing time in the Preseason opener against the Giants on Monday, but it is good to know that his injury isn’t as serious as once speculated, because losing him could have been disastrous.

Check out the full article from CBS Sportsline here.

Steve Smith could miss 2 weeks

12 August 2009 3 comments

The Panthers may have caught a break (no pun intended) with the news that WR Steve Smith could only miss two weeks with the shoulder injury he sustained during practice in training camp.

Smitty was running drills with CB Chris Gamble when he hit the ground and landed on his shoulder. He got up grimacing in pain and tossed his helmet away in frustration, and has not seen action on the field since.

It is possible that he may be out for the entire preseason, and could even miss playing time in the regular season if he cannot recover from the injury in time.

Of course, he most likely wouldn’t play in the 4th preseason game anyway, so he may see some action in the 3rd game when the Panthers take on the Ravens – but it is most likely that the earliest he will play will be the first game of the regular season when the Panthers take on the Eagles in Charlotte.

When asked about his injury, Smitty said “I thought it was broken, because it was hurting. But it’s not, so we’ll just play it by ear with Ryan (Vermillion) and the training staff. They’re doing a good job icing it to death and doing the stuff that’s necessary.”

One positive thing that comes with this injury is that it gives WR Dwayne Jarrett plenty of opportunity to step up and become the prime receiver he was drafted to be a few years ago. Hopefully the extra drills in camp will help him develop his game and be an added weapon in the Panthers’ arsenal.

But hopefully it will work out where Smitty can return by Week 1, because the Panthers could use his play-making abilities on the field.

*Quotation courtesy of Andrew Mason and Panthers.com.