Carolina Panthers/NFL Pre-Season Thread

Like a long-lost friend, football is back! The Panthers open their pre-season slate tonight, and many questions abound. Can our old friend Muhsin Muhammad fill the black hole that has been #2 WR ever since…Moose left the first time? Is Dwayne Jarrett a complete bust? Is Jeff Otah the last puzzle piece for the OL, or is he just an overrated stiff? Will Julius Peppers be Julius Peppers again? Can Godfrey fill a glaring void at safety? He sure as hell better, after the Panthers passed on DaJuan Morgan in the 3rd round to take him.

Personally, I would have drafted Vandy’s Chris Williams at 13, passed on Stewart (fragile and unnecessary), and not made the trade with Philly. That said, Williams hurt his back in camp and might land on IR – so good thing the Panthers didn’t go that route. And I doubt Fox and Hurley really care too much about next year’s first round pick, since they’ll be job hunting if the Panthers don’t make the playoffs this year.

Round 2 of Steve Smith’s Punch-Out!! resulted in a team-imposed 2 game suspension. Memo to Smith – when you are 5’10” and 175 pounds in the NFL, it’s probably not a good idea to go around sucker punching people. So, it will be hard to get a read on the passing game early on. But I do expect a very strong performance from Jake Delhomme.

In other QB news, thank God Carolina didn’t bid on marginal QB/drama queen extraordinaire Brett Favre. The collective ass-kissing when the Pats and Jets play this year will be too much for any thinking person to bear. Let’s be even more thankful for the graceful departures of John Elway and Dan Marino – each of whom was twice the QB Favre is (but only 10% the QB that Favre thinks he is).

I am split in my allegiances, as I remain loyal to my pre-Panther era favorite team, the Denver Broncos. When they play (every four years), it has been clear which team “needed” the win more, and that’s who I cheered for. I narrowly avoided a tough call a few years ago, when each team made the conference finals.

Playoff Picks

NFC: Carolina, Green Bay, Arizona, Dallas, Philadelphia*, Minnesota*
AFC: San Diego, Jacksonville, New England, Pittsburgh, Denver*, Indianapolis*
Super Bowl: New England over Green Bay

* = wildcard

Post your thoughts on the Panthers, your own favorite team, and/or the NFL in general.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

NCS Football

34 Responses to Carolina Panthers/NFL Pre-Season Thread

  1. Noah 08/09/2008 at 1:51 PM #

    I think the trade with Philly was a good one. When Stewart finally recovers from his toe surgery, he’ll be a 1,400 yard back and Jeff Otah has been extraordinarily good in camp.

    Dwayne Jarrett, it appears, is in his final year with the Panthers. If he wasn’t a second-rounder, they would have cut him already. They don’t want to eat the cap penalty they’ll take if they cut him this year, so they’ll let him be the final receiver and then cut him next year.

    The secondary and the linebacker corp are finally healthy, stocked and talented. The DL should be okay.

    On offense, they’re deeper at every position this year.

    I think the Panthers can be a nine or 10 win team this year…provided they stay reasonably healthy.

  2. Dogbreath 08/09/2008 at 1:57 PM #

    The Panthers are a bland team, wearing bland uniforms, with bland players, playing in a bland stadium in a bland city.

    Yawwwnn.

  3. Noah 08/09/2008 at 2:06 PM #

    Unlike the (insert favorite team here) which are clearly the greatest thing ever.

  4. Wulfpack 08/09/2008 at 2:21 PM #

    I think getting Stewart AND Otah were great moves and may well save the day for Fox and Hurney. Stewart is a bruiser. You can’t ride one running back in the NFL these days and Foster was terrible. A (non-UNC) friend of mine has been down in Spartanburg and he says Pep has his mojo back. Been nothing short of dominant. A lot of the O-linemen are echoing that in their statements. I think it’s going to be a really great year for Carolina, if and only if, Jake’s arm is ok after Tommy John. I’ll say we go 11-5 with a first round bye.

    My predictions, for whatever it is worth:

    NFC: Carolina, Minnesota, Seattle, Dallas, New Orleans*, Washington*
    AFC: San Diego, Indy, New England, Cleveland, Jacksonville*, Buffalo*
    Super Bowl: New England over Dallas

  5. b 08/09/2008 at 2:43 PM #

    I loved the trade with Philly as an Eagle fan. That doesn’t mean it was bad for the Panthers. Every so often a trade actually helps both teams.

    I pull for the Panthers against everyone but the Birds, old habits and hard deaths you know. The only thing that might change this would be a Wolfpacker actually drafted by the instate team.

  6. Dr. BadgerPack 08/09/2008 at 2:45 PM #

    BJD- I normally agree with most of what you write basketball/football-wise but “Marino twice the QB Favre was”… let’s be real here. What metric are you using to base this on? Or is it the “I hate Favre” metric?

    Note, I won’t complain about Elway– because you can at least use Super Bowl rings to justify that.

    Stewart should be a good fit- and he’ll allow Williams to do what he does best, which is namely utilize his speed and not get pounded on for 20-25 carries a game. Muhammed I’m not worried about- he’s consistent and usually healthy. Hackett is a key; he was supposed to be the complimentary #2 receiver but he has SERIOUS health issues (and he’s already been hurt once in camp so…).

    Carolina/New Orleans will both make the playoffs– the division winner/WC is a toss-up at this point. I’d lean Carolina simply because Reggie Bush sucks. Dallas and Arizona will probably win divisions, and the NFC North will just implode on itself. I have to pick someone to win, so I’ll go Green Bay. Rodgers didn’t look lost when he played at Dallas last season. The other WC I’d go NY Giants.

    AFC: SD, Indy, NE all pretty safe choices. Jacksonville, Houston, Cleveland the other 3 if I did my divisions right.

    Super Bowl: San Diego vs. Carolina (not bloody likely- but if it is this most of us will be pretty happy no matter how it turns out).

  7. howlie 08/09/2008 at 3:38 PM #

    Don’t know how to interpret the remark: “John Elway and Dan Marino [were]… twice the QB Favre is…’
    Even if that were somehow accurate, all three are ‘hall of famers’–so the conversation becomes splitting hairs that have already fallen off.

    I think getting Favre will hurt the Jets unless he’s planning on playing another three years. If this year is his ‘last hurrah,’ there’s no time to adjust to his new teammates and playbook this year… and no time for the team to develop another QB for next year.

    I’m glad Cothchery will have an all-pro year because of Brett and get his own contract padded.

  8. BJD95 08/09/2008 at 4:00 PM #

    Elway and Marino were much more proficient in throwing to the right team, and produced at a high level much later in their careers.

    Favre has been average at best for at least the past 5 seasons.

  9. highstick 08/09/2008 at 4:10 PM #

    Was always(and still am a Green Bay fan), but have gotten in to the Panther excitement(and disappointment) since moving to the area.

    For gosh sakes, don’t sent Lee Fowler here to “undo” the blandness!

  10. Dr. BadgerPack 08/09/2008 at 4:42 PM #

    Favre was much more proficient at winning. Favre had arguably his best season last year at 37, 38… as far as INT’s, Favre throws 1 more than Elway every 10 games, and 1 more than Marino every 20 games.

    The TDs/game are Elway 1.3, Favre and Marino 1.7. Elway has 2 rings, Favre 1, Marino 0. All have been recognized as MVPs (if I rememver correctly). For a numbers guy, it sounds like sour grapes to say either were twice the QB Favre was :)

    My disclaimer: I was a Packers fan before the Panthers, and still pull for them (and lived in Wisconsin for 5 years).

  11. Noah 08/09/2008 at 5:20 PM #

    Dan Marino elevated what would have been the worst team in the league into a .500/borderline playoff team for most of his career.

    He never played with a running back who was worth a crap. For most of his career, his OL was most famous for what they did in the 1972 season (Dwight Stephenson’s brief career is the exception), and their defense was deplorable.

    Pass-for-pass, he was probably the best quarterback who ever lived. He just had the misfortune of playing on pretty horrible teams.

    The one QB that I would put in his class is Johnny Unitas, whose numbers are so eye-poppingly ahead of everyone in the league at the time that he might well be the Babe Ruth of his position.

    Montana and Young and Elway are all great QBs, but they had the advantage of playing on great teams. Favre goes in the next class. He’s a HOFer (unlike Troy Aikman, who was only slightly better than average), but not elite, IMO.

  12. Dr. BadgerPack 08/09/2008 at 5:35 PM #

    “Dan Marino elevated what would have been the worst team in the league into a .500/borderline playoff team for most of his career.”

    Favre played on juggernauts…

    Favre never had much of a running game. He had some individuals who had decent campaigns, but those that cashed in and left dropped off precipitously. Marino is probably a bit better, but the per attempt numbers say he and Favre were pretty close.

    Unitas was pretty good for his time (understatement). He did have a Ruthian share of interceptions thrown, however.

  13. BJD95 08/09/2008 at 6:39 PM #

    Still no HD on Panther pre-season broadcasts. Cheap bastards. DeAngelo Williams is a badass, and the Panthers have never given him a fair shot to carry the load. They could have drafted a solid backup type in the 4th round instead of burning a high pick on Stewart.

  14. highstick 08/09/2008 at 6:40 PM #

    7-0 Panthers, Colt’s turnover. Panthers score on 3 plays!

  15. BJD95 08/09/2008 at 7:02 PM #

    So far, so good re Peppers. Godfrey and Seward playing well, too.

  16. Noah 08/09/2008 at 7:32 PM #

    Favre never had much of a running game.

    Ahman Green? Ryan Grant? Dorsey Levins?

    Hell, Edgar Bennett would have been the best back to play with Marino had he been a Dolphin.

  17. Wulfpack 08/09/2008 at 8:30 PM #

    Peppers dominated tonight. He’s back.

    As far as the Favre/Marino debate goes…hell I don’t know. All I know is recently the game seems to be more about Brett than anything else. He’s in for a rude awakening this year when the Jets head south. Those fans won’t give a flying flip who he is the second he throws a 4 INT game with a loss.

  18. Noah 08/09/2008 at 8:44 PM #

    The Panthers first unit looks great. I’m not worried about the final score. None of the people playing in the second half are going to be on a roster in a month.

  19. Otis 08/09/2008 at 9:17 PM #

    I dont know if the trade with the Eggles was good or not for the Panthers, but it defiantly was an “all-in” move on their part. I don’t care what Steve Smith height and weight are you don’t say anything to that man – have you seen him. He is built like a brink hit house.

    For the Predictions
    AFC – Chargers, Pats, Colts, Steelers – division champs
    Jags & Jets -wild cards

    NFC – Cowboys, Bucs, Cards, Vikings -division champs
    Panthers & Washington – wild cards

  20. turfpack 08/09/2008 at 9:52 PM #

    Are you high?-Farve will be a Hall of Famer.
    YES he is one of the best QB’s to play the game.
    Also -who was it that FARVE lost to in college in the Bowl game.
    I think it was a team in red.
    Panthers are going to be alot better this year-offense&defense and will make playoffs.

  21. Noah 08/09/2008 at 10:27 PM #

    Who said Favre wouldn’t be a HOFer? He owns damn near every passing record in the NFL.

    But that doesn’t mean he belongs in the same category with the truly best.

    Afterall, that scrub Joe Namath is in the HOF too.

  22. wolfpackbball 08/09/2008 at 11:21 PM #

    Holy Hating Batman!

    Marginal QB/Drama Queen?
    Elway and Marino, twice the QB?
    Rare to read such unfounded BS here.

  23. Dr. BadgerPack 08/10/2008 at 7:31 AM #

    Noah- We at least agree Namath is the most overrated thing since, well, the inception of overrated.

    Grant was great last year at RB. Let’s see what he does without a 4000 yard passing offense. Ahman Green was really good for 7 years or so; the other running backs for GB were on par with Marino’s (save for Levins’ 1997– but that offense was insane). The QBs in their peak years basically had guys averaging 3.7 yards per carry. Interestingly enough, Abdul-Jabbar, who some uninformed say was Marino’s best RB, piled up the most yardage but was in the 3.1 range on yards per carry. He was the only RB that got into the 300 carry range though for the Marino teams.

    At the end of the day, you put a team together and BJD can take Elway, Noah can have Marino and I’ll take Favre and I guarantee everyone is happy, and everyone wins a heckuva lot of games.

    This “debate” is one of those who’s hotter- Jessica Alba or Brooke Burke deals… all a matter of personal preference and you really can’t go wrong either way.

  24. Ed89 08/10/2008 at 8:28 AM #

    Marino had pass blockers and no run blockers. Few running backs could’ve run behind those lines. OL determines the running game as much or more than the RB. Brooke Burke.

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