Smith Lights his own Fire
Here’s a good article about Steve Smith and how he gets motivated to play every weekend.
The Rams' Leonard Little called Smith one of the NFL's best playmakers after the game Sunday. "He always plays with a chip on his shoulder," Little said. "With Steve Smith, anything fuels him. And he doesn't need anyone to say anything about him to be fueled. He is going to be fueled anyway."
But he does act like he is disrespected every where he goes in the NFL. Hey, whatever it takes. I always pull for the underdog and Smith loves that role.
Yet he remains a motivational master who can throw gasoline onto his own fire from any angle -- until the game ends. After the Panthers' convincing win Sunday, Smith stood at his locker and complimented Hill. Smith had conquered the cornerback. There was nothing more to be gained from nurturing the grudge.
"I hope that young man has a great season," Smith said. "He's an exceptional player."
I know I've been repeating myself about this lately, but Steve Smith has turned into a class act.
Another "Panthers Will Disappoint" Article
Tom Sorenson gives his reasons why the Panthers will fail.
Here's why they won't (succeed). The power structure changes in the NFL every season. This isn't Major League Baseball, where we know the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will titillate the nation until the playoffs begin and they go in the tank. What applied in the NFL in 2006 means little in 2007.
So many facets of the game have to go right for Carolina to compete. Frankly, I see clouds, cold fronts and a record of 6-10.
I’m so tired of reading this stuff but I guess I’m doing it so I know who to tweak in a few weeks and say "Eat Your Words Moron!" Sorenson will be at the top of the list. So 2006 means nothing in 2007? Give me a break. Try telling that to Vegas. How many games will the Panthers have to win to open the season before it stops? How about 5-0?
There was actually an article earlier this week that I’m not going to link because it was so lame but it talked about how we would be feeling right now if we lost. What a total waste of ether space. Some people cannot enjoy a game even if they win.
Another Dumb Prediction
Last one I promise. This one is from one of the lame Charlotte.com bloggers.
It won't be lucky for the Carolina Panthers, either, but it will be better than average. In their 13th season, the Panthers will go 9-7, squeak into the NFC playoffs and then lose in the first round.
Why? Carolina has two slashers but no bruiser at running back. Its safeties are average. It has a middle linebacker who's had five concussions, and a mediocre offensive line that still can't get people out of the way often enough.
So why will Carolina win nine games? Because Steve Smith is still Steve Smith and Julius Peppers is still Julius Peppers. Because Kris Jenkins is ready again. Because Delhomme has made a promise to himself that he will have more fun than he did in '06.
No bruising RB? Is Addai or Rhodes "bruisers"? I don’t think so but Rhodes did run hard in the SB. Mediocre OL? God I hope someone pins this up in the Panthers locker room. The Panthers could end up having one of the best lines in the NFC.
No, the Panthers will go 11-5 because they will execute an offensive game plan that is not predictable, that highlights the Panthers strengths and the opponents’ weaknesses and minimizes mistakes. Jake can still run an offense at a high level. The defense will continue it’s string of top 10 finishes and the special teams will rise to average. That’s why. They won't lose in the first round because they will have a bye. But feel free to continue to poor mouth the Panthers because Steve Smith loves the motivation.
Moving Peppers Around
A nice observation from Charlotte.com:
John Fox was asked at his Monday press conference about how the Panthers used defensive end Julius Peppers in Sunday’s victory in St. Louis. Peppers moved around a lot, often standing up and dropping into coverage.
He did do this during the game but I’m not sure how much. I do prefer to see him rush the passer but it’s best to mix it up. So much of the NFL game is being unpredictable and moving our better players like Peppers and Smith around creates an element of surprise that is always needed. It's a smart strategy.
Panthers 1-2 Punch
It doesn't appear DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams mind the 2-back rotation. Just look at the last two SB winners: Pittsburgh with Bettis/Parker & the Colts with Addai/Rhodes.
"When you’ve got another quality back back there, it’s going to be good," Foster said. "We’ve got a good one-two punch back there. I think it’s just the offense, as long as we keep playing within ourselves, we should be good."
I thought Foster ran hard against the Rams and moved the pile on several occasions. He was delivering blows while still showing cut back ability. The 1-2 punch just needs to hang on to the ball though.
Texans vs. Panthers Preview Article
Here’s a game preview that makes a few good points but not much else.
"This game is about confidence," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "When you're a player and a couple of good things go your way, you start to get a lot of confidence. I would expect (Williams) to feel really good coming out of this one moving forward."
I expect Mario to have some highs and lows this season. I expected KC to struggle because they lost the left side of their OL, they have a young QB and they struggle throwing the ball. The Texans offense will play right into the Panther defenses hands. They don’t run the ball very well and they have one receiving threat, Andre Johnson.
No matter what, we don't let the ball get run on us," defensive end Mike Rucker said of the Carolina defense, which has held 11 of its last 16 opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards. "Once you make them one-dimensional, then they have to go up in the air."
That's exactly what the Panthers did to the Rams. Expect the Panthers pass rush to get cranked up in the second half once we get a lead on the Texans.
Panthers Sign TE Fauria
The Carolina Panthers signed tight end Christian Fauria and released cornerback Curtis Deloatch on Tuesday.
So is Deloatch really leaving this time or what?
I also picked up this tidbit of info from this article.
The Panthers also signed running back Alex Haynes to the practice squad and released tight end Chad Upshaw.
So we are only going to have three RB’s on the roster for the Texans game. Shouldn’t be a problem I hope. Upshaw getting waived is no surprise since we have four TE’s now.