I’m back with a vengeance, really. I feel like I owe my loyal readers an explanation as to why I’ve been so slack lately in getting fresh posts up. It’s not like there isn’t plenty to talk about. So I’ve added an explanation to the end of this post if you care.
Throughout the week, the Panthers' fellowship of rehabilitating pass-catchers declined in numbers, with wide receivers Dwayne Jarrett, Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad and tight ends Dante Rosario and Gary Barnidge all returning to the practice field from various injuries incurred during training camp and the preseason.
But Carolina's cadre of aerial targets remains at less than full strength, with D.J. Hackett and Ryne Robinson still sidelined with toe and knee injuries, respectively. And for Jarrett, who missed last week's loss at Philadelphia after suffering a leg bruise during the evening practice on Aug. 11, Saturday night's game against the Washington Redskins represents an opportunity to not only showcase his progress of the year to date, but to state his case for additional playing time in the weeks to come.
It’s safe to say we are all waiting to see this kid and his “A” game.
Moose (Muhsin Muhammad) practiced today. The only guys we have out right now are: D.J. Hackett (toe), Chris Harris (groin) and Ryne Robinson (knee).
So both TE’s Dante Rosario and Gary Barnidge should see their first action this preseason. I have to be honest though, the more I see the types of running plays the Panthers use the less I care about whether we have a TE that can stretch the field. What we need is a TE who can deliver a devastating block. TE Jeff King is adequate and getting better but he still has trouble with LB’s and can only stand up a DE, he rarely drives them back.
Stating the Obvious – Fox in the Hot Seat
Here’s a puff piece that provides a pretty good summary of the Panthers preseason so far and delves into the obvious pressure HC John Fox has to win this season. Jake Delhomme lays it out as only Jake can:
"Going 8-8 and 7-9, that doesn't cut it in this league," quarterback Jake Delhomme said. "If you don't perform well, you're looking to get run out extremely quick."
I’m sure John Fox will appreciate any help you can give towards his job security Jake. How about 4,200 yards and 30+ TD’s?
Chargers Merriman to Miss Season Opener?
We can only hope this bears into fruition:
The trouble is "a loose ligament and (I'm) waiting to get more info on what I need to do," Merriman said in an e-mail to the North County Times.
Merriman underwent surgery to repair cartilage damage five months ago but has had persistent pain in the knee during training camp. He traveled this week to Birmingham, Ala., so the knee could be examined by Dr. James Andrews, who performed the operation.
With a little more than two weeks until the season opener we can only hope he needs a little more rest to get his season started. The Charger defense will lack it's key spark (pun intended) playing without Merriman. The Panthers sit Steve Smith, the Chargers Shawn Merriman, it’s only fair.
LB Davis Set to Bust or Bust Out?
The premise of this article is that LB Thomas Davis has finally found his spot after being unceremoniously moved around since joining the Panthers a few seasons ago.
“I feel like I'm really comfortable in the position I'm in now,” he said. “I feel like it's going to show on the field.”
Is anyone else thinking that Davis had better shine or his days in Carolina could be numbered? Where else can they possibly move him? Don’t get me wrong, I like Davis and I think he is a good player but I also don’t think he has lived up to his 1st round draft status. Davis explains why he is better suited to the weak-side:
“The biggest difference for me right now is I don't have to get on the line of scrimmage and get into a battle with the tight end,” said Davis. “At (weakside) linebacker, I've got a lot more freedom to use what I feel like are my natural abilities, which (are) to get out on the edge and run.”
The Panthers do blitz the WLB a good bit so we should see 5-6 sacks from Davis this season.
On a Personal Note
I may have mentioned a couple months ago I was going through some trying times leading to a reduction in my blogging. What happened is I unexpectedly got laid off from my job at the end of June. When you have 4 kids and lots of bills it can make your ass pucker, kind of like Joey Harrington sitting in a collapsing pocket with Julius Peppers bearing down on him. If you know anything about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs you know it’s hard to concentrate on personal interests like blogging when you’re worried about paying the bills and keeping the teenager daughters happy.
Alas, Jaxon has found a job! I start on Monday and it actually pays more, has better benefits and...we don’t have to move. Yee haww what a freakin relief!
So here comes the fun part:
Kiss my big, white, pimpled ass Joe Coffey (former boss)!!! I don’t need you or your job so go back to Albany you damn Yankee a-hole prick!
That felt good. Thanks for listening, now let’s get back to kicking some ass on the football field!