Panther Paw Prints - Friday Edition

I've got some pent up Paw Prints for you, at least a bakers dozen I would say. there is plenty of talking going on this week and a lot of it could be bulletin board material for the Panthers locker room. Let's start with some more ugliness but then move on to the more palatable stuff:

Run, Zorn, Run! : Key To A Redskins Victory Over Panthers Is Rushing | Bleacher Report
The Redskins get another blessing of an opponent this Sunday in the winless Carolina Panthers. This is another week for the Redskins to correct their mistakes and nab a victory against a lesser team. The word "lesser" is used gingerly after the vomit inducing Lions loss.

There will be nothing used 'gingerly' when the Panthers put the smackdown on the Redskins.I'm thinking Steve Smith will write another chapter in his feud with CB DeAngelo Hall, this one titled "On the brink of Insanity":

The height of animosity for Smith, Hall - Washington Times
"Anytime you get a guy who's going to push you to the brink of insanity on the football field, you got your job cut out for you," Hall said. "I'm sure he wants to... try to dominate me, catch every ball. I'm going to try to do the same thing, not let him smell the ball. ... [But] I'm not going into this thing trying to kill him. I'm not going into this thing for war, for blood. You gotta help your team try to win a game."

If you're still wondering what Smitty did to Hall to cause his meltdown here is Hall's take on it:

Darin Gantt's Panthers Blog | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC
"It wasn’t anything he did to get under my skin," Hall said. "I held him without a catch. I think it was late in the first half. He went downfield, kind of got behind me, got a pass interference call cause I just pulled him down, couldn’t stop the route. "Next play, quick jam, the referee said I probably didn’t need to him that hard. Got another penalty. Me and him going back and forth talking trash and I get singled out again, get another penalty. Talked to Mr. Goodell. He said two of those penalties never should’ve been called. You just take ‘em in stride. They make mistakes, too."

So it was the Ref's fault? That is rich!. Speaking of rich:

New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Indy Colts have no wideout issues - Don Banks - SI.com
• With one sack and nine tackles through three games, Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers, he of the $1 million-plus salary per game, isn't worth his paycheck. Spectacularly.

Speaking of Peppers, Jon Beasons says he's going to have a heart to heart with Pep after watching the constantly double-teamed Jared Allen put up 4.5 sacks Monday Night:

Panthers notebook: Beason plans to have pep talk with Peppers | peppers, beason, plans - Sports - The Star Online : The Newspaper of Cleveland County
"When you go out and see another Pro Bowler, a guy who is well known like (Allen) is, a guy you have to game plan around making a tackle 45 yards downfield and then come back with four-and-a-half sacks. Closing the door is what he did. And everyone knows it," Beason told Primetime with the Packman. "Yes, it’s harder to make plays in this league when you are well known, but he still got it done, so it’s possible."

That won't keep John Fox from making excuses for Pep lackluster start. Maybe Fox has a point but it sure sounds like an excuse:

Foxhole: A lot to improve on
On how often elite defensive ends get double-teamed: It depends on what you call double-team. Sliding the protection there allows a guy to set way outside, but there is a guard in there waiting. Whether the guard actually hits him or not, it doesn't matter. But it's a huge advantage when the line is coming that way. If you are looking at tape, whether two guys actually hit him or not, what I'm talking about is a double team even though two people don't put their hands on him. I would explain to you that it's not always two guys putting their hands on him is called a double team in the pass game.

Now here is a guy who can honestly complain about getting double teamed but usually doesn't:

WR Smith waits for Panthers' passing game to heat up | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC
He said the Cowboys defended him differently than many have in the past, when the standard Smith look was a safety high over the top, and corners trying to keep him in front of them in zone. Newman played far more press than he was used to, and Dallas had safety Ken Hamlin stationed 12 yards deep to collect him at that point. "It was interesting," Smith said of their plan. "It just gives me the opportunity to add a little bit to my repertoire."

Here's something to watch for on Sunday. Let's see of Zorn talks to Lewis during the game or maybe (hopefully) creates some tension on the sideline.

Redskins Players and Coaches Remain Uncertain About How Much of a Role Sherman Lewis Will Have - washingtonpost.com
"It's not something that I was looking for initially," Zorn said. "I wasn't saying, 'Hey, Vinny, you need to go out and really find a guy for me.' But when the suggestion was made, I'm open to it. I just want to make sure that I don't have so much pride in having to have all the answers that somebody can't come in and look and see what I'm doing."

Here's the yin and the yang of John Fox. When he says things like this I really want to believe him:

Panthers coach Fox has overcome poor start before - San Jose Mercury News
"We ran the table, so we won 11 of our next 12, and I believe it's the only team in history to ever do that," Fox said of being the only modern club to start 0-4 and reach the playoffs.

But then I hear this and I'm thinking "Four good teams (Rams, Bucs, Lions)? Why do I even bother listening?"

Foxhole: Closer to full strength
On the Washington Redskins: They are 2-2. They've played four good teams instead of three good teams like we have. They've had a taste of winning, which we're trying to get accomplished, so it should be a good test.

Moving on to lighter topics, if you see pink flashes on Sunday that's just D-Will tearing up the 'Skins:

Pink Panthers
"I made a suggestion to Riley (Fields, the Panthers' director of community relations) and then Riley took it to the league and they okayed it," Williams said. "I was shocked, because normally when you present stuff like that it doesn't even get past the front gate."

The Panthers version of Humpty Dumpty DT Maake Kemoeatu is taking precautions to not blow up while trying to get put back together again:

Minutes: The lighter side of Kemoeatu
"It is tough not working out. All I can do is watch what I eat. I come from a family where we get big. The older we get, the bigger we get," Kemoeatu said. "But in the world of sports, I have to keep my weight down and be in the best shape I can to help my team win."

Go Panthers!


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