I apologize if some or all of this has already been mentioned on here. But I just got caught up on my DVR'd NFL Network shows. And in the last couple weeks the Panthers have been given some very nice-to-hear props... mixed with some obvious criticisms. Here's a recap, with links to the NFLN videos.
Best in the Biz - Top 5 Running Backs
Marshall Faulk loves DeAngelo Williams. He is the only analyst that I have heard give DWill his due props. I was happy with DeAngelo just cracking the top 5, but Marshal put him at #2! Just behind Adrian Peterson. He called him a "Phenomenal Athlete". He said his top 2 RB Qualities are ball security and vision. With 5.5 ypc and 0 fumbles it is easy to understand why he regards DeAngelo so much.
Best in the Biz - Top 5 Wide Receivers
I was shocked that Larry Fitzgerald only came in at #4! I would have put him first. Steve Smith was #3, right behind Andre Johnson and Randy Moss. Regarding Smith, Warren Sapp said "Pound for pound best receiver in the game", "an absolute nightmare" and "You want some of that, you gonna get a whole 4 quarters". And NFLN loves to play Smitty on their sound bites. Best sound bite of the show... "You don't think I'm one of the best? You better check your references!". You GOTTA love it!!!
32 Teams in 32 Days - Panthers #12
Voted by the NFLN viewers, the Panthers came in at number 12. I was OK with this position considering that you know all the big name-team's fans put their teams #1... Knocking the loley Panthers. Bottom line of this episode: Peppers is worth the money, Jake isn't. According to NFLN, Jake's success is due to a team that focus' on defense and running the ball. According to them many QBs could look good, over time in this system. Regarding Peppers, Marshall says "if they have to they should not only pay him the big bucks, but give him part of the team"! Some other interesting quotes about Peppers were "Ron Meeks understands what he's got(in Peppers) that is why he went to Carolina", and "It's criminal that a guy with that size can move with that quickness".
I also found it interesting that the Best in the Biz episode on the Top Edge Rushers, Julius Peppers didn't even crack Rod Woodson's top 5 list! Yet Marshall wants to give him rights to the team??? Guess the verdicts still out on Pep.