Panther Paw Prints - Friday Edition

Admittedly there is nothing too exciting in this version of Paw Prints. The biggest news is the change in the 2010 NFL draft schedule.

NFL draft will expand to three days in 2010 - ESPN
Commissioner Roger Goodell notified teams Thursday that the draft will be spread over three days in 2010, running Thursday, April 22, through Saturday, April 24. In addition, the first round will start in prime time at 7:30 p.m. ET. "We continue to look for ways to make the draft more accessible to more fans," Goodell said in a statement. "Moving the first round to prime time on Thursday night will make the first round of the draft available to fans on what is typically the most-watched night of television."

Though my first reaction is to not like the change I admit it will probably allow me to watch more of it.

  • So I thought we simplified the defensive scheme last season? How much more simpler can it get?

Carolina Panthers Football Team Report and Insider Slant - FOX Sports on MSN
In the simplest of terms, this scheme is less complicated than what the Panthers have used in the past with the verbiage greatly reduced. The goal is to allow defenders to use their athletic ability to run and make plays. "I like it because you don't have to think that much," Gamble said. "You just go out and play fast and try to make plays. So I like it simple."

Another Vegas guy weighs in on the Panthers, this one giving us a little more credit

Page 2 — Carolina Panthers - How will they fair in the NFC South? — BetUS Locker Room
Sure, there are holes in Carolina, but the fundamentals are not bad. This is a team that can control the ball on the ground, with either of its running backs, has the capacity to minimize mistakes, gets big plays from a star wide receiver and can get after the passer. On an overall basis, they are more solid than New Orleans, and if they stay relatively healthy, they will compete with Atlanta for the division title.

  • So Carolina now has the best O-line in the game? What a difference a year makes!

Carolina Panthers in the Futures Market
What often makes an average quarterback look great or conversely a superb quarterback look pedestrian is the offensive line and Delhomme is blessed with perhaps the best O-line in the game. They give Delhomme all the time he needs in the pocket and open holes for the running backs. There's no question the O-line is the most important position in football and good teams build around them.

  • Speaking of the o-line, Andrew Mason explains the change over the past year best:

Camp Countdown: Offensive line
"This is the first time I've been a part of this, having all five starters back," said Gross, the Panthers' longest-tenured offensive lineman. "At this time of year, you're usually taking baby steps." "There's definitely an advantage having a group that's played together coming back," Kalil added. "For the most part, the starters that are in here now have been here since we installed this thing. It's just constantly building on what you know from the year before.

  • Fanhouse features the LDE position battle:

Summer Scramble: NFC South Position Battles to Watch -- NFL FanHouse
The starter at left DE is likely to be Tyler Brayton, who was the starter last year. But last year on passing downs, the Panthers moved Brayton to tackle and played pass rusher Charles Johnson at end. That's an arrangement that could continue in 2009, but if Brown shows enough during camp, he could push Johnson for some of that third-down action. Brown is a possible replacement for Peppers should the veteran leave after this year, so the Panthers will want to get a look at him in game situations, assuming he's capable of handling it.

  • Will Barnidge be the down field threat the Panther fans covet?

Camp Countdown: Tight ends
WITH ROSARIO INJURED, BARNIDGE SAW MORE TIME on the field during OTAs, working as the No. 2 tight end behind King and seeing plenty of work with the first unit in two-tight end formations. The extra on-field time was valuable for the second-year veteran, who played in 15 of 16 regular-season games and the divisional playoff last year but did not record a reception. "Gary's a guy that we obviously thought well enough of and drafted him a year ago," Fox said. "This game is like any job, the more you do it the better you get."

  • This a new one on me for an NFL team, their own search engine where you can earn Panther schwag.

Win with PanthersSearch.com
When you log on to PanthersSearch.com, every search is a chance to win digital dollars that can be redeemed for great prizes, such as: • Autographed Panthers Memorabilia • Panthers Swag and Merchandise • Panthers and NFL trading cards • Comic Books, Gift Cards and Collectibles

Camp Countdown: Wide receivers
"I think a prime example for him would be someone like DeAngelo (Williams). DeAngelo was a first-round pick for us and for a couple of years, the '06 season, he was playing a little bit, then had a high ankle sprain against Cleveland. So he's going into his third year (in 2008), and then we draft Stewie (Joanthan Stewart) in the first round, so obviously outside this place, there were questions about whether DeAngelo was the guy. Well, that wasn't it. You need as many good players as you can and certainly he came on as the season progressed. "I have high hopes, I really do. If I didn't have high hopes for (Jarrett), I wouldn't be hard on him. I think I was the same way with DeAngelo. ... (Jarrett) can really and truly help us, and I expect him to help us."

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