Panthers Training Camp Musings: Saturday Night Edition

I'm just going to say it right off the bat, I've been in the sun all day, drank a few cold ones, its Saturday night, and now I'm chilling in the A/C (it had to be a 100 today) and I feel like writing a little diddy (just in case you read this post and go "What is up with Jaxon?") It's BWB. ‘Blogging while buzzed'. It's not illegal as far as know so...damn I can't wait for training camp. I'm having a problem deciding which days to go. I want to go to Fanfest but that is the day we drop off my oldest child and Daughter at college. Hard to bail out on that one, but ...

I'm hoping to squeeze in at least two, two day trips up to Wofford before camp breaks. A two day set is nice because then you get a feel for how the staff rotates the drills from one day to the next, from morning to afternoon. It's hard coming training a a single person because of the break outs. You have to set priorities, last year it was the O-line. I'm thinking its D-line and secondary this year. I also hope they start the live drills early and bring the wood. They don;t so it every practice but damn...I'm always hoping to see it!

I continue to be surprised how the pundits mis-grade the Panthers using off the field stuff as their justification:

2. Panthers (8-8): Questions about Jake Delhomme, combined with the Julius Peppers contract situation, just make you wonder too much to pick Carolina.

Why couldn't some one instead say this, which I find just as valid::

The Panthers return 21 of 22 starters with the new starter being 4th year CB Richard Marshall; meaning they won't have to waste time getting to know anyone. More importantly a 12-5 season will bring confidence to this team and the thud of an end could provide the motivation to make noice against one of the Top 3 toughest schedules in the NFL. If this team just makes it to the post-season; even as a wildcard watch out, they could make some noise.

That's about as pessimictic as I can get.

I don't expect Pep to have any more of a detrimental demeanor than last season since he has wanted to leave since last summer. He played 2008 like that and posted a career record number of sacks. He should be even more motivated this year (I hope). I still like Pep and want him on the team, but I do give some credence to the notion that come th big game he may just not have the love of Carolina anymore to bring that special gear we know he has when it matters most. I hope he proves my notions wrong.

I fully expect rookie FB Tony Fiammetta to make the roster. If you wonder whether he might ride the pine in '09 I hope instead they pair him up with RB Jonathan Stewart, similar to the way a back-up catcher may rotate with a pitcher. A platoon like this would take a little off Brad Hoover and extend his career hopefully. Williams and Hoover; Stewart and Fiammetta. I likey.

Which makes me think about one-back sets. Who will be better in the one-back set this year, Williams or Stewart? I'm thinking they are both going to be deadly! 5 YPC for both this season?

Do you think the Panthers will pass the ball to a back coming out of the backfield more this year? Both Williams and Stewart have capable hands. Now we add Fiammetta possibly and of course Goodson. The conservative Fox though prefers the lower risk direct hand-off. Average 5 YPC and who gives a crap?

Don't under estimate the impact of the tougher schedule this year. We went 4-0 against the AFC West this season. I'm not expecting a repeat against the AFC East. I'd be estatic with 3-1. but 2-2 might be more likely. No 3-1, the Bills and Jets are both beatable and the Dolphins offense does not scare me.

Early in camp I always like to see who shows up in shape and who withers in the Carolina sun. It tells you a lot about off-season dedication to a degree, but give the sun and humidity its credit. It's a hard thing to prepare for, sweating your ass off in 90+ weather and 100% humidity. The Wofford training site doesn't help either, the bowl seems to block the breeze. Bring the sunscreen.

Attention span gone and the ‘Ole Lady is acting amorous. 'nuff said!

Go Panthers

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