The proof is in the pudding! Look at the draft from a few different ways and you can see one major thing standing out. Either John Fox really loves the panthers organization and is setting the future coach up very well, or he knows what he wants from his team and drafted by what he needed for this year and the next few years.
This is not the first time Foxy has let older players go in hopes that his younger players will perform up to his expectations. This was done with Brentson Buckner, Mushin Muhammad, Jeff Hartwig, Stephen Davis, Mark Fields, Sam Mills, Rickey Prohle, Wesley Walls, Steve Burline and the list goes on and on. via media.scout.com
Fox and Hurney took allot of criticism for not doing enough to replace the talent that they lost over the past four or five years. But it really it has more to do with players not living up to the expectations that many of them actually earned.
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Case in point. When Carolina needed a Wr they drafted one his name was Rea Carruth (I know John Fox did not draft Rea). We all no how that worked out. But they also drafted a guy named Steve Smith. The thing is that Mr. Smith was drafted to be the replacement for Micheal Bates a KR/PR. Many Carolina fans were up in arms over the fact that Bates was being replaced, that was until 89 hit the field. Fox and Hurney don't get enough credit for recognizing that Smith was actually a pretty good reciver and used him to replace Donald Hayes in 2003. When Smith was hurt who did they call on but a young rookie named Keary Colbert.
And for that one year it looked like Carolina struck gold, but Keary must have taken one hit and flip to many because he was never able to repeat his performances.
So when you do take a look at the rosters each time Carolina let a "big name" enter free agency, they had a younger guy they drafted that they thought would fill-in nicely for that guy. And the philosophy has worked in the past three drafts only Jeff Otah was selected with the immediate idea of starting. (Jon Beason Started due to Dan Morgan's Injury, which we all saw coming)
As Panther fans we should feel very lucky. We have a coach that was able to build his team by drafting the guys he wanted, develop those guys and make them starters. (41 out of 53 members of this years team will have been drafted by Carolina) And Furney has shown that they will give a guy atleast two seasons to prove himself, then and only then do they go after free agents.
Somebody please do some research and find out what WR's and DT's will be free agents because Fox And Hurney wont be changing plans any time soon.
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