Panther Paw Prints - Martin Time Edition

The edition of Paw Prints announces the beginning of 'Martin time'!

Time is here for Martin
"Safety is the position that I played throughout college, so it's natural for me at safety," he said. "(At) corner, I had to work a little bit harder at it, not even just in technique but the possibilities of what they could do as far alignments and things. But at safety I still have to work hard also, but the movement is more natural for me because I have experience at it." Whether Martin lines up at free or strong safety remains to be seen. He started at free safety in college, but Godfrey has manned that spot for the Panthers for the last two years. "As far as strong and free, here they are basically the same. Overall, you've got to know the defense and know where people are," Martin said. "Week in and week out we switch things up to keep opponents on their toes and to help us do different stuff, also."

So we should be too concerned about who is the SS versus the FS since, as many on this site have pointed out, in a cover-2 they are essentially the same position, just on opposite sides of the field.

I found this to be an amusing characterization of the Panthers - Falcons rivalry: Under Rated!

5. Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers | The Five Most Under the Radar Rivalries in the NFL Today | Bleacher Report
The Atlanta Falcons have a parallel squad, with the young Matt Ryan, exciting Michael Turner, "Rowdy" Roddy White, and Kansas City emigrant, Tony Gonzalez. Both of these teams have the opportunity to be extremely exciting this season and going forward; being divisional rivals makes their games that much sweeter.

Did this guy not see the D-Hall meltdown against Steve smith? I doubt anyone in this part of the country would say the match-up is under-rated... Continuing with the Falcons, so they were good at stopping the run?

Q&A: Curtis Lofton sees a top 10 defense | Atlanta Falcons
Q: What was working for you all last season with stopping the run? A: I would say that the No. 1 thing was attitude. Nobody was going to come in and run the ball against us no matter where we were at. If we didn’t do anything, we were going to stop the run. Now, we have to carry that into not letting them catch the ball on third down. We have to get off the field and make some plays. I think we’re going to be a top 10 defense.

The Panthers put up 140 yards in the first game and 170 yds rushing in the second Falcons game last season. I guess Houston is referring to stopping the other teams.

Darin Gantt's Panthers Blog | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC
Panthers rookie QB Tony Pike threw out the first pitch at last night's Reds-Brewers game, giving him a curtain call back home before he returns to work next week. Pike compiled a 16-2 record as the starter to help lift the University of Cincinnati to national prominence, after going 21-4 in two years at Cincinnati's Reading High.

Did he throw it from the spread?...Still think a lock-out will never happen?

NFL Rejects Latest NFLPA Offer, Still Not Taking Negotiations Seriously | Bleacher Report
"We went to the owners, and they raised the issue about the rookie wage scale," (NFLPA Director DeMaurice) Smith said. "We said, 'Fine, let's cut every rookie's contract to three years, instead of six years.' That would pull $200 million out of the draft."

The owners look pretty serious at this point but...

Hey, let's make fun of the Falcons:

NFL's worst firsts worth another look | NFL | Latest news and video on the Dallas Cowboys and...
Aundray Bruce, Atlanta Falcons (1988): He was touted as the next Lawrence Taylor. But Bruce never came close to matching Taylor's sack artist skills. He was mostly a backup during his 11-year career and finished with 32 career sacks -- more than 100 shy of Taylor.

Let's not forget my least favorite QB:

Searching for the Next T.O.: Who are the NFL's Top Trash Talkers?
Cutler isn't nearly as lippy as during his days in Denver, especially now that he and San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers are in separate divisions. But the short-fused Cutler could publicly explode at any time - especially if he has a second rough season in Chicago under new offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Cutler already was baited into Twitter exchanges with Ochocinco before a Bears-Bengals game last season until backing down.

Go Panthers!

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