Lost Panther Veteran Starters vs. Their Potential Replacemets

Everyone already knows that I think replacing 9+ starting vets with guys who have never started before does not bode well across the board for the Carolina Panthers in 2010.  I tend to think that while we'll see an improvement at some spots like QB, others will be a wash, and some will take longer than one off-season to improve the position... if at all.

I think I am pretty 50/50 with my pluses and minuses, but most think I'm the negative extreme... So for this post I'll assume that role.  Some other CSR members on the positive extreme, seem to think we'll improve at every single spot.  Which hypothetically would be great because as young as these guys are, we wouldn't need to replace another starter for like 5+ years.

But 9 times out of 10 the truth usually lies between the extremes.  And at this point none of us know anything for sure, and we'll have to wait and find out in September.  So in the meantime, here's a look at the numbers of 8 of our lost veteran starters, and what their replacements will have to accomplish to actually improve the position.  To be fair to both extremes, I'm averaging numbers from the last 2 seasons... A strong 12-4 season and a mediocre 8-8.

Dwayne Jarrett replacing Muhsin Muhammad

Being that very few rookie WRs excel their 1st year, I'm assuming Jarret will get the nod.  Regardless to improve the position over the last 2 years, our new #2 WR would need...

Over 752 total yards, and 59 receptions

Over 50 yards per game, and over 4 receptions per game

4 or more total TDs

Less than one fumble

* The last 2 years Jarrett averaged 0.6 receptions and 7 yards per game


Moore/Clausen replacing Jake Delhomme

They need over 2652 total yards

12 or more TDs

1 or less INTs per game

Complete better than 58% of attempts

QB rating of over 72

* Moore in 5 games as a starter last year had 990 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT and a 103 QB rating!  This is reason for hope.


Tyler replacing Damione Lewis

Ne needs over 31 total tackles or over 2 per game

Over 2 sacks

3 or more passes deflected

1 or more forced fumbles

* Tyler's only year as a starter was 2008 with 29 tackles, 0 career sacks, 0 career PDef, 0 career FF


Leonard replacing Thomas(2009)/Kemo(2008)

Needs over 28 total tackles or over 2 per game

At least 1 sack

2 or more passes deflected

1 or more forced fumbles

* In 4 years Leonard has not had many opportunities amassing only 25 career tackles and 1 career sack


Conner/Anderson replacing Nail Diggs

Over 38 total tackles or 3 or more per game

One or more sacks

2 or more passes deflected

1 or more INTs

1 or more forced fumbles


Martin/Godfrey replacing Hitman

They would need over 54 total tackles or 4 or more per game

5 or more passes deflected

Over 2 INTs

Over 2 forced fumbles

* Martin last year played in 16 games and had 18 tackles, 0 sacks, 3 INTs

* Over the last 2 years Godfrey started 27 games and averaged 44 tackles, .5 sacks, 1 INT


Brown/Johnson replacing Peppers

Needs over 38 total tackles or 3 or more per game

13 or more sacks

6 or more passes deflected

More than 1 INT

6 or more forced fumbles

* Ouch!


Brown & Johnson replacing Peppers & Brayton (to even out the numbers a bit)

New DEs would need to combine for over 74 total tackles or 5 or more per game

18 or more sacks

8 or more passes deflected

More than 1 INT

8 or more forced fumbles

* Last year Johnson and Brown as backups together had 32 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 5 PDef, 4 FFs


A couple observations... Jarrett has a huge hurdle to climb to prove he can be a starting WR on any team.  I don't see him or any of our rookies improving on Moose this year.  However, I think our passing game over all will be improved due to Smitty having a better QB throwing to him.  I think it's likely that while Jarrett doesn't catch Moose, all receiver's numbers increase.  I also think our total offense will be improved with a more reliable passing game, relieving Double Trouble to be even more deadly.  If Smitty goes down however... well, not sure we even want to go there.

If we could somehow morph Martin and Godfrey into one safety, they would be much better all around than Hitman.  If Martin starts, maybe we're better in pass defense???  Godfrey is a downgrade in my opinion.  I need to see this play out because all 3 of these guys have very different strengths and weaknesses.

Our D-Line (and this is where people take issue with me) looks on paper like it' in trouble.  Our DTs just don't have any body of work to make a strong point that they will improve the position.  There is nobody who can occupy 2 blockers... Maybe they have body types that can get to the QB more?  But I don't see any reason to think our run defense won't be right back to where it was at the beginning of 2009. * If this paragraphs ticks you off, please read again what I wrote about our offense ;)

Believe it or not I am actually looking forward to seeing Johnson and Brown as starters.  I just think if they both really are long term starters, then it will be beyond 2010 before they develop into a real force.  Maybe this year they can match or improve in tackles.  But expecting them both to get nearly 10 sacks and 5 or more pass deflections in their 1st year as a starter seems like asking a lot.

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