Panthers Paw Prints: Back-ups Stepping Up.

Good Tuesday Morning. The first day of OTA's are over. Sounds like practice may have been cut a little short due to the rain in Charlotte. The theme of a lot of today's articles is back-ups stepping up into starting roles and capitalizing on new opportunities. There will be a lot of new starters this year on both sides of the ball. Hopefully these young guys are able to hit the ground running. Here are your links for Monday May 24. 2010:

This is a good sign that he wants to be a Panther again this year and isn't holding out for big money:

CB Marshall back on the field, status unknown. (CharlotteObserver.com)
The Carolina Panthers opened their organized team activity season, and cornerback Richard Marshall was back... The fourth-year cornerback was on the field Monday morning, according to a pair of team sources.

Matt Moore seems to be going the extra mile to be the offensive leader of the team, not just a good athlete:

Moore takes on lead(ership) role. (Panthers.com)
Almost every day, Monday through Thursday, since the Panthers' offseason strength and conditioning program began on March 15, a maroon Ford F-150 pick-up truck with an Oregon State license plate frame has been the first vehicle parked along the sidewalk leading to the entrance of Bank of America Stadium. That car belongs to quarterback Matt Moore, and his early arrival is just one way he has set an example since becoming Carolina's projected starting quarterback. He has eagerly embraced the heightened leadership role he has undertaken.

Brown getting some recognition. He's got some big shoes to fill, but he's being given every opportunity to succeed:

Five NFL pass rushers on the rise. (SportingNews.com)
Everette Brown, DE, Panthers: He flashed pass-rush ability as a rookie backup, collecting 2 1/2 sacks. Now bulked up to replace Julius Peppers, he has an opportunity for a big breakthrough.

More after the jump.

There aren't many Panther players on Twitter, and those that are on certainly don't seem to talk much about football during the offseason, but Sutton at least seems excited about OTA's:

And it all begins! (Tyrell Sutton via Twitter)

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It's good to see players and ex-players get out into the community and speak to young people:

Former Carolina Panther to speak to youth Wednesday night. (AnsonRecord.com)
Retired NFL player Mike Minter will appear at the Lockhart-Taylor Center Wednesday, May 26, at 7 p.m. to speak to Anson County students and their families. Minter is a motivational speaker, pastor and entrepreneur who played for the Carolina Panthers for 10 years... Minter will be speaking on "The Power of a Dream," and the reasons for his success, both personally and athletically.

A clip about the NFL Hall of Fame and who you'd include in the first class if we could do it all over again:

Mac Attack Hour 3 5/24. (wfnz.cbslocal.com)

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I disagree with this logic personally, I have no reason to believe these guys will fall on their faces:

Rankings: Carolina Panthers ranked "Tier 4." (NFL.com)
Some pundits think the Panthers have been dismantled and need to be in Tier 5. Others think they are a solid Tier-2 team. Considering they will have an inexperienced quarterback under center and must replace five to seven starters with their own backups, I think they belong right here. But who replaces the backups? The answer is draft picks and rookie free agents. If the injury bug hits, that spells trouble for special teams.

Uh oh, D WIlliams has someone breathing down his neck for his college yardage record:

Tulsa’s Damaris Johnson Named to Preseason All-America Team. (GTRNews.com)
He now ranks eighth on C-USA’s all-purpose yardage list with 5,168 yards in just two seasons. Johnson had 2,475 all-purpose yards in 2008 and last year totaled 2,693 yards. He needs 2,405 yards to tie Conference USA’s all-time leader DeAngelo Williams of Memphis (2002-05) for first place.

I know teams get 3 points for being the home team, and I guess you might make that 4 or 5 since it's the Meadowlands, but I think this line should be a little closer. Something like NYG -4.

G-Men host Panthers in NFL Week 1 Odds. (Belmont.com)
Carolina has a very young roster that is unproven at a lot of positions. Matt Moore should be the starting quarterback over Jimmy Clausen, but he’s not the type that wins games by himself, and he won’t get a lot of help. Coach John Fox is still considered one of the best in the league, but he’s a lame duck with an expiring contract.

Oops. I'm surprised there's no fine involved with this. I'm sure if it had been Ochocinco there would have been:

Bears' Harris too quick to tweet on trade news. (ChicagoBreakingSports.com)
Bears safety Chris Harris embraces social media: He used Twitter to break the news of his impending trade from the Carolina Panthers back to Chicago... In his first entry, he described how he jumped the gun with his Twitter "scoop."

All you could ever want to know about the 30% rule and signing new contracts in an un-capped year:

Under The Cap: The 30-Percent Rule. (FootballOutsiders.com)
A couple of weeks ago, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis signed a five-year extension worth $50 million in new money with $29 million guaranteed. Throughout the offseason, we have heard about how the 30-percent rule would preclude young talented players from receiving lucrative extension. In spite of these reports, we saw the 49ers and Willis' agent Ben Dogra employ a contract structure that made Willis a very wealthy man. So how did they navigate the 30-percent rule?

The NFL takes a little hit here. They aren't quite the juggernaut they think they are, although they have the resources to ultimately win this at all costs:

Court: NFL is 32 teams, not single business. (CharlotteObserver.com)
The Supreme Court rejected the National Football League's request for broad antitrust law protection Monday, saying that it must be considered 32 separate teams - not one big business - when selling branded items like jerseys and caps.

Fantasy football links of the day:

He will definitely top my list of QB2's and if he proves himself early he could start on my roster by midseason:

Moore, Aromashodu headline deep fantasy sleepers in 2010. (NFL.com)
Matt Moore, QB, Panthers Moore proved to be a legitimate NFL starter last season, throwing for a combined 829 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions over the final four weeks. Now atop the depth chart after the offseason release of Jake Delhomme, Moore will have a chance to make an even greater impact for fantasy owners. With a very favorable schedule and a great backfield behind him, he'll be worth a late-round look.

I haven't done an IDP league before, but I would like to give it a try this year:

Elite IDP fantasy performers for 2010. (NFL.com)
2. Jon Beason, Panthers A fourth-year linebacker out of Miami (FL), Beason finished fourth in tackles last season with a career best 141. He also posted personal bests in sacks (3.0) and forced fumbles, while at the same time recording seven passes defensed and three interceptions. Beason is a good bet for continued statistical success as the middle man for coach John Fox, so consider him one of the elite IDP options at his position in 2010. Note: Richard Marshall makes the list as the #8 overall DB.

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