Good Wednesday Morning. Despite the John Fox media lockdown on OTA's, some Panthers news is still managing to trickle out. A lot of the news coming out points to the fact that there is a real focus on the passing game so far in practice. So far, it's been mostly 7 on 7 drills to help out all the fresh faces on offense. Despite having the most dominant rushing attack in the NFL, I hope the offense becomes equally potent through the air in 2010. Here are your links for Wednesday May 26, 2010:
Changing up the format and philosophy of Panthers' OTA's:
Fox: First three for passing only. (Darin Gantt via HeraldOnline.com)
After running OTAs the same way for eight years, coach John Fox has mixed things up this week, using the first three days of their organized team activity to concentrate on throwing and catching the ball. The Panthers ranked 27th in passing offense last year, and have completely remodeled that side of the house. Gone are QB Jake Delhomme and WR Muhsin Muhammad, and in came a fleet of new passers and receivers.
Fox: "We want to emphasize that... you get what you emphasize."
Foxhole: Back to school. (Panthers.com)
On emphasizing passing in the first few days of summer school: Yeah. We kind of adjusted that a little bit. As far as output last year we were way more efficient running the football than we were passing and we've got a young bunch of quarterbacks and receiving corps, so we want to emphasize that. I'm of the belief that you get what you emphasize. So that's a little bit different than in years past.
You should probably read the whole transcript, but here's the main Panthers quote:
NFC South mailbag. (ESPN.COM)
Glenn in Winston-Salem, N.C., writes: If the owners aren't obligated to pay the salaries of the players then why is Jerry Richardson not giving out big contracts because of his fear of the lockout?
PY: Kind of like Blank, Richardson is being progressive. He’s bracing his franchise for a lockout in 2011. Part of his plan is to conserve money in 2010. If he were to give out a whole bunch of big contracts now, he immediately would be paying signing bonuses. Apparently, he’d rather have that money in the bank -- or not go into debt -- as he prepares his franchise to weather a lockout.
More after the jump.
Here's the Fox interview if you'd rather watch than read:
I think some people forget he's still #2 on the depth chart:
Cantwell in the hunt. (Panthers.com)
"He spends hours in the meeting room watching tape and preparing himself. He will do nothing but grow as he gets experience. Hunter is improving athletically and continues to work on his foot quickness and movement skills, but I think has a real positive upside." That upside for the Panthers and Cantwell could mean having another quarterback on the roster in addition to Moore with NFL experience but more importantly is familiar with his role, having been in this situation before.
Yeah, so I missed this interview in yesterday's Paw Prints, so I wanted to throw it up here (Thanks ElBacano):
Coach Spotlight: John Fox. (NFL.com)
Coach John Fox talks about losing key veterans and the progression of Matt Moore.
More about the change of OTA schedule and the passing game:
Fox has Panthers back on the field as soon as possible. (GastonGazette.com)
In what marks an uncharacteristic change from coach John Fox’s typical routine, the Panthers opened OTAs (organized team activities) on Monday with skill position players on offense and linebackers and defensive backs on defense participating in 7-on-7 drills. The move is designed to allow the Panthers to install certain elements of their passing game, a major need since they have so many new faces at the skill positions on offense.
I know this was a hotly debated issue in yesterday's Paw Prints comments section:
The Big Question: Where's the pass rush? (ESPN.com)
That Panthers didn’t panic when they let Peppers walk as a free agent. They had been preparing for this situation in the past few drafts. They brought back veteran Tyler Brayton as insurance, but they believe Everette Brown, their top draft pick from 2009, and Charles Johnson are ready to step up and help fill the void left by Peppers’ departure.
It's nice to get veterans back, healthy and on the field this early in the offseason:
CB Marshall returns to practice; Gross back too. (CarolinaGrowl.com)
GROSS RETURNS: Left tackle Jordan Gross is back on the practice field for the first time since breaking his leg. He participated in individual drills on Thursday before leaving practice early to head into the stadium to lift weights with the rest of the linemen. "It's doing good," Gross said of his surgically repaired leg. "It's nice to be back. I feel better than I've felt in years because I had a six-month hiatus (from playing football)."
A quick interview with Jeff Otah about the importance of getting on the same page as the other starters:
Maybe it's all the veterans being cut or traded, but this sounds awfully humble for such an elite talent:
Panthers key RB not upset over contract. (ShelbyStar.com)
"My whole thing is I signed a five-year contract here and if the owner doesn't want to re-sign me or do a new deal, that's all him,” Williams said, “I’m not going to get upset or anything like that because I knew when I signed my five-year deal that I was committed here for five years, so why put up a fuss? “If you look at it, the pressure is not on me because I’m going to get out there and try to be productive like Jonathan (Stewart) or any other player on the field because I’m a competitor and I love the game of football. I will let all of that other stuff take care of itself.”
Trying to project the future of the QB position for the Panthers:
Training camp clashes: QB. (RealBitsofPanthers.com)
Who wins the job out of camp? Matt Moore will win the starting job for the Carolina Panthers, but I think Clausen puts in a very solid pre-season. The Panthers wont change QBs mid season unless things go bad, so it will take a Herculean effort from Clausen to unseat the former Oregon State Beaver. Where it will get interesting is next off season, because depending upon how Moore plays it will force the Panthers’ hand to make a decision quickly on the future of their franchise at the QB position.
Welcome to the NFL. Mr. LaFell, I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Beason (Just Kidding!):
Nooooooo! The end of an era. (Warning: not Panthers related):
Jared Allen's mullet is no more. (Blog.Vikings.com)
In anticipation of his upcoming wedding, Vikings DE Jared Allen did what some fans may view as the unthinkable: his mullet is no more. “The things men do for love,” Allen said.
Fantasy football links of the day:
Expert Dynasty Draft:
Pancake Blocks: In-Progress Dynasty League Draft. (Rotoworld.com)
1.11. Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams
2.3. Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart
UPDATE 11:18PM 5/24: My plan has been foiled. The same owner I praised for trading up into the 2.3 spot #and bashed for taking too long to pick on the turn) selected Jonathan Stewart four spots in front of me. I had hoped to emerge from the first two rounds with Calvin Johnson and Stewart. Back to the drawing board...
Strictly Rookie Dynasty Draft:
"With rookie drafts coming up this weekend, it's time to turn our attention to Dynasty and keeper leagues. My first 12 picks are as follows:"
Overall: 11. Jimmy Clausen, Panthers
Quarterbacks: Tier Two: 3. Jimmy Clausen, Panthers. Tier Four: 9. Tony Pike, Panthers.
"I'm not convinced Clausen will bypass Matt Moore anytime soon"
Wide Receivers: Tier Three: 8. Brandon LaFell, Panthers. Tier Four: 19. Armanti Edwards, Panthers. Tier Five: 28. David Gettis, Pathers.
"Dwayne Jarrett is no impediment to LaFell... Tier Five is comprised of late-round projects and undrafted free agents."