As if I wasn't already excited about Thursday evening, and the season overall, I am now overwhelmed with anticipation after watching this 30 minutes Panthers special. My wife refers to the next several months as "divorce season" (especially when both the NFL and NBA seasons are running at the same time), so I guess the 2009 Panthers yearbook was our "separation agreement" (don't ask me how I know about that document).
The piece was very positive overall, even when going over our 0-3 stumble out the gate. The two main points of emphasis throughout the show were: more after the jump...
- Double Trouble. Simply two of the best backs in the NFL, who could easily start for any team in the league. Revisiting their collective speed, Stewart's bulldozer power, Williams' ridiculous elusiveness...Goosebumps. I almost feel sorry for opposing defenses when one of them gashes their interior for a huge gain, and the other one swaggers onto the field for the very next play and the death blow. Almost...
- Our top 10 DEFENSE. Turnovers. Ball hawking. QB pressure. I wasn't a member of CSR last season, but I was very much against the acquisition of Ron Meeks, considering how porous the Colts' run defense was during his tenure there. By the 3rd quarter of last season (to use a Foxism), I did a complete 180. Our run defense may not have exactly struck fear in the hearts of opposing tailbacks, but I think it's hard to argue that our pass defense was one of the shining elements of last season. E. Brown was featured in a few highlights, and he obviously will see a lot more playing time this year. Our cornerbacks were also prominently displayed in the highlights, and I don't know that I would trade Marshall & Gamble straight up for any other pair of CBs. Beason was all over the highlights, just he is on the field on gamedays. Peppers made a handful of appearances, obviously.
- K. Moore got some props for his special teams work, as did Munnerlyn. Although I enjoyed their recognition, I was a bit surprised any time at all was spent on special teams. From what I've read lately, our special teams this season will be much more aggressive and efficient, so I'm eager to see how that unit looks.
- Delhomme was never mentioned by name (that I can recall), but the name of the special was "A Tale of Two Seasons," and yes, I personally read a great deal into that. They did show a lot of early season turnovers (read: interceptions), and they didn't really get into the change at QB, but...
- They gave a LOT of time on two games in particular: vs. Minnesota and at Giants. LOVED IT. Moore received much deserved praise for his performance in these two games, especially his dominance over the G-Men. How anyone could have watched those two games and *not* be excited about our passing game this year is well beyond my comprehension.
- Amongst the Giants highlights was the Smith TD where he broke his arm. It still blows me away that he was able to hold on to that ball and finish the play. Barring any injuries or recovery setbacks, I'm calling a Pro Bowl season for him *and* Moore. Believe it.
It was a great 30 minute collage of the Panthers season, and I highly recommend that you seek out a replay if you missed it. I'd also love to hear the opinion of anyone who saw it last night.
It's going to be a great season. Bring on the Ravens!