Panthers Paw Prints: Passing Game Regrouping

Panthers Paw Prints

Good Wednesday afternoon, Carolina Panthers fans. I hope everyone's been well. No I was not abducted by aliens. (Or was I?) I've had some personal things to work through lately, which is why I haven't been actively participating at CSR. Although my first post or two may be a little rusty, I watched both preseason games and I've been actively following Panthers news - so don't go easy on me. I'm pretty psyched about the game against the Titans this Saturday. I won't be at the game, but I'm sure I'll be at a local watering hole (Fox & Hound? Suggestions?). Sorry if any of these links are a little stale. I will be spending a bunch of time tonight finding the latest & greatest and I will have another post up tomorrow AM. Here are your links for Wednesday August 25, 2010:

I know one of the main focuses of their draft and OTA's was the passing game. It's gotten off to a rocky start, but It sounds like they're headed back in the right direction:

Panthers working to repair pass game. (CharlotteObserver.com)
“Speaking after practice today, things are good right now,” said Moore, whose preseason quarterback rating is a lowly 34.9. “I think today was one of the better practices we had all camp. I think guys had the right attitude... The capability is there, but the production wasn’t. That’s not the way it should be. Guys I think took the right approach today and we’ll see where we’re at Saturday.”

More after the jump.

I know this isn't "new" news now, but in case you didn't know:

Panthers WR Smith back in full pads. (CarolinaGrowl.com)
Wide receiver Steve Smith practiced in full pads Monday for the first time since breaking his left arm in a flag football game. "Running around, I’m tired," Smith said. "But it feels good to run some routes at game speed, or at least at a high level practice speed."

This is a fan's opinion, not Pat Y's, but I think a lot of people would agree he's at least in the conversation:

Your thoughts on NFC South indispensables. (ESPN.com)
Keith in Schafter, Calif. writes: Steve Smith by far is the most indispensable player on Carolina's roster. They have absolutely no proven depth behind him and we all learned from the Panther's season last year how easy it is to disrupt their run-first offense when they cannot get him the ball.

I go on the wfnz.com website almost daily, and I'm pretty sure this is the first online rant I've seen like this (warning - NSFW language):

Just Catch The Football! (WFNZ.com)
I want Brandon LaFell to explode and take over the position, but he hasn’t made anybody go "wow" yet. I still like the pick and his potential at the position, and I think he will eventually be the man for the job….but I want to see him take ownership of the position.

It's from the Panthers.com website, so a lot of it seems like a euphemism, but still a good read:

Strickly Panthers: Upon further review. (Panthers.com)
For the Panthers offense, Saturday's preseason loss to the New York Jets was about opportunities lost. "We were given opportunity. We had chances," head coach John Fox said. "We didn't make plays."

Here's a good recap for "casual fans":

Panthers lose to Jets in ugly game. Defense is the bright spot. (RealBitsofPanthers.com)
It’s still Matt Moore’s job, that’s not changing but the gap between him and Jimmy Clausen is very close. I think the Panthers should give Clausen a few reps with the 1st team next game against the Titans just to see how he would fair with the 1st team offensive line and in turn we’d get a better idea about his abilities as a vertical passer. The Panthers are a team built on running the football and stifling defense… both showed their striped on Saturday. All we can do is hope the infusion of Smith and Stewart back into the lineup will be the shot in the arm the team needs.

This is a really interesting scouting tidbit I'd never thought of before:

NFC South prowls for captains. (ESPN.com)
There’s a growing trend in the NFC South when it comes to looking at a prospect’s college career. More than ever, it seems, teams are looking for guys who were college captains... I don’t have numbers in this category for ... the Panthers, but we do know Carolina has defensive back Captain Munnerlyn.

From what I understand this was a one or two day thing, but it's still worth mentioning. I hope toe problems don't linger too far into the regular season. It doesn't sound like it will affect his regular season play, but I guess it could cause him to miss some practices throughout the year:

Inside the Panthers: Clausen held out of practice. (CharlotteObserver.com)
Panthers QB Jimmy Clausen was held out of practice Monday, with what coach John Fox termed a toe problem. The rookie had surgery on his right big toe last offseason, so the team wants to make sure he has no setbacks.

All four hours were about the Panthers. Here's hour one. If you have four hours to set in front of a pc and listen to all this, I have some chores you could help me with:

At Least the Panthers Defense Showed Up. (WFNZ.com)
While most everyone agrees that the offense and the special teams struggle for the Panthers against the Jets, we have at least one Super Bowl prediction and predictably an Armanti edwards rant.

I loved the book freakonomics and the blog at the new york times is excellent also. It's not really Panthers specific, but Matt Moore gets a mention:

A Football Outsider Answers Your Questions - Freakonomics Blog. (NYTimes.com)
Q:) How important do you think it is to have a good backup QB? I hear all the time about how important it is, but it seems to me that the teams that win aren’t teams with good backups at QB but simply teams whose QB’s stay healthy. If QB is really so important, then there is no way a team can have much success with a QB who in theory is no better than 33rd best in the league (as a rough approximation). — Steve Nations

A:) I think you’re probably underestimating how good the league’s best backup quarterback is. At the moment, I’d say it’s Chad Pennington, and I’d probably take Chad Pennington over about half the league’s starting quarterbacks. (If I were playing to win one game and didn’t have to worry about Pennington’s propensity for injury, he’s probably in the top six or seven.) It’s an interesting question, though. We know that injuries to the starting quarterback bear the strongest relationship to a decline in team success by virtually any metric I can come up with. It even affects the performance of other players in ways that you might not imagine.

I am definitely a glass half-full optimist, and I still view this as playing time these guys wouldn't have gotten with the 1's:

NFC South mailbag. (ESPN.com)
Brian in Emerald Isle, NC writes: Remember when Steve Smith breaking his arm the second time was supposed to be a good thing for all these young receivers? What happened there? It’s been 2 rough preseason games so far and we are yet to see anyone emerge as a No. 2 guy.

Pat Yasinskas: True, there haven’t been many bright spots by the receivers in Carolina’s two preseason games. But I still think the Smith injury allowed a bunch of young receivers to get more practice time in training camp and that can only help when they get to the regular season.

Bank of America is a great place to see a ball game. Talk of a new or revamped stadium may be a little premature, but the wheels have to start turning years in advance to make it happen. Something like this is probably about 10 years off, but it's got to be in the back of Richardson's mind:

New look or new stadium for Panthers? (CharlotteObserver.com)
He said in the early part of the decade, the Panthers generated the fifth-highest revenue in the NFL, according to the magazine's calculations. The team has since slipped to 11th place. That money is primarily derived from the team's home stadium. But it's unclear how much additional money the Panthers could generate with a new stadium or even a major renovation. The team hasn't indicated it wants more seats. Bank of America Stadium seats just under 74,000, and is already one of the league's largest stadiums.

Everyone please cut this guy a little slack. They really are asking a lot of him. Don't forget he was a student at a division 1-AA school five months ago:

Edwards struggling with position switch. (CharlotteObserver.com)
The converted college quarterback had an abysmal home debut, with a hand in two fumbles on punt return attempts. Both resulted in New York Jets field goals, the difference in the Panthers’ 9-3 loss Saturday night.

Fantasy Football Link of the Day:

Football Daily Dose: Silent But Deadly. (Rotoworld.com)
It's rare that we go a week without hearing some type of news on a starting running back. There are almost always some rumblings about injuries, his role or how he's looking at practice. So imagine my surprise when I realized that before today, we hadn't heard a single meaningful peep regarding DeAngelo Williams in three months.

It's a sign of how smooth Williams' offseason has been. He had a minor cleanup procedure on his ankle in February and was back on the practice field for OTAs in May. He is a proud new father. And today's nugget was simple note from top beat writer Darin Gantt that Williams is looking sharp so far at camp: Williams has 11 carries for 59 yards in two preseason games against the imposing run defenses of the Ravens and Jets.

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