We've seen lots of familiar names appear on the practice squad as six of the eight players brought back spent time with the Panthers throughout the preseason, but there were also two names that jumped out Dan Santucci and Shawn Murphy who have joined the Panthers' practice squad and after digging a little deeper we may see a curious similarity between one of these guys and a current Carolina Panther.
Well look a little deeper at these two not-so-familiar faces after the jump.
Shawn Murphy is a 6'4", 314 lb guard out of Utah State where he was named 2nd team All-WAC in his senior season. A 4th round pick of the Miami Dolphins Murphy has only played one game in his three seasons suiting up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009. He now (along with Tim Duckworth) represents the second offensive lineman signed by Carolina who spent the preseason with a division rival. Both Miami and Tampa have had offensive line issues, so one has to wonder how much of Murphy's failings were his own, and how much was due to poor coaching.
More interestingly though is the story of Dan Santucci, a guard in name only; make no mistake, Santucci is a center. A 7th round pick in 2007 Santucci played center for Notre Dame his senior year, the same Notre Dame team where Jimmy Clausen took over the reigns mid season. Do you think this is a coincidence? Perhaps, but consider the case of Geoff Schwartz the 2008 7th round pick who was selected at least partly due to the recommendation of 1st round pick and teammate Jonathan Stewart.
Essentially we see a precident for the Panthers taking into account the opinions of their players in making personnel decisions. Now, I don't think Clausen knocked on coach Fox's door and said 'Coach, we have to get Dan!' but it's not outside the realm of possibility that they at least asked his input having played with him before.
I can see why Gantt called Santucci a guard, because Kansas City tried to convert him to the position but it appears Santucci is another guy who didn't really get a shot. At least he gives the practice squad a reliable guy to snap the ball and help Jimmy Clausen and the 2nd team in practice.