I always find it very uncomfortable to call for a Panther player to be benched. Many times it's a knee jerk reaction to a pivotal play in the loss. Other times upon further review or explanation from the team you realize the player wasn't solely at fault. After the Panthers first four games of the 2011 season though I'm not feeling too bad about calling for the benching of WR Legs Naanee. The Observer's Scott Fowler seems to agree with his first comment aptly called 'Worst Ratio of Success':
Worst ratio of success: Throwing the ball to Legedu Naanee. Newton targeted Naanee 11 times -- more than any other Panther receiver. Naanee only caught four of those. That wasn't all his fault -- some of the throws were bad -- but why is this guy getting more chances at receptions than players with a far better track record? (Steve Smith caught eight of the 10 passes targeted to him; Greg Olsen five of a possible seven).
That is the million dollar question Mr. Fowler. I have the impression that somehow WR Brandon LaFell has fallen out of favor with the Panther brass and has yet to do enough to earn the starting spot. Considering he still has more receptions on the season than Naanee in spite of less than half the targets should be enough in my view. At some point the Panthers just have to admit that whatever it is they like about Legs it doesn't offset the lack of production in game action. More and a fan poll after the jump...
You can't accuse Cam Newton of favoring any particular receiver. He throws to the open guy and if that happens to be Naanee on a critical 4th down pass then he is going to throw it. If he was a QB that could overlook him like Delhomme did to any receiver not named Smith it might not hurt so much. But for some reason Newton seemed to throw to Naanee more times when it was really needed than not. If we want to continue to allow Newton to spread the ball around we have to eliminate the holes. The Bears were obviously favoring their coverage towards Smith and Olsen and content to force Naanee to beat them. I'd rather see those targets go to LaFell in my view.