Ask Cat Scratch Reader

Another good round of questions this week from our readers. Remember, if you have a question to ask drop us a line at

With the lock out and players not able to get proper rehab, should the team have held Beason and Davis out of playing so soon to get proper rehab rather than allow them to play because the players felt they were able? Just seems to me that once the lock out ended the Panthers should have put Beason and Davis through correct rehab with the team's doctors.

Really we had two different forces at work in this scenario. With Thomas Davis he'd been rehabbing for more than the appropriate amount of time and he felt absolutely great. Last year I concede that they probably put him out there too early, but this wasn't the case in 2011. There was no reason not to think Davis was good to go, but it was a completely freak occurrence that put him on the sidelines again.

With Beason the surgery was inevitable. After speaking with a few different people who have knowledge of these types of injury the prevailing wisdom is that when there's a partial tear there is absolutely nothing that can be done to have it re-heal at 100%. Sooner or later that Achilles is going to tear and need surgery. For the average Joe they avoid this by limiting certain exercises, but if one hopes to engage in strenuous activity again then they need the surgery. Beason was playing on borrowed time and he decided he might as well play until it finally tore than shut it down for the season and start surgery early.

After another frustrating loss last sunday, I wanted to pick your on a disturbing trend I have picked up.

After that clutch 2 minute final drive in the 4th quarter. Cam threw a catchable ball to Greg Olsen in the end zone. Now granted it wasn't a perfect throw, but the Receivers and TE's need to fight for the ball and grab the ball at the highest point. Like Steve Smith. They need to make a play and earn their money. A QB cannot throw the perfect ball all the time. Our young receivers and TE's need to imitate Smitty and make a big play in clutch situations.

So my question.

Q1: After seeing Olsen's drop in the end zone with single man coverage, do you think that ball was a catchable one or not? And do you think its becoming a trend to receivers other Smitty?

After looking at the play several times I do think the ball was probably catchable, but that doesn't mean it was an easy catch to make. Players are going to drop those passes every now and then, we've even seen Smitty makes mistakes catching the ball.

Too often I think we're spoiled by having Steve Smith on the team and he becomes the yardstick by which we measure the rest of the receivers, and really that's not fair. His abilities at fighting for passes and catching the uncatchable are unmatched. 

I wonder how many touchbacks Olindo Mare has which keeps us in games. How does that compare to the numbers Casey is putting up.

Also, can you imagine having 1 less roster spot for defense if we were carrying two kickers.....

I tried to sign up but no success. So I am sending you my comments

If you want to email this same address with what problems you're having I'll gladly ensure you can sign up for CSR!

I think you're on the right track here. It's easy to critique Mare, but the fact is he's helping an already shallow defense by pinning teams on kickoffs. As it stands Mare is 8th in the NFL with 62.7% of his kicks being touch  backs. Jon Kasay isn't kicking off for the Saints because he doesn't have the leg for it.

Pre-draft a lot of people were big on us taking DT Dareus of Fairley because there was supposedly no learning curve to that position. Given the situation these rookies came in to (labor lock-out) is it safe to say we can expect more in the future and that these guys will be solid rotational players? Though technique may not change a lot I'd imagine an NFL strength and conditioning program will do wonders for them.

No doubt. The development of McClain and Fua will take time, and they will improve, but like you said I think they'll be solid rotational players. The ceiling for both isn't huge, but both have their strengths which is what you want from these rotational players.

The DT position will be fixed, but it will take time. There will need to be careful attention to the draft coupled with prudent use of funds in free agency to really fix this.

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