Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera announced the back-up NG would get the start over Frank Kearse who was just elevated from the practice squad. Kearse was on the roster for the first six games of the season and received a significant amount of playing time so it was not a slam dunk Fua would start.
I'm anxious to see if Fua is ready to elevate his game. I think he's fighting for a 2013 roster spot right now. Fua thinking after a season of adjustment he is now ready to make an impact:
Panthers’ Fua ready to step in at defensive tackle | CharlotteObserver.com
Fua assumes a starting position he held for 11 games last season before going on the injured reserve with a hamstring injury. He’s played in each of the past eight games and saw nine snaps Monday night against the Eagles.
After starting as a rookie last year, Fua said he’s picked the brains of the veterans and taken cues from them. ”I think for me especially the game has slowed down a lot more,” Fua said. “I know what to expect, I know what to see week to week especially watching the game film. Preparing for these teams, you really know how they’re going to attack you”
He'll be starting along side DT Dwan Edwards who is currently running 3rd in Pro Bowl voting for the NFC. Edwards had this to say about Rivera's announcement:
“Guys got to step up and that’s the nature of the business,” Dwan Edwards said. “I think we have some young guys that have worked hard and are willing to accept this opportunity.”
Not exactly a glowing endorsement but it might have sounded better in person. ;)
I think the Chiefs provide a good opportunity and measuring stick for Fua. They have a nice running attack and given how bad the passing game is we can anticipate a lot of rushing attempts no matter the score. I thought he did okay in his 9 snaps against the Eagles; of course forcing a fumble is always good for the stat line.
Here's to Sione Fua's makeover into a solid NFL starter!
Oh and Enter the Smart TV Makeover sweepstakes here. (Did you see what I did there?)