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Catch Percentages, How Good Are The Panthers Receivers?

Here are the receiving totals in 2011, for players currently on the Panthers roster. These numbers don't reflect dropped passes, but just the number of times targeted with a pass, and their number of catches.

2011 Panthers Receiving Numbers:

Catches - Times Targeted - Catch Percentage - Yards - Average - Position - Name

79 - 129 - 61% - 1,394 - 17.6 - WR Steve Smith

36 - 56 - 64% - 613 - 17.0 - WR Brandon LaFell

45 - 89 - 51% - 540 - 12.0 - TE Greg Olsen

3 - 3 - 100% - 13 - 4.3 - TE/FB Richie Brockel

47 - 61 - 77% - 413 - 8.8 - RB Jonathan Stewart

16 - 25 - 64% - 135 - 8.4 - RB DeAngelo Williams

(I didn't include the 1 catch by WR Seyi Ajirotutu)

Panthers 2011 Pass Catchers No Longer On The Roster:

44 - 76 - 58% - 467 - 10.6 - WR Legedu Naanee

37 - 62 - 60% - 455 - 12.3 - TE Jeremy Shockey

(I didn't include the 1 catch by RB Mike Goodson)

Panthers Players Acquired During The Offseason:

54 - 79 - 68% - 433 - 8.0 - RB/FB Mike Tolbert

So, the Panthers lost 44 catches by Naanee and 37 Shockey, a total of 81 catches. However, the Panthers signed RB/FB Mike Tolbert as a free agent and he had 54 catches with the Chargers in 2011. The Panthers are also expecting the return of 2 receivers that spent 2011 in IR, WR David Gettis, who had 37 catches, for 508 yards, a 13.7 yard average, as a rookie in 2010, and TE Gary Barnidge, who had 12 catches, for 242 yards, a 20.2 yard average in 2009, but in 2010 he played the same 16 games, with the same 3 starts, but no catches, and I remember a few drops as well. So, as now constituted, the Panthers have a net gain of 8 catches (counting Gettis 2010 numbers, and Barnidge 2010 0 catches), but if you count Barnidge's 2009 12 catches, then it would be a net gain of 20 catches.

However, going beyond just the total number of catches, you can see 2 potential problem areas, other than the 2 top WR's only 1 other WR had even only 1 catch, and at TE the 2 backups only had 3 catches in 2011, and 12 in 2009. Both these areas of need might be addressed before the start of the season. That's why the Panthers brought in WR Jacoby Jones this week, but his catch percentage of only 48% (31 catches in 65 targeted passes)is very low. The Panthers might be content to just go with backup WR's 2nd year Kealoha Pilares, rookie Joe Adams, 3rd year AE, and hope 3rd year Gettis returns to full health, but the numbers show that RR favors veteran players, so they may well reach out to sign one. The acqusition of RB/FB Mike Tolbert more than offsets the loss of TE Jeremy Shockey, but the problem is who starts at TE if Olsen can't play, and can he bring enough production to keep defenses from just ignoring him?

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