The story that I find most interesting at this time of year, is the roster battles for playing time. The last 5 on and last 5 off the 53 man roster is a great story, but I want to know who is going to be on the field against Tampa, not just in uniform. I saw the sad performance against Houston, but I missed the game last night. I am opening this story in the hopes that I can get some insight from this fantastic group of panther fans. I will give my thoughts after the jump. Please give me your thoughts in the comments.
Kicker - Medlock or Mare
Medlock appears to have a slight upper hand kicking field goals. Mare has the upper hand kicking off. I believe that Medlock needed to win the job outright. He has not, and barring a Mare meltdown over the next 9 days, Mare will make the cut to 75 and Medlock will be gone. This is not what I want, this is what I think the Panthers will do. In BAMF I trust!
Punter - Nortman or Harris
Once again, I do not believe that either punter won the competition. Nortman seems to have the edge with hitting the corner, but this past game it was a touchback for Nortman and a downed inside the ten for Harris. This time, I think the tie goes to the Rookie and barring a meltdown by Nortman, he is the only one to survive to the final 75.
I am seeing some separation here. For those of you who read my pre-draft comments, I was wrong. I expected Hogan to be CB2 with Captain and Butler fighting between nickle and dime. I think that Norman is winning, Captain has nickle, Butler and Thomas fighting for dime, and Hogan heading the way of Otah.
I thought the fight was for UT. Wrong again. With Neblett's impending suspension, it looks like McClain and Edwards are solidly first team. CJ has one side. However, the other DE is a scary race. We needed Hardy to be the clear starter, and he is not. This battle will go on past the start of the regular season. I see the starter here changing with the hot hand. I think that Hardy has fallen back, Norwood has shown too little, and Applewhite and Alexander have put themselves in the conversation. But Keiser is the man. I do not think the Panthers really want him to win, but he is in the lead after a consistent strong showing through camp and 2 PS games.
Nakamura is now the starter and Martin is the backup. Godfrey is still the starter. We all saw that coming.
Smitty, Lafell: We already knew that.
Kealoha and Adams are WR and have locked up due to their spots as returners IMO.
I think Murphy is WR3 now, Tutu is 4, Pilares 5 and Adams 6.
AE is gone. I want him to make it so very much, but he is not even getting looks with the 2nd team. I think he is gone on the cut to 75. Gettis is the wild card. He could replace Tutu if he gets healthy enough to get the reps. I think he ends up on a list that keeps him on the sideline for the first part of the season, and comes back later. The UDA's are just fighting for a spot on the Practice Squad.
Keep in mind, this is what I see happening due to who is getting the snaps, not what I think should happen. I am looking forward to reading about why I am wrong!