Eleven CSR bloggers voted and below are the results.
Offensive MVP - QB Cam Newton
How could this be any one but Cam Newton? The 3rd year QB still needs to work on his footwork but he is making better decisions and taking what the defense gives him Plus he is turning into a leader the team can believe in. Newton was a unanimous choice.
Defensive MVP - LB Thomas Davis
Davis garnered five votes including my own. Though Luke Kuechly is a close second Davis has brought a combination of veteran leadership, athleticism and big play ability that was sorely lacking from last year's defense. What Davis has been able to accomplish after his injury history is truly amazing...actually beyond amazing. Others getting votes were Kuechly, Lotulelei, and Hardy.
Special Teams MVP - K Graham Gano
Ever since the release of K John Kasay the Panthers have struggled to fill the kicker roll with a reliable leg. Graham Gano has surprisingly emerged as not only a kicker with a big leg but one who can hit FGs with regularity as shown by his 13 of 14 on the season. It doesn't hurt that FGs in the 50+ yard range are no problem and that he booms most of his kick offs out of the end zone. Gano got 9 of 11 votes with Nortman and Colin Jones getting the other two votes.
Best Rookie - DT Star Lotulelei
Though DT Kawann Short has played well too this was another unanimous choice. I was on cloud 9 when Star fell to the Panthers in the draft and he has been everything I dreamed he would be and more. He is already one of the best run stuffing DTs in the league half way through his rookie season. He should compete for DROY if there is any justice in the voting.
Comeback Player - C Ryan Kalil
Kalil went on IR early in the 2012 season with a foot injury (Lisfranc) but has shown no signs of the injury in 2013. In fact he's back in Pro Bowl form and anchoring a challenged but determined offensive line. Plus he hasn't made any absurd preseason predictions (but no so absurd anymore huh?). LG Travelle Wharton garnered two votes to Kalil's 9.
Best Free Agent Pick-Up - FS Mike Mitchell
It seems every year the Panthers pick up a veteran free agent off the proverbial scrap heap and turn them into something. This year it is S Mike Mitchell, who was brought in to play SS but due to injury moved to FS. Besides amazing speed and athleticism Mitchell plays with a degree of reckless abandon for his body. He is never shy ot make a big hit and it has added a bit of swagger to the backfield. Mitchell is the kind of player you hate to play against but love it when he is on your team. Mitchell got seven votes while WR Ted Ginn got three votes and Drayton Florence one.
Congrats to these players for making their mark on the first half of the Panthers season as well as their 6-3 mark. So what do you think Panther fans? Did we nail it?