Our quest continues to construct the worst Carolina Panthers team of all time. It's an arduous process, and our group of statisticians (read: me) have chosen a group of defensive ends who were never able to rush the passer effectively, despite getting ample opportunities. Help us choose the most inept players to fill our roster.
Choosing a quarterback is fairly easy, but these choices are far more difficult. We've been lucky to have stellar pass rushers in this organization's history, making it difficult to find inept players who started ten games. Because defensive ends rotate a lot, and still play significant snaps despite not getting an official start -- this group only needed to appear in 10 games to get noticed.
Career statistics with Panthers: 50 games (0 starts), 44 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 forced fumble
It's rare to see a camp body last four years on an NFL team, but such is the tale of Rasmussen. In hindsight he was a player John Fox and Marty Hurney liked -- but it's impossible to find a reason why. He didn't do much on special teams, couldn't be a reliable rotational pass rusher, and offered nothing.
Kudos to Rasmussen for his life after football. He's a Charlotte firefighter now, and that's pretty neat -- but as a member of the Panthers, it's hard to give him credit.
Career statistics with Panthers: 31 games (3 starts), 37 tackles, 6.0 sacks, 3 forced fumbles
You know he's making the team, I know he's making the team -- so we might as well let it happen. He probably doesn't belong on this list if you look at his career in Carolina. However, his lofty draft status, and what he cost the Carolina Panthers is reason enough to recognize him.
Three players, all at need positions, all could have been Panthers -- if not for Everette Brown. Selecting him with a second round pick was a misstep, believing in him enough to give up a future first rounder was lunacy. Brown was undersized, lacked strength, and was more project than player. The Panthers were mired in contract disputes with Julius Peppers making it a necessity to add a pass rusher, but this was a stab in the dark.
Career statistics with Panthers: 38 games (20 starts), 65 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 0 forced fumbles
It's hard to put a player on the list who was chronically injured, but it's important to look past the injury to his on-field play. Peter was a highly-touted pick, and an understandable selection -- but his ability didn't translate to effectiveness on the field.
It's lucky Peter is alive. If you've followed his post-playing career you have heard about his storied addiction to heroine, cocaine, and pain killers. His book is worth a read, if nothing else.
Career statistics with Panthers: 46 games (45 starts), 87 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles
This man started three consecutive seasons for the Panthers... three. He averaged 0.2 sacks per game, and didn't really stop the run, despite being a run stopper.
Does Brayton belong on the team due to coaching ineptitude? Maybe not, but he has come to exhibit so much of what was wrong with the Panthers team building -- accepting poor play, not looking for more, and relying on veterans past their prime.
Career statistics with Panthers: 16 games (0 starts), 4 tackles, 1.0 sack, 0 forced fumbles
Taylor made the list due to his weird retirement, as much as anything else. Based on his play he was average -- but so have a lot of depth defensive ends.
What adds to Taylor's mystique is his random retirement following the lockout. He was signed by the Detroit Lions, had an opportunity to compete as a rotational defensive end -- and decided he was done with the NFL. A year later he had a change of heart, and never returned to the league.
Career statistics with Panthers: 32 games (27 starts), 48 tackles, 7.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble
Signing Jay Williams was a sad indictment on the roster at the turn of the 21st century. He did nothing to deserve getting starting reps when he played in St. Louis, yet he arrived in Carolina and became a full-time starter.
His first season wasn't terrible, and finished the year with 6.0 sacks -- but his two-year total is woefully inadequate for a player who started 27 games.