All Kitty Litter Team: Offensive line

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Picking five offensive linemen is a daunting task, so we've made it a touch easier for you.

The Carolina Panthers have had some astounding highs, and woeful lows when it comes to the offensive line. Players like Jordan Gross and Ryan Kalil have been two of the best linemen at their position, but it gets ugly when you turn to look at some of the backups who have been thrust into starting roles out of necessity.

Instead of using our kitty litter process to pick over five different positions, and 20 players total -- we're pulling an entire year's unit to represent the protection.

1998

LT: Blake Brockermeyer
LG: Frank Garcia
C: Bryan Stoltenberg
RG: Corbin Lacina
RT: Norbert Davidds-Garrido

QB statistics: 3,624 yards, 25 touchdowns, 54 sacks

RB statistics: 405 attempts, 1,458 yards (3.6 YPA), 11 TD

At age 33, Steve Beuerlein deserved better. Thankfully his best days in Charlotte were yet to come, but the 1998 offensive line allowed him to be sacked 44 times in 12 games, as Beuerlein split time with Kerry Collins. Let that sink in for a second. 44 sacks in 12 games... that's 3.67 sacks PER GAME. It wasn't much better for Collins either, who was sacked 10 times in four games. The team finished 4-12, one of their worst seasons ever.

If there's a saving grace for the 1998 squad it's the lack of talent around them. The only thing Carolina had on offense was receivers -- with Rocket Ismail and Muhsin Muhammad paving the way for a combined 1,965 yards and 14 touchdowns. However, at running back the story was different, a two-headed monster of Fred Lane and Tim Biakabatuka, which was a bad as it sounds.

2002

LT: Todd Steussie
LG: Jamar Nesbit
C: Jeff Mitchell
RG: Kevin Donnalley
RT: Chris Terry

QB statistics: 2,981 yards, 22 touchdowns, 44 sacks

RB statistics: 452 attempts, 1,586 yards (3.5 YPA), 11 TD

It's almost a dead heat between the 1998 squad, and 2002. However, this unit wins in terms of how poorly the offense operated.

There is a saving grace, Steve Smith. This was the year Smitty finally got the opportunity to play as a wide receiver, and shed a lot of his special teams duties. Both Smith and Muhammad did an admirable job catching passes from Rodney Peete, but it was abundantly clear that Peete was done as an NFL quarterback at this point.

2010

LT: Jordan Gross
LG: Travelle Wharton
C: Ryan Kalil
RG: Geoff Schwartz
RT: Garry Williams

QB statistics: 2,635 yards, 9 touchdowns, 50 sacks

RB statistics: 428 attempts, 1,846 yards (4.3 YPA), 7 TD

Quarterbacks became the scapegoats of the 2010 season, but the offensive line play was equally bad. Neither DeAngelo Williams nor Jonathan Stewart could run -- and the team allowed over 3.0 sacks per game for the entire season.

There were a lot of forces at play during the lame-duck year, but it seemed that once-reliable veterans had given up. The only player on the line who played well was Ryan Kalil, and that wasn't enough to turn the tide.

I want to stop remembering 2010... can we?

2001

LT: Todd Steussie
LG: Jamar Nesbit
C: Jeff Mitchell
RG: Kevin Donnalley
RT: Chris Terry

QB statistics: 3,098 yards, 12 touchdowns, 32 sacks

RB statistics: 354 attempts, 1,372 yards (3.9 YPA), 9 TD

Give yourselves a pat on the back gentlemen, you've made the list twice. Let's remember for the sake of history that three of these players returned on the 2003 Super Bowl team -- but it was ugly in these early days.

They somewhat managed to protect Chris Weinke (allowing 2.0 sacks per game), but overall this unit didn't get any push in the run game and helped contribute to the worst season in team history.

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