It's time to open up the CSR Mailbag and answer some questions from our readers. As always, these questions are answered by real football experts.
I think there is only one pure kicker in the Hall of Fame, but I recall talk about Vinatieri being a shoo-in to be the next. I look at the world through Carolina Blue colored glasses, so my belief is that Kasay is better and should be a shoo-in as well. So, does he have a legitimate shot at the HOF?
There's no way to answer this question without upsetting a large portion of Panthers fans, so I'm just going to come out and say it and deal with the consequences later. John Kasay will not make the Hall of Fame. It's just not going to happen.
Personally, I don't even think Adam Vinatieri will make it to Canton. There are several other kickers -- Gary Anderson, Phil Dawson, Matt Stover and Ryan Longwell -- who have higher career field goal percentages than Vinatieri (he's 15th all-time), and I think it's a long shot that any of those guys get in. There's a reason Jan Stenerud is the only pure kicker in the Hall of Fame -- he was among the first few guys to be used only as a kicker and was one of the first to kick "soccer style". According to his Wikipedia page his field goal percentage in his first three seasons (in the AFL) was 70% -- the rest of the kickers in the league averaged 50%.
For guys like Vinatieri and Kasay to get into Canton they would have to be once-in-a-generation kickers who dominated their competitors, and it just didn't happen for either one of them. So, while it would be nice to see Kasay get a bust in Canton, I wouldn't get my hopes up.
Speaking of kickers, here's two more kicker related questions:
Will John Kasay's number be retired?
I think the team will induct Kasay into the Hall of Honor because he meets the criteria for it -- he was a long-standing member of the franchise, a good guy on and off the field and the best kicker the franchise has ever had.
Whether or not they retire his number is another story. I don't think they will, but it's possible. I think they like the fact that Sam Mills is the only Panther with a retired number.
Why didn't the Panthers draft a kicker?
The Panthers didn't draft a kicker because they don't need one. Simple and plain. Graham Gano's got this, y'all.
Ok. That's enough about kickers. Let's talk about something else now.
Travelle Wharton looks like he may be getting cut. Should the Panthers re-sign him?
In a word, yes. Provided he doesn't cost an arm and a leg, Wharton would bring help to an offensive line that needs it.
What should the Panthers do with their current cap space?
There's a lot of healthy debate on that very subject, but I think the Panthers should save it and roll it over to next year to help give Greg Hardy a contract extension. The only way I would want them to use any of it this year is if they were to pick up some affordable OL free agents -- similar to how they signed Dwan Edwards last offseason.
If the Panthers played a game today, who would the starting OL consist of?
If the season started today, the OL would be Jordan Gross, Amini Silatolu, Jeff Byers, Geoff Hangartner and Byron Bell. Kalil is still on the shelf recovering from Lisfranc surgery, and they probably want to give Kugbila a few weeks to get used to NFL speed before putting him on the starting line.
If I'm Cam Newton and I see that's going to be my starting OL, I'm checking up on my insurance policy and making sure it's still good.
Adrian Peterson almost set the NFL record, what do the Panthers need to do to make sure Double Trouble can run like that?
The answer to this question isn't as hard as it may seem. The Panthers need to do two things to ensure Double Trouble can have success in 2013 -- make sure the OL does their job and give them the ball. Don't call a bunch of QB read-option plays, just get back to old school smashmouth running and let the horses do their thing.
Will they produce numbers like Peterson did last year? Probably not, but Carolina has more weapons than Minnesota so they really don't have to. They just need to set the tone for the rest of the offense and take over games late when the opposing defense is worn down from trying to stop Cam Newton.
Who do you think should start at CB?
Right now I would go with James Dockery and Drayton Florence, with Captain Munnerlyn playing the nickel.
You think there's any chance that either of the rookie QBs puts up a fight for the #3 spot?
No. Jimmeh's got the #3 spot locked down. His salary is guaranteed so they're not going to pay him to go away.
Where is Jake Delhomme these days?
Word on the street is he's in Louisiana preparing for a comeback. He's been videotaping himself throwing footballs to invisible Steve Smiths in triple coverage, and he's hoping to get a tryout soon. I think he's got a shot -- if teams are working out JaMarcus Russell, why not work out Jake Delhomme?
Does Greg Hardy really floss with barbed wire?
From what I've been told, he tried one time but found the barbed wire to be a bit too soft for his liking.
Alright folks, that's it for this edition of the mailbag. If you have any questions you'd like to ask the CSR Staff, feel free to email us at csr.mailbag @ gmail dot com. We'll see you next time!