First, the big news, the signing of SS Quinton Mickell. Apparently he got the call a couple days and injuries had a little to do with it:
Notes: Panthers sign safety Mikell
"I got the call two days ago and I was like, ‘OK, I'm ready. Let's go,'" Mikell said. "It's been tough the last couple months. This is the longest I've been out of football. But I stayed in shape and stayed ready. I was just waiting on that call." Rivera and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott spent time on the coaching staff in Philadelphia when Mikell was an Eagle. That familiarity helped the Panthers arrive at Mikell when the need for a strong safety presented itself.
The familiarity should help Mikell adjust, but the defensive philosophy is different than what he experienced in Philadelphia. "It's a little different in the way that it's done," Mikell said. "In Philly we used a lot of different blitz schemes. Here, with this front seven, you don't really have to blitz a whole lot. The front seven – they're incredible. I've never played with a front seven that's as dominant as those guys are. I'm excited to see what those guys can do once they're cut loose."
Boy the Panthers front seven has not played a down that counts yet but already has a wide reputation. Adding Mickell just makes it even better!
Big Kudo's to the 2013 UDFA's CB Melvin White and DE Wes Horton. White discusses the moment he realized he had made the team:
Roster cutdown stressful for some
"The wait was crazy," said White, one of two undrafted rookies to make the Panthers' 53-man roster. "I had told my family the night before, 'Don't call me because I don't want to hear the phone ring.' A couple of them called anyway. Every time you see the phone buzzing, you get scared." After months of blood and sweat, White hoped to avoid tears by avoiding a phone call that would signal he hadn't survived final roster cuts.
When he didn't get a call from the Panthers in the 36 hours that followed the conclusion of Thursday's preseason finale, he showed up for a scheduled team meeting Saturday morning at Bank of America Stadium. "Once we got into the meeting, Coach Rivera said, 'This is our team,' " White said. "That's when I finally realized, 'I made it.' It was an unbelievable feeling after everything I went through to get to this point."
Wow, that had to be stressful waiting for the non-call and then still not having anyone tell you you made it.
The Panthers have now put QB Jimmy Clausen on injured reserve due to his shoulder injury. Playing behind our third string o-line finally took its toll on the 4th year QB:
Derek Anderson set as backup quarterback after Carolina Panthers cut Jimmy Clausen | OregonLive.com
After the game coach Ron Rivera said part of Clausen’s problems stemmed from playing behind the third string offensive line. "The unfortunate thing for Jimmy he’s working in with the third and fourth guys and that’s always tough so you always have to take that with a grain of salt," Rivera said. "He made some good throws and threw a nice back shoulder to James Shaw. It’s just, you wish you could present him with some better opportunities as far as the guys on the field with him."
Moving on to less Panther related news, we have the next three links. NFL.com pundits picked their preseason coaches of the year and of course Ron Rivera was not on the list but guess who was:
Around The League's Coach of the Year predictions - NFL.com
Dan Hanzus' pick: Rob Chudzinski, Cleveland Browns Well, I've backed myself into a corner on this one. A couple weeks back on the "Around The League Podcast," I bravely predicted the Browns would go 9-7 and earn the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs. This was after a particularly impressive preseason performance by Brandon Weeden & Co., and it's possible my judgment was temporarily altered. No matter, I have little choice but to finish what I started. And if the Browns win nine games this year before suffering a heartbreaking January defeat to (yep) the Denver Broncos, how could Chud not be the NFL's Coach of the Year? I don't feel even remotely good about this.
Because leaving Carolina is a certain recipe for success I guess. Whatev! Weeden is going to suck and Chud is going to wish he had Cam back.
Here's a neat little puff piece that does give up some straight truth:
Charlotte hits a homerun
But the Panthers are Charlotte’s team. When they lose, you can see it in the body language on the street and in restaurants and coffee houses Monday morning. When they lose you can often pick up a ticket for the next home game at face value outside the stadium. When they win, however – well, it’s been a long time since they won. If they win, home games will become a celebration, and tickets will be at a premium.
It's time to make Charlotte proud again!
Last but not least, all you Nakamura bashers better tread lightly if you ever meet him in person. I'm betting he's a bit of a bad ass since it seems to run in the family:
The five most important useless facts about the Carolina Panthers | For The Win
3) Safety Haruki Nakamura is the son of international judo champions. Nakamura’s late father Ryoko was an eighth-degree black belt who came to the U.S. in the 1960s to teach the sport and met Nakamura’s mother Karen, a fourth-degree black belt herself. In addition to Haruki, the couple had two other sons and a girl. His older brother Yoshi won eight national judo titles growing up before becoming an All-American in wrestling at the University of Pennsylvania.
His mom can kick your ass if he doesn't! ;)
Cheers...and Keep Pounding!