Five Panthers With Something to Prove in 2014

USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 presents a make or break season for at least five Panther hold overs from the 2013 team. Granted ninety percent of the players on every team has to earn their roster spot. I've identified five Panthers that will need to a good impression.

Their reasons vary but in the end all that matters is ‘What have you done for me lately?’ Some might not make it through roster cuts, others might find themselves without an offer for the following season.

5. RB Jonathan Stewart

The oft-injury RB has yet to arrive to a training camp 100% healthy. This year might finally be the year he does. It doesn’t come too soon given he hasn’t played a full season since 2011 and will be on the back end of a fairly large contract. He needs to prove he is worth the salary.

4. OG Edmund Kugbila

Big Ku was a 4th round pick in 2013 that has yet to see the field for the Panthers. Kugila spent his rookie season on injured reserve due to an injured knee. With the Panthers drafting Trai Tuner in the 3rd round this year, Kugila needs to prove he wasn’t a wasted pick and has a spot on this roster.

3. DE Frank Alexander

Alexander would have been on this list even before earning a four game suspension for a failed drug test. The 3rd year Pro has only 3.5 sacks to his credit and the drafting of DE Kony Ealy put him on notice. Couple that with the fact he was in Rivera’s dog house in 2013 due to stupid penalties and we a player who has plenty to prove in 2014 to save his job.

2. WR Kealoha Pilares

Pilares is another player coming off of injury. He missed the entire 2013 season and half of the previous season due to leg and shoulder injuries. He’s only caught two passes in two seasons though he might still have some value in the return game. With twelve WRs on the roster though Pilares has a ton to prove if he is to remain on the Panthers roster.

1. OT Byron Bell

Bell is another guy who finds himself higher on this list due to recent developments. In Bell’s case the retirement of LT Jordan Gross and the sudden declaration that Bell would move other from the right side put’s him at the #1 player with something to prove. I already questioned whether he would remain at RT but now find him with even more to prove protecting Cam Newton’s blind side.

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