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Byron Bell to start at RT vs. Packers

Byron Bell (77) is in for the test of his football life on Sunday vs. Green Bay. (<a href="" target="new">Photo courtesy of the News and Observer</a>)
Byron Bell (77) is in for the test of his football life on Sunday vs. Green Bay. (Photo courtesy of the News and Observer)

As I said earlier, I love his story... but I'm scared.

Joe Person
Panthers undrafted rookie Byron Bell says he's been told by coaches he will start vs. Packers in place of Jeff Otah (concussion).

Byron Bell's short career in Carolina had been nothing short of remarkable, and it continues to trend that way. Every year teams find players who just happen to 'click' with their systems, and it appears for the Panthers he's that player. Moreover, it shows what an unbelievable lack of confidence the coaches have in G Mackenzy Bernardeau. It would be easy to assume the Panthers would move the versatile Geoff Hangartner to RT and plug in Bernstile at RG, but this didn't happen. The offense went out of its way to move Bell from backup LG to starting RT, supplanting rookie Lee Ziemba in the process. 

Thankfully Bell wont be responsible for Clay Matthews on Sunday, but he'll still have his work cut out for him as Dom Capers will test him often with creative blitz packages. From a long time defensive coach like Capers the addition of Bell might as well be blood in the water.

At the forefront of this situation is Jeff Otah, now slated to miss his 20th game in three seasons. While you can't really hold a concussion against a player it's becoming maddeningly frustrating to continually have a player as talented and dominant as Otah consistently miss games. It will be very curious to see how Bell performs on Sunday, because if he's up to the task of dealing with a tough Packers defense it may be a long time before Otah gets his job back.