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What that bear’s doing: Panthers at Chargers lineman of the week

We’ve changed the name of the Hog Molly report, at least for now, because quite often people watch linemen and wonder... “What’s that bear doing?”

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

We’re going to try a little something different with the Hog Molly Report for awhile. I talked to you all last week about making a commitment to recognize positive play from our guys in this young season, especially given the disadvantaged situation our young team with a huge amount of roster turnover is in. With that in mind, I’m changing the format of the report for a bit, and renaming it in honor of our own Robby Anderson, and his now famous “What’s that Bear doing?” quote regarding Sir Purr.

Hogs and Bears are both perfect analogs for linemen, and while the term “Hog Molly” is not unique to Dave Gettleman, it has become associated with him. I’m not changing it because of this, but merely, a better opportunity has presented itself with the Anderson quote. In “What that Bear’s doing” we are going to focus on one individual’s play in a given week, then talk about the lines more generally. This week, our bear of the week is:

Taylor Moton

First of all. MARTY HURNEY. PAY. THIS. MAN. NOW.

No really Hurney. He is getting more expensive every day, and this team CANNOT be without him no matter what the long term plan is.

Joey Bosa, I think many of you have heard of him, was a total non-factor each time he lined up opposite of Taylor Moton. He couldn’t even notch a pressure, much less a full on sack. Moton had him completely under control all day, it wasn’t until they flipped Bosa to the other side did he get his first and only sack of the day on backup backup left tackle Trent Scott. There is no version of rebuilding this team that doesn’t require a solid pair of bookends at tackle, and Taylor Moton is easily one of them. If Marty Hurney fails to move on a contract for him, and he walks, Marty Hurney should be shown the dumpster... because right now, I’d love for him just to see the door.

Other Bears of Note (not named Sir Purr)

This week was a big step forward for both fronts. Brian Burns was even more impressive than he was last week, notching his first official sack and first forced fumble. In general, defensive pressure was pretty overwhelming on Sunday. It must be noted the Chargers were not at full strength on their offensive line, missing former Panther Trai Turner amongst others. Still, the pressure was coming in from all angles, from several people. For any that were down on Derrick Brown at all, you should feel much better after this week, as he made some truly bear-worthy plays out there, including three tackles for loss.

Matt Rhule heaped praise on both reserve left tackles on Sunday, and I think that is only a half truth in reality. Greg Little was overmatched when he had to face Bosa. Didn’t give up a sack, but they were able to flush Teddy out of the pocket at least three times while Little was in. Trent Scott gave up a sack at a key time to Joey Bosa, but quite frankly, that was a near inevitability. We weren’t gonna blank Bosa, and stars step up in big moments. While we still have more time to see what Little can offer us, if anything, I hate to say... it ain’t looking good for him being our left tackle of the future. Positive spin, he is behind after a long injury period last year and no real training this year before the season. He could still find his groove yet.

Overall, I am pleased by the team wide improvement on the front lines this week. I hope we can continue to make improvements as experience continues to take hold, and the team gets more comfortable. This week was a massive step in the right direction.