Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersHardy 911 callThe Hardy 911 call is out and the link is on TMZ....
According to Hardy, his girlfriend was allegedly on drugs while not in control of herself. Hardy himself called 911 for a police officer to escort her out of the home.
There is an additional 911 call from a neighbor who heard the scuffle. It is unclear if anything was seen by him.
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersAccelerated Maturation for HardyYou love the Kraken, I love the Kraken. We pay to watch him perform on Sundays. But Greg Hardy has needed to learn to separate his professional life from his personal life for quite some time now. A bit of maturity is needed, and quickly.
That is usually how it goes for 25 year old men. Throw in plenty of money and fame and often times you have a bigger problem.
Over the years with the Panthers there have been signs of trouble. Namely tweeting pictures of dozens of shot glasses, his Bentley speedometer going over 100mph, a driving record with plenty of speeding tickets and a motorcycle accident to name a few. A problem that began in college causing him to plummet in the NFL draft has bled into the NFL
Hardy can add a domestic abuse charge to his record, and that is no laughing matter.
A lack of maturity has now cost him millions, and could cost him much more. It threatens the long term contract he has worked towards. Personal problems will now fall into the risk category when weighing Hardy's benefit. Even if found completely innocent, the domestic violence charge will follow him around the NFL.
We don't yet know what happened yesterday morning. He very well may not be entirely at fault. However, he is 100% responsible for the position he has put himself in. The people he chooses to surround himself with also fall into the "needs maturation" category.
These are all red flags leading up to something more substantial. All signs point to more serious problems on the horizon. The NFL is littered with these stories, and Hardy could just be the next sad character and punch line.
Unless Hardy can get it turned around, and I mean right now.
A full night in a jail cell could be the wake up call Greg has needed for quite some time. Forced to stay the night as a cooling off period, he hopefully used the time wisely and went through accelerated maturation.
We all love the Kraken on the field. Lets hope Greg Hardy can learn to leave him there.
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersGreg Hardy ArrestedGreg Hardy has been arrested and detained on domestic violence charges. The charges stem from an altercation in Charlotte at 4am this morning involving Hardy and a female. More info to come...
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersDraft Wrapup and ProjectionsRound 1 - Kelvin Benjamin - WR FSU
The Panthers immediately addressed their wide receiver deficiency by selecting the best receiver on the board. At 6'5 he provides a legitimate end zone target as well as opening up the middle of the field. There are questions revolving around his concentration and tendency to drop easy passes. Ricky Proehl's #1 priority will be getting Kelvin ready for prime time.
2014 Projection: Eventual starter. His inexperience may keep him from starting immediately but should win the job eventually. In many respects Benjamin is still a raw player in need of refining. I suspect he will be starting by mid season while getting plenty of opportunities until that time, especially on 3rd downs. .
Round 2 - Kony Ealy - DE Missouri
Kony Ealy is a defensive line prospect that David Gettleman could not pass up, even with more immediate and pressing needs elsewhere. Ealy was considered first round talent and even invited to the green room at radio city music hall. When still available at the end of the second round, his value overshadowed anything else. Ealy has huge physical talent that will be quickly taken advantage of this season.
2014 Projection: Situational pass rusher, special teams player. Ealy will see playing time immediately, spelling Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy. Next season he will most likely be starting opposite one of them.
Round 3 - Trai Turner - OG LSU
This is my favorite pick of the draft. Turner is exactly what the Panthers needed last season and could have been the difference in the playoffs. Turner is a run blocking specialist with the size and strength to get push at the point of contact. Now, instead of the Panthers running backs looking for a hole in their own backfield, maybe, just maybe, one will develop at the line of scrimmage.
2014 Projection: Day 1 starter at right guard. Turner is the best OG prospect drafted by the Panthers in many seasons. To grab an immediate starter in the third round is a fantastic deal for the Panthers.
Round 4 - Tre Boston - SS UNC
Boston has all of the physical tools to make it in the NFL. Lack of experience and a propensity to let plays get behind him are his biggest negatives. The Panthers here are looking to pair Boston with Robert Lester as the future of the defensive backfield in years to come.
2014 Projection: Special Teams Player. The Panthers have already invested in the safety position through free agency and cannot afford to have an unproven rookie protecting against the long ball against guys like Drew Brees. Boston may see playing time during 4th quarters if the game is already decided.
Round 5 - Bene Benwikere - CB San Jose State
Not only did the Panthers again ignore more pressing roster needs, but they traded up to do so. Normally, this would concern me. But Gettleman has proven he has the eyes to find quality defensive players in later rounds or even UDFA's.. Benwikere has the size at six foot tall to compete with the taller receivers in the division. His five INTs last season show he has a nose for the ball.
2014 Projection: Special Teams Player. In all probability will make the final roster but will see little playing time other than Special Teams. Although, the same was said for Melvin White.
Round 6 - Tyler Gaffney - RB Stanford
I love this pick. Gaffney was super productive at Stanford, but fell in the draft from the view it was the Stanford system, not so much his skill as a RB. Gaffney is a between the tackles runner and could pick up carries if/when Jonathan Stewart is on the exercise bike. I am curious to see Trai Thomas, Mike Tolbert, and Tyler Gaffney playing together in short yardage situations during training camp.
2014 Projection: Although he could certainly play Special Teams, the Panthers have a log jam at running back. Someone may be cut and the cap hits of Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart make it nearly impossible to cut them. Mike Tolbert is currently the best running back on the team. Gaffney or Barner could be the odd men out, although it would be a shame to cut either of these young prospects. I suspect one of the aforementioned Panthers running backs will have an IR beside his name before the start of the regular season, like so many season past.
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersTyler Gaffney Panthers ComparisonIf I had to choose a Panthers player form the pat to compare Tyler Gaffney to, I would have to go with Stephen Davis. In addition to having nearly the same size, they appear to have the same game as well.
Both just over 6 foot.
Both around 220ish
Both have shorter strides while running. Davis learned to run lower in the NFL, Gaffney hopefully will as well.
Both are more straight forward runners, have limited shiftiness, and aren't afraid of contact.
Both have the patience to let their blocks develop and follow them well.
Stephen Davis selected in the 4th in 1996. That might translate today to the 7th or even an UDFA. Gaffney of course drafted in the 6th.
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersTrai Turner Drafted, Running backs RejoiceSometimes it takes some digging to find the motivation behind draft picks. Sometimes it is completely obvious.
The Carolina Panthers selection of Trai Turner in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft is a no brainer.
One of the biggest flaws of the Panthers offense last season was a lack of push at the point of contact. The offensive line struggled all season to move the chains on short distances. Hampered by injuries and mediocre offensive guard talent at best, they failed to move the chains in the running game.
So when Trai Turner, who Mel Kiper labeled as one of the best under the radar players in the draft, was still available in the third round for the Panthers the selection was possibly the easiest of the draft so far.
Turner has work to do and much to learn, but at a hog mollyish 6'3 and 310lbs he can do one thing for the Panthers immediately. He can pave the road for Williams and Stewart. While Turner struggled at times at LSU in pass protection, he excelled in run blocking. Scouts praise his ability to get push off the line and finish his blocks with the defenders on the ground. He also showed the ability to find linebackers after his first blocks are finished, something the guards last season were rarely able to accomplish. The result could be more reliable 4-5 yard runs and sustained drives.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone that watched the Panthers play last year that would disagree with this pick. He could very well start immediately, which is a rare find in the third round.
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Zod added a article in Carolina Panthers2 Key Things Regarding Kony EalyI had a feeling the Panthers would be going defense with their second round pick, but I was thinking cornerback. Instead, the Panthers draft a defensive end which is probably one of the areas least in need, until you scratch the surface. How did the guy that many labeled as the second best defensive end in the draft fall to the Panthers in round 2? Why would the Panthers select him? Well, it is fairly simple.
It begins with "unnamed NFL scouts" who questioned his attitude. .
Con man... Con man... seems like I have heard that somewhere before. Oh, that's right, Cam Newton was called a con artist before the NFL draft as well. Remind me how that turned out for the Panthers.
When it comes to such strong terminology against a player, it is obviously personal. And when scouts leave the business mindset and get personal, it is time to ignore them. Clearly Gettleman saw past the rhetoric.
But is defensive end a need for the Panthers? Obviously, David Gettleman thinks so. This pick could be the biggest indicator yet on how long term contract talks are going with Greg Hardy. If Hardy is no longer with the Panthers next season, which is looking more and more likely, Ealy could possibly step in with solid production.
In Carolina, Ealy has the best case scenario. He does not have to come in and be the number one guy. He doesn't even need to be the number two guy. He can come in and learn from one of the best defensive line coaches in the game, Eric Washington. Washington has proven he can get production out of just about any defensive marginal talent given to him. I would expect big returns from a physical talent like Kony Ealy.
A realistic projection this season for Ealy would be as a situational pass rusher and in the rotation to spell Hardy and Johnson. While I would have preferred a starter in round 2, I really cannot fault Gettleman for looking to the future here and taking not only the best player available, but also a position of need.
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersKelvin Benjamin - The Right PickDavid Gettleman and the Carolina Panthers got it right.
Kelvin Benjamin was both the best player available and also filled a huge need at wide receiver. And when I say huge, I mean that literally.
Benjamin instantly becomes for the Panthers what we all hoped Brandon Lafell would turn out to be. A tough jump ball receiver that we could rely on in the red zone in addition to tough third down passes. Benjamin won't be burning many players with his speed, but has a fantastic ability to extend his body and make the catch.
The most important thing: He has all of the physical tools that cannot be taught.
The challenge now is for wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl to mold this young man into a formidable NFL caliber receiver. Proehl, who up until now has had only marginal young talent to develop now gets the keys to a Ferrari. I doubt there is anyone more excited at Bank of America Stadium this morning than Ricky.
Under Proehl's tutelage, Benjamin will develop into that safety outlet that Cam has never had. A guy that Cam can throw the ball high and in the general direction of when under pressure and know there is a good chance Kelvin has got it.
The Moose to Cam's Jake.
If Benjamin can improve on his focus (3 drops vs Florida) and his route running, he will have an immediate positive impact this season for the Panthers. This is exactly what the Panthers needed with their first rounder.
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersZod's Official Panthers Mock Draft Rounds 4-7Finishing out the Draft the Panthers select players who can contribute immediately even in the later rounds.
Round 4 - CJ Fiedorowicz TE Iowa
I have been big on this guy for a while, and he will be there for round 4. CJ is the best run blocking TE in the draft and has soft reliable hands in the passing game. He would immediately improve the Panthers horrible run game, something Carolina will desperately need this season if they hope to improve on being ranked 28th overall on offense.
Round 5 - Brandon Coleman WR Rutgers
With this pick the Panthers address their need for a go to red zone wide receiver. Coleman is not the fastest guy on the field, but at 6'6 and a 33 inch vertical he will present matchup problems for shorter defensive backs. Needs to develop more of an aggressive attitude, something RIcky Proehl and the Panthers newly acquired veteran receivers can aid in. Receivers his height rarely make an impact in the NFL, thus he will be available in round 5.
Round 6 - Justin Britt OT Missouri
Britt is a top notch OT prospect that will fall to the late rounds because of his injury issues in 2012. Before you lose interest in this pick, remember the Panthers drafted another such player in the past named Greg Hardy. Britt has performed well against the top rushers in college and shows the toughness to be a legitimate NFL caliber player. At 6'6 and 325lbs, he fits the Gettleman hog molly mold.He may be too tall for shorter QB's like Drew Brees to see over, but will be a good fit for Cam Newton.
Round 7 - Cody Davis FS Texas Tech
Davis had an excellent pro day at Texas Tech and will probably be a late round selection. Everyone knows he is a tackling machine and can contribute immediately on special teams. His only concern was his measurables against NFL receivers. Davis clocked a 4.41 40 which is good enough for him to be drafted. This pick has huge upside for the Panthers. Davis is aggressive and savvy enough to contribute at the NFL level, as seen by his 4 forced fumbles. He would immediately contribute on special teams which is all you can ask for in a 7th round pick.
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersThe Amazing Huddle Draft Contest!OK ladies and gents, now that the draft is within reach, it is time for a draft contest with a fantastic prize.
What is the prize you ask?
Well its this....
View attachment: 2014-04-22 14.33.jpg
An 8x10 of this photo taken by yours truly from the historic Saints game of Luke Kuechly, autographed by Luke himself. Try finding that in a store.
So what is the contest?
I need your Carolina Panthers 2014 NFL Draft pick predictions round by round. They should be submitted in this format...
Round 1 - Player name
Round 2 - Player name
Round 3 - Player name
Round 4 - Player name
Round 5 - Player name
Round 6 - Player name
Round 7 - Player name
If your submission is not in this format, you are disqualified. You can say whatever you want after you have filled out this format, but do not blather on in the actual submission. If the Panthers trade out of a round, that pick is scratched from the record.
To make this more interesting, the scoring is as follows:
Round 1 - 1 point
Round 2 - 2 points
Round 3 - 3 points
Round 4 - 4 points
Round 5 - 5 points
Round 6 - 6 Points
Round 7 - 10 points!!!
That is right, guess the round 7 pick and you get 10 points. You could win it all with just one correct pick.
One entry per huddler. Deadline is 1 hour before the start of the 2014 NFL Draft. In the event of a tie the winner from the winners pool will be chosen at random. One entry per huddler. No editing once your picks are submitted less you are disqualified.
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersZod's Official Panthers Mock Draft Rounds 1-3Here we are folks, two weeks out from the draft. I have crunched the numbers and applied out proprietary algorithm.
The following is a spoiler alert.
Round 1 - Morgan Moses - OT - Virginia
The departure of Desean Jackson in Philly solidifies their Brandin Cooks selection, who was previously my pick for the Panthers. Moses may be best at right tackle, which would make for much camp intrigue. Could the Panthers really be considering Byron Bell at left tackle? Could be. Bonus: The Moses selection would open up the floodgates for corny Old Testament puns from our tired local media.
Round 2 - Marcus Roberson - CB - Florida
This is a classic best player available pick. Yes, wide receiver is a huge need, but cornerback is not far behind. Roberson is a value at pick 60. He won the starting job at Florida as a true freshman. He could be a day 1 starter as well, which is all you can ask for from a second round pick.
Round 3 - Jared Abbrederis - WR - Wisconsin
Abbrederis is the best route runner in the draft. Under the tutelage of Ricky Proehl he will develop into a reliable clutch possession receiver. This kid is first and foremost a football player, and Gettleman is a guy that appreciates that. Abbrederis is as close to pro ready as any WR in this draft.
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersWide Receiver RoundupThe Carolina Panthers have made quite a few small moves at wide receiver this offseason, I think a roundup is in order for the casual fan.
Featured on their roster are nine total wide receivers.
Jason Avant, 6'0, 9 years exp
Brenton Bersin, 6'3, 1 year exp
Toney Clemmons, 6'2, 1 year exp
Jerricho Cotchery, 6'1, 11 years exp
Tavarres King, 6'1, 2 years exp
Marvin McNutt, 6'2, 2 years exp
Kealoha Pilares, 5'10, 4 years exp
Tiquan Underwood, 6'1, 6 years exp
RJ Webb, 6'2, 2 years exp
The Panthers typically keep up to 5 receivers on their regular season roster. Looking at this list, one could speculate that Bersin, Clemmons, Webb, and King are the odd men out. If the Panthers do draft one or more wide receivers in May, McNutt and Pilares are on the bubble. Yes, I know McNutt almost caught one pass against Atlanta last season. Cut it out.
This leaves the main players on the roster currently. Here is a bit on them individually.....
Jerricho Cotchery - The field general of the group. A solid number three with veteran savvy and more importantly an ability to make those around him better. A real asset in the locker room, perhaps a mentor for the younger guys (possibly drafted?).
Tiquan Underwood - A former 7th round selection that has managed to stick in the NFL and produce. You should not discount that fact, it shows real drive. He had 4 touchdowns last season and averages 18 yards a reception while being thrown to by inferior talent in Tampa Bay. Underwood could be poised to have a break out year with an actual legitimate QB for the first time in his career. Possible number 2 talent and an upgrade over Brandon Lafell depending on his ceiling.
Jason Avant - The most recent Panthers signing. Possibly a number 2 for the Panthers. Avant had a down year last year for the eagles. This was possibly due to Chip Kelly's offense spreading the ball around more. Before then, Avant had three consecutive seasons with over fifty completions.
The good news is the Panthers have not downgraded all that much from last season.
Many in the media are pointing out that the Panthers do not have a number one receiver on the roster. While this is true, one could argue they did not truly have a number one receiver last season either. A good indication of this is the fact that TE Greg Olsen led the team in receptions.
In summary, the Panthers are a draft pick or two away from actually having improved their wide receiver roster without spending much money to do so.
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersBetter Know a Prospect - Jared AbbrederisThe Panthers will almost certainly be looking for a wide receiver in the later rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft.
I hope they take a good long look at Jared Abbrederis out of Wisconsin. If he had to be compared to an NFL wide out, it would be none other than Panthers WR coach Ricky Proehl.
Like Proehl, Abbrederis doesn't have elite size or speed. This is why he is projected as a late 4th round prospect (Proehl was drafted in the third round). He measure in at 6'1 and 195lbs, just like Ricky.
But also like Proehl, Abbrederis brings all the intangibles to the table.
First of all, Abbrederis went from being a walk on to a number 1 receiver. Think about that. Walking onto a major football program and developing into a number 1 receiver while catching balls from guys like Russel Wilson. He leaves the Badgers as one of the most productive receivers in school history. That, my friends, is impressive.
He didn't do it by running faster than the other guys, but by running smarter. Abbrederis may be the smoothest route runner in the draft. His hands and field awareness are also second to none. Scouts use words like coachable and savvy when describing him.
The best shot this kid has in making an impact in the NFL is with the mentoring of Ricky Proehl. Lets hope he gets that chance.
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersA Big Bowl of SanityFrom the looks of things on the Huddle as of late, I feel an intervention is needed. Today I actually read a theory that GM David Gettleman is actually purposefully sabotaging the team. It is official - the Huddle has lost its mind.
Let us take a step back from the conspiracy theories, conjecture, and embellishment.
There seems to be three main areas of concern, I will address them individually.
Myth #1 – The Panthers have no offensive line.
The Panthers currently have 4 of the 5 starting offensive lineman that the Panthers started training camp with last season. The retirement of Jordan Gross being the only change. Bell, Silotolu, Kalil, Williams, all remain on the roster. The sudden rash of retirements like Jeff Byers and Geoff Hangartner weren't a shock, in fact, they retired because they knew they would not be on the Panthers roster again. The loss of Jordan Gross is significant, but it isn't the end of the world. His play was no longer elite, but above average. Finding an above average left tackle is not an impossible task for David Gettleman considering it is only March. The bigger concern is the leadership on the line that will need filled. I believe Ryan Kalil is more than ready to step in.
Myth #2 – The Panthers have cut all of their wide receivers and are ignoring that need.
The 2013 Panthers wide receivers corps were less than stellar, to put it nicely. One good indication of such is TE Greg Olsen, who remains on the roster, was the leading receiver. Thats right, the Panthers leading receiver is still on the roster. Say that over and over again until you feel better.
Steve Smith's release, while heartbreaking and handled terribly, was necessary. Receivers decline quickly when in their mid 30s, and Steve had shown signs of such two years ago. Allowing his contract to continue another year would have made it more difficult to sign core young players all while not guaranteeing an adequate return on investment this season. Gettleman made a tough call, but it was the correct one.
Ted Ginn was exciting to watch, but fans forget the many drops he had that could have gone for long gains. Panthers fans are so thirsty for even average wide receiver play they forget what good receiver play looks like. I would be all in favor for keeping Ginn at a low price, but he is now being over paid in Arizona. You can't fault Gettleman for that.
Brandon Lafell? He may be back. The fact that no one else in the league is even interested tells you all you need to know. Vet minimum? Yep.
All in all, it won't be difficult for Gettleman to match the production of the 2013 wide receivers in 2014. Why? Because there isn't much production to match.
Myth #3 – The loss of Mike Mitchell and Captain Munnerlyn is devastating.
I like Mike Mitchell. I think he is a fine safety. I also think Pittsburgh is going to be very disappointed in the return they get for their high dollar investment in him. Without the Panthers stellar front seven, Mitchell will be an average safety for them making above average money.
The Panthers were please with Robert Lester last season and still have Charles Godfrey under contract. Panthers fans have yet to see how Godfrey performs when the Panthers have featured their current front 7. My guess is he will benefit as much as Mike Mitchell did, maybe even more. We could see Godfrey rise to a new level.
Captain Munnerlyn is an average corner at best, and maybe an above average nickel. He was a liability last season on many downs, most notably against San Francisco. Melvin White and Josh Thomas both will play at a higher level than Munnerlyn in 2014, and at a smaller price tag.
So sit back, take a deep breath, and relax.
Dave's got this.
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Zod added a article in Carolina PanthersBetter Know a Prospect - Jawuan JamesJawuan James - OT - Tennessee
With the Panthers in dire need of two new tackles, I believe they may be taking a long look at Jawuan James to compete immediately for the starting right tackle position.
James fits the mold of a David Gettleman lineman 6'6" and 311 pounds. His frame could easily put on another 10 pounds by September. At Tennessee, James showed NFL caliber strength and speed as well as technique. James has the ability to head down field in search of second level defenders on run plays and scrambles.
Set a UT record for 49 games started by an offensive lineman, all at right tackle. His durability is unquestioned. His extensive experience at RT makes him a possible game 1 starter.
James is currently projected in rounds 3 or 4, which makes him a prime target for the Panthers late 3rd round pick.
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