Favorite Current Panthers:
1. DeAngelo Williams - Loved him at Memphis since he was a freshmen. Always used him on NCAA PS2 games where he was dirty. My friends always wondered why I would choose Memphis prior to the game, but they always knew who DeAngelo Williams was afterward. I thought DeAngelo was going to be a top 5 draft pick in the draft, meaning we had no chance at this stud and my favorite player. I could not believe he fell to us at the bottom of the 1st round. It has been wonderful ever since watching this amazing player.
2. Julius Peppers - I am a huge Tarheel Football fan and Julius Peppers emerged in the late 1990s. He took over games at UNC. In one game against Texas, it was pretty much Julius against their offense and he almost pulled it off, forcing fumbles, getting a pick, and scoring a touchdown on a long return. Seeing a DE take over games was unprecedented in my football watching career. He reminded me of film of Lawrence Taylor, but he was even better. Also loved seeing him play on the basketball team and in the Final Four. I could not believe the Panthers were so fortunate to get him in 2002. He is the blessing of the 1-15 season and it was well worth watching us find a new way to lose every week in order to have him. I pray we sign him to a new contract. His effect on games in the NFL is amazing. Even when he does not get the sacks, you can see the attention that the other team has to give him. There is no other player like him and he deserves a monster contract. If you do not agree, then talk to Jon Gruden and the rest of the NFC South coaches who have to face him twice a year.
3. Chris Gamble - Chris Gamble caught my eye at Ohio State. He played both ways for the majority of a season and you don't see that much anymore. He was an amazing talent in college at both WR (his more natural position) and Cornerback. I was shocked to see him fall to us at the bottom of the 1st round. I thought he was a top 10 talent, but thankfully, his rawness at the CB position caused him to drop in the 1st round and we did not let him fall any farther. He has been great so far in the NFL and will get even better as time goes on and he further matures into the position. He has taken way too much flack from the common Panther fan who does not understand the CB position or his background.
4. Jon Beason - I had no idea who Jon Beason was in college and this irked me when I saw his name called in the draft, since I consider myself a big college football fan (Coincidentally, I did not know who Dan Morgan was either). I was wanting Greg Olsen and I was thrilled at the trade down because I thought this meant we were getting the TE later in the 1st round. Needless to say, I was pretty upset and surprised at seeing Beason's selection. After his rookie season, I was not so upset anymore. Beason is such a player that he eased the replacement of one of my all-time favorites in Dan Morgan. Beason is a natural leader and football player. I am looking forward to his progression and play in the next few years as he becomes one of the best middle linebackers in NFL history.
5. Matt Moore - Matt Moore caught my eye at Oregon State soon after he became the starter following Derek Anderson. He played great at this little watched school (at least on the East Coast), especially in a bowl game, where he led an amazing 4th quarter comeback. I was surprised to see us get him off waivers after the Cowboys dropped him. He reminds me of Jake in being a natural leader and gunslinger. His first NFL pass was a completed 40+ yard bomb in relief of David Carr. I could not believe it. I loved watching him in the last few games of 2007. I still believe he is our quarterback of the future (although I hope Jake remains our starter until he is in his late 30s [Jake is a QB who does not rely on his talent to play the game so his aging should not diminish his play]).
Favorite Past Panthers:
1. Dan Morgan
2. Steve Beuerlein
3. Wesley Walls
4. Patrick Jeffers
5. Lamar Lathon