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Most Improved Panthers this year

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Posted

I think there are a number of players, especially on the Panthers D, that are set to have big years. Since the team is so young, and relatively unknown outside of the fans that follow the team, there's a few names that stick out that will be making some noise this year.

DAN CONNOR: This is the first name that popped into my head. I really don't think it's a big drop off from Beason with Connor in the middle. He might not have the same leadership quality, but Connor showed a great nose for the ball in college and looked solid in the preseason. By the end of the year, I expect him to be getting some notoriety. 80+ tackles probable.

GREG HARDY: The obvious pick, and who doesn't want to see Lil Pep rack up 10 sacks this year? That might be a little farfetched, but he's already on SI's list for surprise rookies this year, so word has slipped out. He probably won't even start by years end, but I expect 6 sacks and a couple of forced fumbles out of him - a year a lot like Charles Johnson's '08 year playing in spot duty.

CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN: Already a guy the Panthers know and love, but I expect one of the starting corners to go down with injury for a period of time, and The Captain will be get a serious look as a starting corner this year and I expect him to shine. 4 INTs is likely.

GEOFF SCHWARTZ: Pegged to start Week 1 with Otah nursing some injuries, Schwartz has already replaced the guy with the same first name who used to play here. The O-Line usually gets banged up throughout the year, and The Dude will be seeing the field almost as much as a full-time starter. We might be seeing him walk away in a few years with a big contract to start somewhere else, but for now, he's the best kept secret on the Panther O-Line.

GARY BARNIDGE: Here's a guy just waiting to explode, but he's got two guys with more experience and trust from the coaching staff in front of him. But Barnidge is easily the best receiving TE on the roster and has made some big plays in limited playing time. There's no way they can keep him on the sidelines this year breaking in a new starting QB that needs that security blanket with teams triple covering Steve Smith. He could rack up 600 yards and a few TDs given significant playing time, which I think he will likely get this year.

JIMMY CLAUSEN: He isn't primed for a big year, or a year with many stats at all, but mark my words, he will start AT LEAST two games this year. Every ounce of Panther fan homerism in me says Matt Moore will be a superstar, but the realist football fan in me says Moore will struggle at times this year, and his inexperience might get him hurt. If Clausen gets any chance to see the field this year, he's going to light it up. The spotlight will be on him if he starts and he knows it. He plays well, wins a game or two, and the starting job is his next year (pending there is football). He wants to prove the doubters wrong, that let him fall so far in the draft.

The Clausen pick is probably the most interesting, but we stole him in this past draft and there's no way he won't see some action this year.

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DAN CONNOR: This is the first name that popped into my head. I really don't think it's a big drop off from Beason with Connor in the middle. He might not have the same leadership quality, but Connor showed a great nose for the ball in college and looked solid in the preseason. By the end of the year, I expect him to be getting some notoriety. 80+ tackles probable.

The ONLY reason it is not a big drop is because Beason is playing beside him.

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Why do you anticipate that Gamble or Marshall will be injured?

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Dwayne Jarrett

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GARY BARNIDGE: Here's a guy just waiting to explode, but he's got two guys with more experience and trust from the coaching staff in front of him. But Barnidge is easily the best receiving TE on the roster and has made some big plays in limited playing time. There's no way they can keep him on the sidelines this year breaking in a new starting QB that needs that security blanket with teams triple covering Steve Smith. He could rack up 600 yards and a few TDs given significant playing time, which I think he will likely get this year.

If this were facebook I would 'like' this comment. Then write something really witty below it like: "I wish I could like this times infinity."

But in all seriousness Barnidge is my boy and he could be the best number two receiving option on this team.

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I would add Godfrey to the list. It really looks like he's become comfortable and aggressive in this defense from what I've seen of him.

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I think there are a number of players, especially on the Panthers D, that are set to have big years. Since the team is so young, and relatively unknown outside of the fans that follow the team, there's a few names that stick out that will be making some noise this year.

DAN CONNOR: This is the first name that popped into my head. I really don't think it's a big drop off from Beason with Connor in the middle. He might not have the same leadership quality, but Connor showed a great nose for the ball in college and looked solid in the preseason. By the end of the year, I expect him to be getting some notoriety. 80+ tackles probable.

GREG HARDY: The obvious pick, and who doesn't want to see Lil Pep rack up 10 sacks this year? That might be a little farfetched, but he's already on SI's list for surprise rookies this year, so word has slipped out. He probably won't even start by years end, but I expect 6 sacks and a couple of forced fumbles out of him - a year a lot like Charles Johnson's '08 year playing in spot duty.

CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN: Already a guy the Panthers know and love, but I expect one of the starting corners to go down with injury for a period of time, and The Captain will be get a serious look as a starting corner this year and I expect him to shine. 4 INTs is likely.

GEOFF SCHWARTZ: Pegged to start Week 1 with Otah nursing some injuries, Schwartz has already replaced the guy with the same first name who used to play here. The O-Line usually gets banged up throughout the year, and The Dude will be seeing the field almost as much as a full-time starter. We might be seeing him walk away in a few years with a big contract to start somewhere else, but for now, he's the best kept secret on the Panther O-Line.

GARY BARNIDGE: Here's a guy just waiting to explode, but he's got two guys with more experience and trust from the coaching staff in front of him. But Barnidge is easily the best receiving TE on the roster and has made some big plays in limited playing time. There's no way they can keep him on the sidelines this year breaking in a new starting QB that needs that security blanket with teams triple covering Steve Smith. He could rack up 600 yards and a few TDs given significant playing time, which I think he will likely get this year.

JIMMY CLAUSEN: He isn't primed for a big year, or a year with many stats at all, but mark my words, he will start AT LEAST two games this year. Every ounce of Panther fan homerism in me says Matt Moore will be a superstar, but the realist football fan in me says Moore will struggle at times this year, and his inexperience might get him hurt. If Clausen gets any chance to see the field this year, he's going to light it up. The spotlight will be on him if he starts and he knows it. He plays well, wins a game or two, and the starting job is his next year (pending there is football). He wants to prove the doubters wrong, that let him fall so far in the draft.

The Clausen pick is probably the most interesting, but we stole him in this past draft and there's no way he won't see some action this year.

Most improved implies they were here the year before. So I don't know if I'd include the rookies.

But I agree with Barnniage and Conner, I personnely believe it will Brown that will be show the most improvement.

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Most improved implies they were here the year before. So I don't know if I'd include the rookies.

But I agree with Barnniage and Conner, I personnely believe it will Brown that will be show the most improvement.

I was thinking the same thing.. also, how will we know Connor is most improved? He could have been this good the whole time, and we didn't know it due to lack of playing time.

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I would add Godfrey to the list. It really looks like he's become comfortable and aggressive in this defense from what I've seen of him.

I'm going to have to ask you to remove this comment as soon as possible. It is Huddle policy that you must not comment about Charles Godfey unless you are ignorantly insulting his ability without watching the games or understanding football.

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I'm including the rookies who could start the season not seeing much playing time, but by the end of the season have really come on strong (Hardy, Clausen)

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All of our D-Ends, Safeties, Linebackers, Jarrett sure can't get worse, Fiametta should cement his future with the Panthers, Def agree with Barnidge and would love to see him and the QB have a heck of a year together. My scary pick is Beason who is already a pro-bowler and has just switched to Meeks tackle pinball spot

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Dwayne Jarrett set the bar so insanely low that 40 catches would be a smashing success.

Every Defensive End we have is set to breakout, even Brayton.

I agree that the TEs are going to shoulder a lot of the receiving load.

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