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Brandon LaFell Article by Steve Reed.

Brandon LaFell

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#1 Ivan The Awesome

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:22 PM

LaFell knows nothing is given to him.

The Panthers (No. 20 in the AP Pro 32) have several receivers ready to push him for playing time. Among those are newcomer Louis Murphy from the Oakland Raiders and David Gettis, who started ahead of LaFell two years ago before a knee injury sidelined him in 2011.
Gettis is still on the physically unable to perform list and hasn't practiced at training camp, but Murphy is beginning to make his presence known.
"When you got a guy like him come in, and he doesn't even know the offense yet but is making plays the first day out there, that's going to make you step your game up," LaFell said. "So I feel like I have to stay in my playbook and keep making plays and catch a lot of balls."
LaFell had 613 yards receiving on 36 receptions and three touchdowns last year, with most his success coming later in the season. He struggled early on to pick up Chudzinski's complicated offense after a lockout-shortened offseason.
"To be honest, it probably took until Week 8 or Week 9 to grasp the whole offense and really go out there and be comfortable," LaFell said.
Once he did, he started looking like a force.



#2 CarolinaPanthers8789

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:31 PM

I like Louis Murphy to take Gettis's spot if Gettis is still on the PUP by week 1.

To be honest, I'm not sure if Gettis will be ready by week one...

1. Smith
2. LaFell
3. Murphy
4. Ajirotutu
5. Pilares
6. Adams
PUP: Gettis

#3 ladypanther

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:36 PM

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#4 Ivan The Awesome

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:51 PM

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - Brandon LaFell is eager to play a bigger role this year in the Carolina Panthers' offense.
And he's going to get that opportunity.
LaFell, now in his third season with the Panthers, comes in as the team's No. 2 receiver and is expected to start alongside five-time Pro Bowler Steve Smith, according to coach Ron Rivera.
That's not altogether a new role for LaFell.
He started six games at the end of last season after Legedu Naanee broke his foot. LaFell played well once he got a grasp of offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski's offense and he knows this season represents a golden opportunity to establish himself as an NFL starter for years to come.
"I think last year when Legedu broke his foot Brandon stepped up," Rivera said. "But now he has to step up a little more because he has to take that pressure off of Steve Smith."
In last year's season finale against New Orleans, tight end Greg Olsen left with an injury and Carolina's offense almost immediately went in the tank. The Saints* were able to key on Smith and shut down the high-flying Panthers, limiting them to 301 net yards and 17 points.
"They were able to roll their coverage to Steve," Rivera said. "At that point you'd like to see Brandon take over. I think as a young player he's still learning how to do things. So this year is a good opportunity. I think he's stepped up so far in camp. Now we'll see as we get the pads on."
LaFell knows nothing is given to him.
The Panthers (No. 20 in the AP Pro 32) have several receivers ready to push him for playing time. Among those are newcomer Louis Murphy from the Oakland Raiders and David Gettis, who started ahead of LaFell two years ago before a knee injury sidelined him in 2011.
Gettis is still on the physically unable to perform list and hasn't practiced at training camp, but Murphy is beginning to make his presence known.
"When you got a guy like him come in, and he doesn't even know the offense yet but is making plays the first day out there, that's going to make you step your game up," LaFell said. "So I feel like I have to stay in my playbook and keep making plays and catch a lot of balls."
LaFell had 613 yards receiving on 36 receptions and three touchdowns last year, with most his success coming later in the season. He struggled early on to pick up Chudzinski's complicated offense after a lockout-shortened offseason.
"To be honest, it probably took until Week 8 or Week 9 to grasp the whole offense and really go out there and be comfortable," LaFell said.
Once he did, he started looking like a force.
He caught 18 passes for 319 yards over the final seven games, including a 91-yard touchdown reception against Tampa Bay in Week 16 - the longest in franchise history.
That's something he'd like to build on.
Along with becoming a better downfield blocker LaFell said he wants to catch more deep balls.
"I feel like I really need to work on creating more separation" between the defensive back, LaFell said.
With an increased comfort level on offense, LaFell feels as though the sky is the limit.
"It's totally different, this camp is just about fine-tuning things," LaFell said. "It's not like last year or my first camp where we had a new coaching staffs and we had to learn the playbook and it took a lot of time to learn things. This year's about going over those mental reps and getting better at it."
Rivera said LaFell wasn't alone in taking a while to pick things up.
"There were several guys that took a while to get comfortable," Rivera said. "DeAngelo Williams was another guy we were concerned with, and you guys (in the media) were killing me with early last season. But then he started to come along. This is not a simple offense. That's the truth to the matter. It took some guys longer, but when you bring in a new staff there's a learning curve to it."



#5 PhillyB

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:04 PM

good. lafell continuing his progression is imperative to having a successful passing attack.

with our depth at the position, man-to-man matchups against nickel and dime backs are going to be a thing of beauty (for us.)

#6 TruCatzFan

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:11 PM

Here's what concerns me about that article...

In last year's season finale against New Orleans, tight end Greg Olsen left with an injury and Carolina's offense almost immediately went in the tank. The Saints* were able to key on Smith and shut down the high-flying Panthers, limiting them to 301 net yards and 17 points.

"They were able to roll their coverage to Steve," Rivera said. "At that point you'd like to see Brandon take over. I think as a young player he's still learning how to do things. So this year is a good opportunity. I think he's stepped up so far in camp. Now we'll see as we get the pads on."


Where the fug is Shockey!!!? Sign him now... We can't afford to roll the dice.


#7 4Corners

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:23 PM

I like Louis Murphy to take Gettis's spot if Gettis is still on the PUP by week 1.

To be honest, I'm not sure if Gettis will be ready by week one...

1. Smith
2. LaFell
3. Murphy
4. Ajirotutu
5. Pilares
6. Adams
PUP: Gettis


I don't think Ajirotutu makes the team but I'm glad to see Edwards isnt on your list.

EDIT: LaFell and Hardy are two players I would rank very highly on my "sh!t or get off the pot" list.....maybe 1 & 2 respectively

#8 Lumps

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:31 PM

Shockey is jsut a crutch and I don't mind not having him to see what we have. If there is no future #1 in the mix now, now is the time to know and I think drafting one will be a priority.

#9 Montie_0123

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:44 PM

I love the fact that Murphy is pushing him for the number two spot this is only going to make him better. And hopefully Gettis as well because I don't see him being able to start training until the second or third week of camp and I know he's chomping at the bit to get out there because everybody fighting for the 3rd and 4th spot!

#10 KendrickPanther

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:51 PM

We are only 4 days in but Ajiritutu has been getting a lot of work. It's funny how sometimes the franchise sees things so differently than the fans. Tutu makes plays every practice to, it's not like hes pooing himself. Armanti is having a good camp but that may not be enough. They use Pilares in a number of ways which leads me to believe he is valued. He doesn't stand out as much simply as a reciever.

#11 JawnyBlaze

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:55 PM

Tutu is probably just getting a lot of work so they can decide whether to cut him. Fringe players often get work in situations like this. Same reason Smitty sat out practice yesterday, they know what they have in him. I wouldn't look at Tutu getting a lot of work as an indication he's impressing anyone. I'd look at it as he's on the verge of getting cut.

#12 CarolinaPanthers8789

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:00 PM

I don't think Ajirotutu makes the team but I'm glad to see Edwards isnt on your list.

EDIT: LaFell and Hardy are two players I would rank very highly on my "sh!t or get off the pot" list.....maybe 1 & 2 respectively


If Gettis is on the PUP it's Ajirotutu or Green make the squad.

On the first day of camp Ajirotutu and Green looked spectacular.

Ajirotutu was actually lining up with the one's on three wide receiver sets.

#13 CarolinaPanthers8789

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:01 PM

If you have been to camp this year, you have seen that Tutu is a different player. He looks really strong, I am almost certain that if Gettis is still on the PUP list come week one that Ajirotutu will be the fourth wide out on the roster.

#14 Tarheels23

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:05 PM

Lafell's ability to stretch the field will play a huge part on whether or not he keeps that #2 spot.

I don't think he'll lose it in training camp, but I wouldn't be surprised if Murphy or Gettis (If he ever gets on the field) surpasses him during the season. Again this is only based on his ability to stretch the field, everything else I love about him.

One thing is for sure though, I wouldn't want to be the one deciding which receiver stays and which one goes, because like the guy above me said, Tutu is making plays, as well as Pilares. By all accounts, it seems like Pilares will be that perfect slot guy for us. Oh, and Armanti is just ass out!

$hit if Gettis doesn't hurry up and get on the field he may become replaceable, especially since we brought in Murphy. They're pretty much the same guy, if you ask me.

#15 KendrickPanther

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:31 PM

Lafell's ability to stretch the field will play a huge part on whether or not he keeps that #2 spot.

I don't think he'll lose it in training camp, but I wouldn't be surprised if Murphy or Gettis (If he ever gets on the field) surpasses him during the season. Again this is only based on his ability to stretch the field, everything else I love about him.

One thing is for sure though, I wouldn't want to be the one deciding which receiver stays and which one goes, because like the guy above me said, Tutu is making plays, as well as Pilares. By all accounts, it seems like Pilares will be that perfect slot guy for us. Oh, and Armanti is just ass out!

$hit if Gettis doesn't hurry up and get on the field he may become replaceable, especially since we brought in Murphy. They're pretty much the same guy, if you ask me.



That's the thing. Lafell doesn't stretch the field. Cam has overthrown him several times because he doesn't have that down field speed. What he is great at is finding soft spots in the zone and leaping catches. Rivera said in an interview that Steve was the down field guy, they need someone to pull coverage, and then Lafell is the guy that makes the grabs. I'm pretty confident the Panthers are keeping things vanilla for now but you will see them game plan to get Lafell open. We run tons of 3 WR sets so far in training camp so you could call 3 guys "starters".



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