SharkKiller wrote: 'Newton's preseason stats: 16-32"
A 50% completion ratio? Makes Jimmy "The Pickle" Clausen seem like Dan Marino.
"You WILL learn something"
Will we, now? This thread is over 12 pages long and none of you chimps have offered a single substantive football comment. Not ONE. Pathetic. So allow me to enlighten your thick skulls with a breakdown of your suspect defense:DT
The best thing this duo has going for them is that their names rhyme. Ron Edwards is a dependable but high-mileage old vet who plays the run pretty well but creates little havoc as a pass rusher. He's paired with Dwan Edwards, who has a laughable 5.5 sacks in a forgettable seven year career. An indication of the lack of quality talent at this spot if the fact that Dwan Edwards was recently discarded by the Bills, yet he stepped right into the under-tackle spot in Carolina as an instant starter. I hear Buddy Hackett had an audition also. Gerald McCoy, the Bucs' 3-tech tackle, offers more explosiveness than all of Caroline's DTs combined.DE
The Panthers have some legit DE talent. I'm a UF grad (and SEC fan), so I know all about Greg Hardy. A couple of drafts ago I named him as one of my biggest sleepers. He has natural pass rush ability and should continue to improve. I expect him to give Buc LT Trueblood, a so-so player, fits on Sunday from the LDE spot. Had the Bucs not lost RG Davin Joseph to injury a couple of weeks back Hardy would be less of a concern. Alas, Joseph is gone. Problem with Hardy, though, is that he's a moody, strange cat who runs as hot and cold as any player in the game, looking unstoppable one play, disappearing the next. Worth noting that he gained about 20 lbs. this offseason which may negate some of his natural quickness. The RDE spot is manned by Charles Johnson, an underrated player who plays the run well and presents a legit sack threat. Buc LT Donald Penn will have his hands full with Johnson, though the Panthers slowish DTs will allow Carl Nicks, the best OG in the game, to cool Johnson's jets, and Johnson will also see a see a lot of Jamon Meredith, a 6-5, 305 lb. LT playing the part of a blocking TE, on important run downs.LB
John Beason is my type of ballplayer: athletic, tough, physical hitter. The same and more can be said of Thomas Davis, a player Bucschat members will tell you I openly coveted when he came out of Georgia. The problem, of course, is that both are coming off of big injuries, Beason an Achilles injury and Davis a historic third ACL tear, which means they'll both have Panther fans flinching after every hard tackle. The Panthers made a wide decision, IMO, in moving rookie Kuechly to the WLB spot instead of the MLB spot many assumed he'd play. Why? Because, despite his undeniable instincts and speed, he is not a physical player in the Beason and Davis mold. Kuechly reminds me a lot of former Buc LB Barrett Ruud: a tackling machine who can light up a stat sheet, but too many of his stops take place well past the LOS. On a psychological note—and this matters in a game that is still defined by hitting—opponents will never fear the guy because he's a drag-down tackler rather than a light-you-up presence. Backup James Anderson adds depth and can also post good stats, but he is not an impact tackler or big-play guy.S
Starting FS Haruki Nakamura is a plugger, nothing more. He's smallish, lacks special physical skills, is relatively slow and has modest thump as a hitter. He is, however, a heady guy with a natural feel for the game. He makes few mistakes, but when matched up against the league's better WRs and backs in space his shortcomings can range from evident to glaring. By contrast, CB-turned-SS Charles Godfrey is everything you could physically want in a pro safety. Problem is, he's about as instinctive as a pine stump. He likes to hit and can really force the run, but he'll bite on fakes with relish and he lacks great recovery speed, hence the switch to safety from corner. Like all Iowa players Godfrey was NFL ready in terms of preparation and conditioning, but at this stage his mental/instinctive game is lagging well behind his physical promise. You can bet your ass that Schiano and crew have circled his name as a sucker for the deep ball.CB
Panther fans are enthralled with Chris Gamble, and most of it is justified. He's the prototypical modern NFL cover in many ways, and he has the ability to contain even the league's best WRs. He's not as physical as I like a CB to be, however, though in the don't-hit-me, pass-happy modern NFL it's not the weakness it once was. Regardless, he's a potent weapon. It's the Panthers other CBs who lack special qualities. I loved Captain Munnerlyn as a feisty little SEC player with nickel potential, but as a starter he's often overmatched physically. He will switch to nickel on third downs, but his tiny 5-8 frame makes him a liability against larger pass catchers there, as well, and Vincent Jackson will be used in the slot often by the Bucs. Rookie Josh Norman intrigued me as a potential draft pick. He has great size/speed numbers and a hyper-cocky disposition but will need time to develop. His biggest weakness was exposed in All Star games against better competition than he saw at Coastal Carolina—a searing desire to pick the ball at all costs, which manifests itself in a tendency to bite on fakes like a starving man. Would be OK if he had great recovery speed, but he does not. He will eventually start opposite Gamble, relegating Munnerlyn to the nickel (if the Panthers staff has a brain, anyway). Gamble and Vincent Jackson is an intriguing matchup, and but fully expect Mike Williams to wear Munnerlyn's ass out on the opposite side.
Ask nicely and I'll profile your overrated offense.