Brandon Williams is physical but his technique is crap. This is the big leagues, no more camp bodies to sling around.
I would have preferred BW to be active but I understand it. Bersin I would have preferred to be active too. I'm sincerely worried about turnovers on special teams. It's been an issue early in the season for the past several seasons.
What does an active Fozzy mean? Are we running the ball more? Is he playing special teams and kick returns? Why not just deactivate Deangelo??
My other thought is we might be carrying extra lineman because we lost like 4 guards last year in week 1.
I'm tired of Richie Brockel to be honest, I think this team overvalues him. His "versatility" is called being able to do everything slightly below average.
at least we're in a position that our 53 man roster is good enough that we actually have talented players being pushed to inactive. with hurney we had half a dozen guys every year, like armati edwards, that were literally useless and just took up roster space
To put it another way, we used to complain about who was active. Fua, McClain, Nakamura, etc.
1. Rob Chudzinski - In 2012 Chud was naive going into Tampa. He was like that swordsman that starts flashing his blade all over for show only for Indiana Jones to pull out a pistol and shoot him. If there is one thing Shula knows, it's grinding out games in the Tampa heat. We have a stable of running backs ready to be fed. I promise you our leading rusher won't be Kealoha Pilares with 5 yards.
2. Luke Kuechly/Thomas Davis - In 2012 Thomas Davis was coming off his 3rd rehab and still working off the rust. Luke Kuechly looked overwhelmed playing a new position in the NFL. Our leading tackler that day was Jon Beason, a great Panther in his own right. Luke and Thomas have built a tandem to be feared and lead a confident unit on defense. Only 3 starters from that game are projected to start for us this time around: Luke, CJ, and Dwan. There is no Haruki Nakamura back there, there is no Sione Fua up front.
3. No DNC - The Panthers have been prepping and rehabbing in the comfort of Bank of America Stadium. The Democratic National Convention sent the Panthers packing for Florida two years ago. Athletes swear by their routines and superstitions and breaking them is never a good thing.
4. Our Offensive Line Is Better - That's right, I said it. In 2012 we started Gross, Silatolu, Kalil, Hangartner, and Bell. We got wrecked that day. Gross had one of the worst years of his career, Silatolu was starting his first game and we knew it would be a transition from Midwestern State. Kalil was himself and Hangartner was breaking down physically. Then you have Byron Bell, a 2nd year undrafted guy because Jeff Otah gave up. Say what you like. Byron and Amini are better players now. Trai Turner is physically gifted enough to brawl with Gerald McCoy. We won't win every battle, but we will win enough of them.
Here is a little refresher. You will be shocked by the only guy to actually block someone.
5. Star Lotuleilei - The Bucs beat us that day because we couldn't match them physically. Star is young and dominating. He will have the physical advantage on whomever the Bucs start. When he gets tired we rotate in KK Short and Colin Cole along with a myriad of hungry Defensive Ends. We WILL be the aggressors on defense.
That about wraps it up. I want to list off a few names that played key roles for us that day, it's kind of shocking to recall just who we relied upon that day.
Antwan Applewhite (starter)
Chris Gamble (starter)
Charles Godfrey (starter)
Haruki Nakamura (starter)
Josh Norman (rookie starter)
Louis Murphy (starter)
James Anderson (starter)
Mike Tolbert had one rushing attempt that day. Kealoha Pilares had one rushing attempt that day. Cam Newton had 5 rushing attempts that day. Deangelo Williams had 6 carries for -1 yards. It's unbelievable how poorly we had to play to lose by 6 points.
Edit: Had to make a correction, Byron was in his second season. We did end the Jeff Otah saga that offseason by releasing him following his failed trade to the Jets.
I think I would be ok letting our offensive line break in with DA in that heat. Of course Cam is the better player but I rather have him healthy than out for the entire season. In the vein of that Jon Beason injury several years ago.
If I was a Panthers "realist" I would probably just stop watching football. Who wants to go into a season thinking about the draft? We deal with a lot of crap at work and at home. Football is supposed to be a fun distraction. But I think some people have fun being miserable.
I can't wait to see how healthy our Guards are. Turner has missed some time and Silatolu is coming off injury. Early last season our run game was dominant because we could pull Amini whenever we wanted to. Wharton was more consistent in pass pro but unable to lead the stretch run and toss. It really made us predictable when our oline was so immobile.