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Posted by Fiz on 22 February 2010 - 11:09 AM
Carolina Panthers: Is it time to rebuild?
After a 12-win season in 2008, the Panthers had high hopes for 2009. Alas, Jake Delhomme's season-opening spurt of interceptions was a sign of bad things to come; the Panthers finished 8-8, but needed wins over an absent New York Giants team in Week 16 and the Saints' backups in Week 17 to get there. DVOA has them at 10.2 percent over the season -- 14th in the league -- but it underestimates the level of effort they faced against an otherwise-excellent Saints team in Week 17. It's fair to say that Carolina was a below-average team in 2008.
That difficult year yields challenging questions for this offseason. Defensive end Julius Peppers is an unrestricted free agent, and because he was tagged as the team's franchise player a year ago, he'd cost an absurd $21.8 million to keep around for 2010. Chances are that he won't be, costing the team its best player without any compensation. To fit Peppers into the cap a year ago, the Panthers signed Delhomme to a cap-friendly contract extension that guarantees him nearly $12 million in 2010; of course, Delhomme was alternately average and terrifying in 2009, and was essentially benched onto injured reserve. The team is stuck with him for one more year.
With Peppers leaving, Delhomme gnawing at owner Jerry Richardson's pocketbook, and a host of veterans that are unlikely to survive a rebuilding period as Panthers, Carolina should take the uncapped year to shed as many of its onerous contracts as possible and start over. With a talented draft class (especially at OT/DT) entering the league, they have assets that could result in valuable draft picks, including wide receiver Steve Smith and left tackle Jordan Gross.
Their best trading chip, though, is All-Pro halfback DeAngelo Williams. Williams turns 27 in April, has only 754 NFL carries on his odometer, and is signed for one more year at the price of $725,000. With budding (albeit injury-prone) star Jonathan Stewart waiting in the wings, a Williams deal is the Panthers' best shot at getting back the first-round pick they traded to the San Francisco 49ers to move up and draft Everette Brown a year ago. The San Diego Chargers, who pick 28th, seem like a logical landing point if the Panthers head in that direction. With a team not good enough to make it to the Super Bowl, it makes sense for them to start over.
i own the internet
Posted by Fiz on 21 February 2010 - 07:24 PM
What's a transistion tag?
same as franchise, but if another team matches the player can bail.
basically rolling the dice with a riskier RFA
Posted by Fiz on 21 February 2010 - 03:41 PM
The Patriots are once again rumored to be in the Peppers sweepstakes, and of course all their journalists are putting Company Man Gantt and the clown car of assholes at the Charlotte Observer to shame.
If you’re planning to spend $13 million a year on a player, chances are you’re going to want an idea what you’re getting.
And if you really want Julius Peppers - the belle of this winter’s sparse free agent ball - you’ll probably have a lot of trouble figuring that out.
On one side of the ledger is a person that people in his inner circle universally regard as a good guy, a teammate who works hard in the weight room and is always in shape, and a player with the kind of rare talent to redefine the prototype for a position.
On the other side is an athlete who often disappears not for snaps or series but for games, who has been said by some to bring nothing to the locker room, and who has frustrated many coaches and teammates with a lack of passion for football.
Who is the Real Julius Peppers? Very few people know, and that’s why red flags have been raised as he prepares to hit the open market March 5.
“I wouldn’t touch him, for that money and what he gives you,’’ said an ex-Panthers personnel man. “On the field, he’s a freak athletically, but it’s whether he shows up or not. He’ll go two and three games and do nothing but take up space. Then he’ll have two sacks, a forced fumble, a pick, and change the game. And that’s the danger. He can mesmerize you, but it’s not consistent.’’
“He could end up costing some personnel guy his job,’’ said an AFC scout with extensive experience evaluating Peppers. “I’m terrified of him. In my heart of hearts, I believe that if you pay this guy, I don’t think you’ll see a double-digit sack [season] again the rest of his career.’’
And that’s where his fit gets murky.
Can a club that has built its operation on players who are passionate about football change a guy who so often has demonstrated an apathy toward the game?
“Football’s come so easy to him,’’ said Brentson Buckner, the former Panthers defensive tackle who played next to Peppers for five years. “Does he love it the way Steve Smith or Bryant Young or Jerry Rice love it? I don’t think so. But he’s got so much God-given ability that, even without loving it, he’s a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro with 81 sacks in eight years.
“You do think, ‘Man, a guy with that much ability, imagine if he did love it.’ ’’
At the same time, Buckner calls Peppers “a prisoner of his own talent,’’ in the sense that no matter what he does, it never seems enough. And that, plus his private nature, makes him tough to read.
“One thing I know is he likes football,’’ said Mike Rucker, another ex-Panther defensive lineman. “If he didn’t like football, he’s the type of guy who would’ve hung up his cleats and walked away.
“If you break it down, if it’s about the money, then why wouldn’t he have taken the contract they offered a couple of years ago?’’
Buckner theorized that while Peppers might lack the burning desire to be the best, he has always valued the respect of his teammates and, as such, the right locker room might change things. In October, Carolina linebacker Jon Beason called out Peppers for a lack of passion. Peppers responded with six sacks over the next four games.
That is the carrot for teams when he hits the market. Ex-NFL offensive lineman Ross Tucker, now a writer for SI.com, recalled playing opposite Peppers. Tucker tried to cut-block him, and Peppers stunned Tucker by leaping out of the way before burying the quarterback. Peppers said to Tucker, “Dude, you can’t do that to me.’’
Then, watching tape of a game against the Raiders, Tucker saw the coaches move Peppers all over the field, and he “literally beat [the offensive linemen] one by one.’’
But, Tucker said, “That’s what he gives you, those flashes of brilliance. The Vikings game [in December], they couldn’t block him. But that was in prime time, and his contract is up. I think he picks and chooses his spots.’’
“I don’t think he’s a great football player, but he’s a superhuman athlete,’’ Buckner said. “He hasn’t gotten to a point where, ‘I know the double-team is coming, here’s how I beat it.’ Defensive linemen are taught to maintain the double-team. That’s for guys like me.
“Guys like him should beat the double-team. That’s what Lawrence Taylor did, that’s what Reggie White and Bruce Smith did. That’s the kind of player he should be.
“The guy’s built like a power forward, runs like a DB with the flexibility of a gymnast and strength of a nose tackle. And he jumps like Jordan. He’s like a football science project.’’
He reacts differently to different situations, and that goes for the way he’s coached, as well. Peppers was said to have soured on ex-Panthers defensive coordinator Mike Trgovac and line coach Sal Sunseri, who were rattle-the-cage types. Then Ron Meeks arrived to run the Carolina defense in 2009, and things improved.
Buckner says Peppers needs coaches who will speak frankly and respectfully to him, and have the gumption to challenge him. Jack Del Rio, the Carolina defensive coordinator his rookie year, was that guy, telling Peppers, “I expect more of you.’’
The question is whether he expects enough of himself.
“You have to figure out what button to push,’’ said the ex-Carolina personnel man. “But I don’t know that there is one.’’
The AFC scout added, “He should never have less than 14 sacks. But you can’t make a guy passionate about something that he’s not.’’
Even lacking that, Peppers has proven he can be an All-Pro pass-rusher, commanding constant attention from the offense. Will he ever be more than that? That’s a question plenty of teams are looking to answer.
Posted by Fiz on 20 February 2010 - 12:21 PM
Posted by Fiz on 20 February 2010 - 12:21 PM
Posted by Fiz on 17 February 2010 - 08:44 PM
Why do the Furries care about it?
Posted by Fiz on 17 February 2010 - 02:07 PM
The Patriots "remain very interested in acquiring [Julius] Peppers," sources tell NFL.com.
The Patriots ranked 23rd in sacks last season with just 31, a number that would surely rise with Peppers in the fold. Along with the Eagles, the Patriots are considered the most likely landing spots for Peppers. We'll see if they are willing to pay Peppers, Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork this offseason.
there was so much smoke last year I can't believe there wasn't any fire.
I just hope the Panthers find a way to pry away a couple of their second rounders in all of this.
Posted by Fiz on 16 February 2010 - 09:48 AM
firstly, there's not a lot of uranium known to be left in the world, and it's easy to find. As this handy little chart shows, we'll run out of uranium before we die if demand remains constant. Here's a hint: it's not going to remain at the current rate of demand.
On top of that, Nuclear reactors take YEARS to build, and a couple more to come online. The plants obama wants probably won't be operating at full capacity for the better part of the decade.
This is assuming there's no one else in line for the absolutely critical parts that only three places in the world have the capacity to build. furthermore, they're incredibly labor/material/energy intensive, and it's difficult to say at which point the "green" part kicks in.
but basically nuclear power fascination is a stupid post modern dream left over from the fifties when people believed we'd be riding around in flying cars and that no matter how badly humans fuged up the environment in pursuit of their own selfish desires science would come around to bail them out. the only way to meet energy needs in the United States without digging up wyoming and turning the planet into venus will be the drastically restructure how we live, commute, work, travel, and grow food.
Posted by Fiz on 15 February 2010 - 05:50 PM
Posted by Fiz on 14 February 2010 - 11:53 AM
Posted by Fiz on 05 February 2010 - 08:07 PM
you're a dumb baby if you think 180 guards have any affect whatsoever.
Posted by Fiz on 20 February 2009 - 11:59 AM
yeah this never happened.
That's the big problem with these arab countries having nukes in my opinion is that although there are other crazies out there with nukes (see N. Korea) none of them have sworn to wipe Israel off the map.
the phrase "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad" was intentionally mistranslated by an israeli english language newspaper founded by a former member of Mossad. you know what that means right?
what he really was doing was quoting someone saying they would wipe out the israeli regime from the pages of history, which is quite f*cking different than "wipe israel off the map." Nagsheh, which means map, isn't even in what he said. you were lied to and it's your fault because you believed it.
by any definition at all applied without any biases israel is a terrorist actor in the region. the people are trying right now to elect a party (likud) that likely committed war crimes. Netanyahu wants to expel arabs from the country, and they've already tried to strip away the rights of arab parties to participate in parliament.
it's an apartheid state and he was justified in wanting to get rid of their government. everyone who truly wants a peaceful middle east should want to get rid of the current israeli politicians, just like wanting to get rid of bush and his band of merry idiots.
please name which arab government you think would like to wipe out themselves just to get in a shot at israel?
I don't doubt for one minute that there are arab governements or factions of those governments that would gladly risk the fallout (no pun intended) of a nuclear attack on Israel that could ignite the whole world.