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  1. Next to the wide receiver position, the Carolina Panthers running backs may have the most competition to deal with this offseason as any other unit. This year's Panthers edition of runners are a close knit group, possibly closer than years past. Over the past few months I have been wondering if the departure of Deangelo Williams would have a negative effect on the chemistry of the runners group. To my eyes the opposite is true. The players are more upbeat and eager to work than ever before. My article about Mike Tolbert playing quarterback recently highlights this. If you ever have been in an
  2. The offensive line has seen a few changes in week three of the Carolina Panthers OTA practices. One of those changes puts #77 back in at the left tackle positions. Instead of Byron Bell, this time is was Martin Wallace. Wallace moved up to second string left offensive tackle for a few plays. While this doesn't sound like a major accomplishment for Wallace, it actually is. Getting second string reps is something some players will never see in camp. So who is Martin Wallace? Listed at 6'6 and 330lbs, Wallace played college ball at Northeastern and Temple. As a senior he made the second team
  3. After two weeks of OTA practices, here is how the wide receiver depth chart is shaping up according to number of snaps and targets on media days..... View full article
  4. The Carolina Panthers opened up an additional day for media, which came as a nice surprise this morning. So I rearranged my schedule and headed to Biggs Camera for my gear. Those guys are so awesome they are providing me with equipment this season so that I can bring these images to you. Having them in my corner this year is a load off my mind in terms of equipment. So make sure you show them some love if you are in Charlotte and in need of camera gear or prints. They are good people. Charles Johnson was showing off some nice kicks and a new haircut today. Kelvin Benjamin and Bene Benwike
  5. If you are like me and love a power running game, you should be excited about Carolina Panthers rookie fullback Lee Ward out of Stanford. Listed at 5'11 and 246 pounds, Ward earned an offseason contract and camp invitation by impressing the coaching staff at this year's rookie camp. "A bruising, blocking fullback. Someone that opens up running lanes. A road grader." That is how Lee Ward described himself to me after practice recently. "It's enjoyable. I have no problem blocking .... Read the Full Article
  6. Last week it was Corey Brown, but this week Devin Funchess returned to the practice field and grabbed the heralded "Carolina Huddle Player of the Day" award. Devin had an impressive outing in his first practice open to the media with Cam Newton throwing to him. Funchess never catches the ball with his body. He is a full time hands catcher, which is something all coaches love to see. Less chance for the ball bouncing off the chest means fewer incompletions or interceptions. Funchess saw time on the outside as well as in the slot. He played in 2 wide and 3 wide sets. He spent most of his tim
  7. Punt returners became a bit clearer at OTA practice today, and kept the same rotation throughout practice. In order... Ted Ginn Brenton Bersin (Don't shoot the messenger) De'Andre Presley Damiere Byrd Obviously, Ted Ginn is the favorite to win the starting punt return position. He has proven effective there in the past for the Panthers. For me, the most interesting prospect here is Damiere Byrd. During rookie camp I noted the Panthers would probably be taking a look at him at punt returns. South Carolina Gamecock fans were quick to point out the fact he had never attempted punt returns in
  8. Week two of Carolina Panthers OTA's are in the books. Here are some general observations you may find intriguing. The offensive line depth chart was identical to last week. No changes there. Remmers and Oher remain the starting tackles. Speaking of Oher, he and Cam have developed a special handshake to start the practice. Clearly a friendship is developing there. Trust in his protection will play a big role in Cam's play this season. Corey Brown, Brenton Bersin and Devin Funchess got the most amount of snaps with the first string with Kelvin Benjamin out. Ted Ginn was third in line. Stephen
  9. Every so often in the NFL a player elevates his game in such a way it redefines the game. At this week's Carolina Panthers OTA session, Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert showed he not only has the ability to play quarterback, but succeed at the highest level. Before practice on Thursday, Tolbert gathered his troop of running backs and began his own passing drills, showcasing his form and accuracy to the media. Took note, we did. Tolbert quickly displayed all of the needed skills any successful quarterback in the NFL must posses. Without leadership, a quarterback can never really be considered
  10. Kelvin Benjamin returned to practice today in OTA's, but in a limited role. After missing the entire OTA session last week, Benjamin took part in individual drills (without a helmet). View full article
  11. One of the most important stories of the week that few people are talking about is Cam Newton and his health. After an injury plagued 2014 offseason that only got worse into the regular season, Cam's health probably should be more at the forefront of the Panthers fan concerns. I can remember in training camp of 2014, after practices Cam could barely walk up the hill to the ice tubs. The physical toll after a single practice was obvious to even the most casual observer. He would cringe after each step, soreness from surgery performed on his ankle nagging at him. It would continue to bother him
  12. In the first open media OTA session of 2015 my main objective was to get a real glimpse of how the Carolina Panthers receiving corps were shaping up. With Kelvin Benjamin out with injury and rookie Devin Funchess out of town, there was a real opportunity to see which players would step up and make a case for themselves as that second or third option. Those two receivers today were Corey Brown and Stephen Hill. View full article
  13. Here are some general thoughts and musings on how day one of the Carolina Panthers 2015 rookie camp went down in no particular order... Yes, Devin Funchess appears to be worth that first round grade Dave Gettleman tagged him at. I understand why people want to compare him to Kelvin, but when they see him on the field they won't ever again. He is much more of an athlete than Kelvin is. I don't mean that as a knock on Kelvin at all. Benjamin uses his size and length as his main weapon while Funchess appears to use his legs. He is sneaky quick. Funchess and Benjamin are two completely differe
  14. Carolina Panthers sign Stanford fullback Lee Ward. Ward is listed on the Panthers roster as being 5'11 246lbs. I noticed him today during one on one pass drills where he looked pretty good catching balls out of the backfield. With Mike Tolbert's roster shot not being a sure thing this season and Richie Brockel being hurt last season, Ward could have an opportunity to showcase his skills and make a case for himself.
  15. Today I had the opportunity to get a look at the newest Panthers wide receiver, second rounder Devin Funchess, at Panthers rookie camp. Devin strolled into his first practice as a NFL player like he had been there before, having some fun with NC State guard Zach Allen. Lots of comparisons will be made between Kelvin Benjamin and Funchess this season, but right away it was clear to me these are two completely different receivers. Funchess is much more fluid in his movements, relies less on his height to achieve his objective. He runs more like smaller slot receiver. There were n
  16. Ok folks, one week to go. Much has changed in April, and the draft somehow seems to have gotten even more difficult to predict. I can't remember a draft where such question marks remained at picks 10 and below. Picking a single pick per round seems pointless. As such, I have decided to give you my top 2 picks for rounds 1-3, with a few other possibilities thrown in. Round 1 Andrus Peat - OT - Stanford - At 6'7 330 pounds this hog mollie could anchor the offensive line for years to come. This would put two Stanford tackles on the Panthers roster this year. Landon Coll
  17. Here is a look at how the Carolina Panthers receiver depth chart is shaping up, as I see it. #1 Receiver Kelvin Benjamin - Looking to build on a solid rookie campaign. #2 Receiver Help Wanted - Apply Within #3 Receiver / Deep Threat Ted Ginn - Back in Carolina, looking to regain stride Corey Brown - Showed great potential to build on. #4 Receiver / 3rd down possession guys Jerricho Cotchery - Mixed results in 2015 Brenton Bersin - Dependable role player, had a few nice first down grabs. Jarrett Boykin - Will push Bersin, possible special teams roster spot
  18. According to NFL.com the Carolina Panthers are working out safety Landon Collins on Tuesday. "Alabama safety Landon Collins, the top safety prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft, will perform for the Carolina Panthers in a private workout Tuesday. One of three Alabama underclassmen to enter the draft, Collins told al.com of his scheduled workout with Carolina, which holds the No. 25 overall pick of the draft." Link Collins fits perfectly what Ron Rivera and Dave Gettleman love in a strong safety, mainly run stopping ability. I had the Panthers selecting Collins in my first However, due to
  19. One of the more intriguing defensive players in this years draft is Shaq Thompson out of Washington. While reading up on his abilities, I couldn't help but make comparison's to the Panthers own Thomas Davis. Davis is in the twilight of his career, and now would be the time to groom an eventual replacement. Shaq Thompson might be the perfect candidate. Here is why... View image | gettyimages.com First, the measurables ... Thomas Davis 2005 Draft Profile Height - 6'1 Weight - 230 40 yard dash - 4.6 3-Cone - 7.10 Vertical - 36.5 20 Yard Shuttle - 4.01 Shaq Thompson 2015 Draft Profile
  20. Per his agent... Williams is in his 4th NFL season, most recently with the Jaguars. A journeyman CB and WR, Williams will hope to catch on with the Panthers. Most likely, you will see him on special teams where his top end speed would be an asset. Williams has only played a single defensive snap in his career according to Ian Rapoport.
  21. By now it has become clear to most Carolina Panthers fans that again this season the free agency frenzy that applies to the rest of the league won't be entertained in Carolina. This may be upsetting to the casual Panthers fan, but for people who are really paying attention... this is no surprise. Jon Beason once told me "If you aren't getting better, you are getting worse". He was speaking about his offseason regimen, but I think the same principle applies to the Panthers this offseason. And guess what, the Panthers are better... much better... than at this point a year ago
  22. Now that Ted Ginn has been signed and Brenton Bersin re-signed I thought it would be helpful to take a look at the Carolina Panthers roster as far as wide receivers are concerned. Kelvin Benjamin - 6'5 240lbs Second year player. Huge target. Had a solid year as a rookie aside from more drops than the Panthers wish he had. Has solid #1 receiver potential. Ted Ginn Jr - 5'11 185lbs Speedy nine season veteran return man and receiver. A nice deep threat and end around runner. Capable of stretching the defense. a 3rd or 4th receiver option Brenton Bersin 6'3 210 Local dark horse r
  23. The Carolina Panthers have signed offensive tackle Michael Oher two a two year deal. Oher struggled last season with the Titans, but some speculate it was mainly due to a nagging toe injury. Oher spend the last few games on injured reserve. He is now said to be healthy and anxious for a new start. It is debatable if Oher is an upgrade over the much maligned Byron Bell. Pro Football Focus had Bell ranked next to last in 2014, with Oher a few slots above him. If injuries did play a role in the decrease in Oher's performance, he could very well come in and perform at a higher level than
  24. It appears Byron Bell has been notified he will not be re-signed by the Panthers. This does not come as much of a shock for anyone. Bell absolutely did the best that he could and that is admirable. Thanks to JOAT for tweeting this at me. I am flattered that Byron decided to use one of my photos as his farewell.
  25. The following is my best guess at what will transpire in rounds 1-3 of the NFL Draft next month as far as the Panthers are concerned. All three picks are not only the best players available, but also players whose football talents line up perfectly with what the Carolina Panthers do on the field. So, without further ado... 2015 Panthers Mock Rounds 1-3 Round 1 , Pick 25 Landon Collins - S - Alabama Gettleman practices what he preaches in picking the best player available, but also fills a need. Landon Collins is one of those guys that is projected high but could drop in th
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