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  1. Until the NFL announces the 2015 compensatory picks during the NFL owners meeting, I will only be mocking the picks the Panthers have at this point without speculating on how many they may have. Hopefully they can pick up at least an additional fifth rounder. Round 4 Tyler Lockett - WR/PR - Kansas ST The Panthers address their long term punt return issues in the 4th round with this selection. Lockett could be the best punt returner in the draft. He could drop to the late 3rd / early 4th due to concerns over his size. The Panthers may need to trade up to grab him. Good coll
  2. Justin Coleman - CB - Tennessee 5'11 , 185lbs This year I expect the Panthers to address their need for a nickel in the mid to late rounds of the NFL Draft. Last season we saw the Panthers adjust to not having a solid nickel option by often going with their "buffalo" package, which placed safety Colin Jones in the nickel spot. While this had positive results in run defense, it was a liability at times against the passing game. A guy they could be targeting is Tennessee corner Justin Coleman. The Panthers met with Coleman at the East West Shrine Game and were impressed with hi
  3. Cam Newton should be paid more than Luck or Wilson. If you ask yourself what percentage of the overall offensive success is each QB responsible for, Cam Newton comes out well above Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson. Cam Newton and his legs are the main reason the Panthers offense had any success at all last season. If not for his ability to stay alive with his physical talents when linemen and linebackers are chasing him, the Panthers would have been ranked dead last in the league. In other words, Cam Newton is a huge band-aid holding together an inept offense. Partly due to lack of weap
  4. The Carolina Panthers learned early in 2014 just how much they would miss Ted Ginn Jr. Early and often the punt return game of Carolina cost the team opportunity and momentum. Neither Corey Brown nor Brenton Bersin looked at all competent returning punts. Now in 2015, there is a real possibility Ted Ginn could return to the Panthers. Currently, Ginn is under contract in salary cap strapped Arizona where is due to make a base salary of $3,250,000. This number does not match his production in Arizona (14 receptions, 0 TDs). According to Sport Trac , the Cardinals could save $1,750,000 by r
  5. Dallas is in quite a conundrum this off season. They are in the rare position of having two starting caliber right tackles on the team, but both will be free agents come March 10. Doug Free was the starter most of the 2014 season with the Cowboys until a foot injury sidelined him. Then, Jermey Parnell stepped in and played just as well as Free, including starting the two playoff games. It is doubtful that Dallas will sign both players, as both know now that they are starters in the NFL. So one of these guys will be available. Most agree Free is the better player, but not by much
  6. Tonight the Carolina Panthers take on the Buffalo Bills in the first preseason game of the season. Expect Bank of America Stadium to be half full of transplanted Buffalo fans who gloat about how great Buffalo is but would never actually move back there. Kickoff: 7:30pm Weather: Chance of rain TV: WCCB Radio: 1110WBT Follow @CarolinaHuddle on twitter for live tweets from the sidelines before and after the game. The Huddle Chatroomwill be open during the game for out of towners to keep up live with the action. I don't expect Cam Newton to play. Derek Anderson will play the first series
  7. Carolina Panthers training camp is in full swing. Practice began at 9:25 with cooler temperatures. As I made my way to the practice field, I finally ran into Jordan Gross. He ignored me. Star was warming up before practice. It is amazing how these guys his size can just explode into action. If I tried that I am fairly certain I would be at the chiropractor every day for a month. The punt returners today stayed the same. Cason, Barner, Brown. Punts were done by machine, so there was more predictability and less drops. Perhaps building the confidence of the returners? Ricky Proehl was
  8. Camp opened up in Spartanburg in the sweltering heat. Attendance is said to have been 17,000 but I am not so sure of that number. It was a decent crowd, but did not seem as large as last season. Curious, after a playoff season that it was not more crowded. As the players warmed up I noticed Kuechly and Deangelo talking. Sometimes I think players talk to Deangelo just to check themselves out in his helmet shield. Kugbila was at practice. He has yet to be claimed off of waivers, and will probably not be. In all likelihood he will be on the Panthers IR list this season. Tiquan Underwood
  9. It was an exciting day at training camp. Getting to see the guys in pads for the first time this season revealed a few new things you just cannot see without contact. Unfortunately, photos were not allowed to have been taken during the full team drills. As such, many of my observations will be without images. Most players did not sign autographs while coming on to the practice field. Kelvin Benjamin, Luke Kuechly, and Antoine Cason made at least some time for the fans, so big ups to them. Some players made time for mosquito repellant. Those things will eat you alive in the shady areas.
  10. Historically, Fan Fest has always taken place well into the start of training camp. Not this year. The Carolina Panthers are having their annual Fan Fest at the start of training camp this year. On July 25, the Panthers will open their doors to thousands of rabid Panthers fans. The Panthers are anxious to unveil their awesome new stadium upgrades to Panthers fans. Fans will see new scoreboard/video boards, 360-degree ribbons boards and hear the new sound system. The boards, which dwarf the previous video screens, will provide a much more enjoyable visual experience during the games. T
  11. The Carolina Panthers opened up their annual mini-camp in the blistering heat. That heat, however, did not keep them from participating in one of the most impressive mini-camps I have seen. It felt less like a June mini-camp and more like an early August Spartanburg practice. This is not to say the day didn't have some light hearted and even touching moments... Cam Newton rolled up flashing an award winning smile, and he had good reason. Cam was playing host to rising first grader George Gring who attended practice through the efforts of the Make A Wish foundation. George, who was diagnosed
  12. Last season, Brandon Williams entered training camp as a long shot. Williams was signed to the Panthers roster in April of 2013 after having been out for football for two years. In 2011 he was diagnosed as having a narrow spinal canal and bulging disk that prevented him from continuing at Oregon. Instead, Brandon played basketball for a small bible college. What a difference a year makes. This year in offseason workouts Williams, or "Swole" as his teammates call him, is spending a good amount of time with the starting offensive unit. This is a big leap from last season when he mainly spent t
  13. With the Carolina Panthers 2014 Rookie Camp coming up tomorrow, you may want to keep an eye on one name in particular. Of all of the undrafted free agents signed with the Panthers, wide receiver Philly Brown may have the best chance to catch on with the team. Brown led the Ohio State Buckeyes with 10 touchdowns last year. At a lean 5'11 and 178 pounds, he has decent size but could use to put on a few pounds. His route running also has much room for improvement. But Philly has one thing you can't teach, speed. His 40 low was a 4.38 making him on of the fastest guys on the practice field a
  14. You love the Kraken, I love the Kraken. We pay to watch him perform on Sundays. But Greg Hardy has needed to learn to separate his professional life from his personal life for quite some time now. A bit of maturity is needed, and quickly. That is usually how it goes for 25 year old men. Throw in plenty of money and fame and often times you have a bigger problem. Over the years with the Panthers there have been signs of trouble. Namely tweeting pictures of dozens of shot glasses, his Bentley speedometer going over 100mph, a driving record with plenty of speeding tickets and a motorcycle a
  15. Finishing out the Draft the Panthers select players who can contribute immediately even in the later rounds. Round 4 - CJ Fiedorowicz TE Iowa I have been big on this guy for a while, and he will be there for round 4. CJ is the best run blocking TE in the draft and has soft reliable hands in the passing game. He would immediately improve the Panthers horrible run game, something Carolina will desperately need this season if they hope to improve on being ranked 28th overall on offense. Round 5 - Brandon Coleman WR Rutgers With this pick the Panthers address their need for a go to red zone wid
  16. The Carolina Panthers have shown interest in Iowa TE C.J Fiedorowicz.If I were you, I would be extremely excited if the Panthers select him in the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft. The Panthers could potentially pick him up in the 4th round, where would would offer tremendous value and upside. With safeties getting bigger and more aggressive every year in the NFL, the Panthers would be wise to invest in Fiedorowicz. At 6'5 (closer to 6'6) and 265lbs, he has the size to dominate his opponents on jump balls. He displayed reliable soft hands at the Senior Bowl where he impressed NFL coaches
  17. Five Carolina Panthers have made the Pro Bowl Luke Kuechly Greg Hardy Cam Newton Ryan Kalil Mike Tolbert Unsurprisingly, This is the most pro bowl players the Carolina Panthers have had in many seasons. Players who I feel were snubbed... Thomas Davis Star Lotulelei Brad Nortman Official link from Panthers.com http://www.panthers....89-26f2cccb1501 Click here to view the article
  18. Got an excited text message this morning. NFL Network is doing a "Behind the Pom Poms " special for each team and my good buddy Laura got the call to represent the Panthers Topcats. Laura is a really great gal and a CMS school teacher to boot. The Panthers are lucky to have her. Make sure you tune in to the NFL Network at 7:45 this morning she will be on live. They will be checking in with her throughout the day as well. Click here to view the article
  19. Dolphins fans are typically a loyal and passionate bunch. They have seen highs and lows, but remain dedicated to their team. Its difficult not to like them. I browsed ThePhins.com for a glimpse of how they see Sunday's matchup... People love Luke, and why wouldn't they? Correct. Could be. Arizona comes to mind. I doubt it. I think it will be within 6 points. Yes, yes they are. If you think holding Tom Brady to 20 points on MNF is underwhelming... well.... Click here to view the article
  20. I can safely say being on the sidelines in Tampa Bay this season was infinitely better than last season. When I arrived Cam was warming up under the watchful eye of Mike Shula. Shula still makes a point to keep tabs on Newton and doesn't seem to have given up the QB coach role completely. This was a homecoming for sorts for Shula, an important game for him. Thomas Davis jogged onto the field and looked as serious as, well, he is every game. Davis is all business all day every day. There were a few ladies waiting for the game to begin. Turns out they would be the only think in red and pew
  21. Many fans are ready to start celebrating the Panthers having their first winning record since Jake Delhomme was the starting quarterback. Veteran Panthers fans know better. The Panthers are on the road against a division rival in prime time during a short week. Everyone on that field is a paid professional football player and the creme of the NCAA crop. The Panthers could lose this game. Here are the key points on defense to make sure that does not happen. - Force rookie mistakes. So far this season Bucs rookie QB Mike Glennon has actually looked pretty decent. Against the Falcons last Sunda
  22. This Sunday the Carolina Panthers try to bring their record up to .500 for the second time in head coach Ron Rivera's career. To do so, the Panthers defense will need to stifle Sam Bradford and the Cleveland Los Angeles St Louis Rams offense. The Rams are not a particularly good offensive team. They currently rank 23rd in total offense. By comparison, the Giants offense (who the Panthers shut out a few weeks ago) ranks 15th in the league. Carolina should be able to hold the Rams to under 10 points. Here is how.... - Apply pressure from the front four. This really is the key to this game. Sa
  23. First things first. The NFL is an organic entity. It evolves. Coaching staffs look for weaknesses to exploit. They do so until those particular weaknesses no longer remain. Then they search for another. This is how it has always been. Once a team finds a weakness, you can expect others to follow suit. It is a guarantee. Going into the the Cardinals game, Cam Newton was being rushed by at least 5 defenders a league high 44% of the time. Newton, protected by a patchwork offensive line, saw more pressure than any other quarterback in the league. How did Arizona use this information? They doub
  24. The rankings quickly show the Panthers have the 3rd highest ranked defense in the league. Unfortunately, they also show the Panthers have one of the worst offenses in the league. Week 5 Offense Yards per game - 24th No Change Points per game - 27th -10 Total Plays - 28th -15 Defense Yards per game - 3rd +7 Points per game - 3rd +1 3rd down % - 15th +2 It is easy to get bogged down into the minutia of games, concentrating too much on smaller things that only add to the big picture. It is helpful to step back once in a while and look from an impartial birds eye view. This week it is cle
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