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Old 01-01-2007, 05:54 PM    (permalink
JustJoe2k5
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Another mid-round option would be Anthony Waters. He'll drop due to his injury this season, but he has the talent to be drafted in the first two rounds of the draft. Also, it can't hurt that he is a local product from Clemson.

I think the key will be to keep Chris Draft. If Dan Morgan is able to stay healthy, I'll take Draft at outside linebacker over the other options we have on the roster. The veteran presence will only help the development of both James Anderson and Thomas Davis. I think Anderson has alot of potential to develop into a solid Will Witherspoon-like linebacker for our team.

If that is the direction we choose to take, that would leave atleast the first two rounds open to address other positions. Future at quarterback, offensive line, cornerback, and safety seem to be the biggest weaknesses in my opinion.

We need a future at quarterback, without question. The only question is where do we look? JaMarcus Russell has the physical characteristics, but not the intangibles. Troy Smith has the intangibles, but not the physical characteristics. Drew Stanton has led his team to some great comebacks, but has also led them to great implosions. Kevin Kolb has the statistics, but he has played in a shotgun offense his entire football career. Every possible prospect has major question marks that will need to be answered.

Left Tackle - Travelle Wharton
Left Guard - Mike Wahle
Center - Justin Hartwig
Right Guard - Jeremy Bridges
Right Tackle - Jordan Gross

Pretty solid offensive line if everyone can remain healthy. Although with Bridges' performance at right tackle, Wharton could possibly move to guard and Gross would be kept at left tackle. Depth is needed regardless, especially at guard and left tackle. If injuries strike again, we don't need to have to re-model our entire offensive line every game.

Problems at cornerback are mainly with depth. I feel Richard Marshall will be prepared to start next year with Ken Lucas, Chris Gamble will take his much-deserved spot as #3 on the depth chart. Behind them, we shouldn't need to sign rookie free agents throughout the week just to fill the roster. We need to have some talented depth on the roster and draft some players that actually have potential to develop with the team.

It's just about time to put Mike Minter out to pasture, Shaun Williams is already there. We need some speed, physicality, and attitude in the secondary. A player like Michael Griffin or Reggie Nelson would be perfect.
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:31 PM    (permalink
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Rumors about John Fox and the Giants if the Giants lose.


I hope we get a real disciplinarian in here. (Mangini/Belichek) style.
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:57 PM    (permalink
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That would be a surprising move and a scary one. Scary because we would likely be stuck with either Henning or Trgovac as our head coach for a year. I wouldn't be shocked if Wake Forest's coach is the first guy we target. Personally, I would want Louisville's head coach if we hired anybody.
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:16 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by JustJoe2k5
That would be a surprising move and a scary one. Scary because we would likely be stuck with either Henning or Trgovac as our head coach for a year. I wouldn't be shocked if Wake Forest's coach is the first guy we target. Personally, I would want Louisville's head coach if we hired anybody.
Rumors are we trade? I didn't know you trade coaches haha.

Part of the rumor is that the DC of the Bears was talking to Hurney.
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:44 PM    (permalink
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Wake's season was a massive fluke partially fueled by Jon Abbate's brother's death and partially by luck (close games vs NC State and Duke?). If we hire Jim Grobe we would suck for years. Abbate is the type of guy you love to have on your team though.

I wouldnt mind Ron Rivera and some extra draft picks but I'd much rather keep Fox until he's proved he's worth firing.

Bill Cowher had a stretch of 3 seasons that the Steelers missed the playoffs and also went 6-10 in 2003 before 15-1 in 04 and a SB in 05. He also might be available in a couple years since his family lives in Raleigh. I hope Hurney/the Richardsons do everything in their power to keep Fox but I like that they may have a back up plan in Rivera already in place.
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:02 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by SchizophrenicBatman
Wake's season was a massive fluke partially fueled by Jon Abbate's brother's death and partially by luck (close games vs NC State and Duke?). If we hire Jim Grobe we would suck for years. Abbate is the type of guy you love to have on your team though.

I wouldnt mind Ron Rivera and some extra draft picks but I'd much rather keep Fox until he's proved he's worth firing.

Bill Cowher had a stretch of 3 seasons that the Steelers missed the playoffs and also went 6-10 in 2003 before 15-1 in 04 and a SB in 05. He also might be available in a couple years since his family lives in Raleigh. I hope Hurney/the Richardsons do everything in their power to keep Fox but I like that they may have a back up plan in Rivera already in place.
He is obviously not going to take us anywhere. He doesn't have the balls to do anything and hr is letting this team die.
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Old 01-03-2007, 11:48 PM    (permalink
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Where did you hear that rumor ShutDwn? Couldn't we get in some type of trouble if we talked to the Bears' defensive coordinator while they were still playing? Tampering?

I wouldn't be against the move. I also wouldn't be against JaMarcus Russell in the first round after his performance tonight. Size, speed, hell of an arm, potential, exactly what we need for the future.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:45 AM    (permalink
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I heard the rumor about Rivera as well. I wouldn't read too much into it. Saw something in an article about it where it was just lunch between him and a Panther official that he knew for a while now.

Either way, couldn't get in trouble for it if we had permission from the Bears and it was done during their bye week.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:57 AM    (permalink
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If a change were made, another need would form at wide receiver. Keyshawn Johnson said he would retire if their was a coaching change, so now we would have to look for another #2 option either in the draft or in free agency.
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Old 01-07-2007, 05:53 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
The window the Carolina Panthers were trying to jump through somehow closed.

But that begs the question: Did they hit a screen or double-plated glass?

The team that was supposed to go to the Super Bowl did not. The Panthers didn't even make the playoffs, finishing 8-8. You can say there's always next season, but that's not necessarily true.

Key players are getting older, there will be difficult salary-cap decisions and the 2006 season exposed holes the Panthers didn't know existed.

There still is a core that features receiver Steve Smith and defensive end Julius Peppers, who just might be the best in the NFL at their respective positions.

But it remains to be seen if the Super Bowl dreams are over for good or just were postponed for a year.

Here are 10 questions the Panthers need to answer if they're going to bounce back in 2007.

Q. What unit needs to improve the most? The offensive line. With left tackle Travelle Wharton getting injured in the season opener and center Justin Hartwig able to play in only two games, the Panthers had to shuffle their offensive line and the results weren't pretty. The unit's struggles took their toll on the rest of the offense.

Quarterback Jake Delhomme was forced into mistakes and the running game never operated with any consistency.

However, there is reason for hope. If Wharton and Hartwig can get healthy, Jordan Gross can play his natural right tackle position and Geoff Hangartner can challenge Evan Mathis at right guard. Mike Wahle needs to get healthy, but he's a solid left guard.

Jeremey Bridges, who was brought in after the season started, showed some promise as a tackle and also can play guard. It might be tempting to think getting the injured guys back will be enough. But the Panthers can't stop there. They need to add at least one more quality lineman to guard against last season's problems. Drafting a left tackle in the first round isn't out of the question.

Q. Even if the offensive line improves, do the Panthers have the running backs to give them a strong rushing game? Yes, but some things need to be changed. DeAngelo Williams and DeShaun Foster are talented running backs. But the coaching staff needs to realize they aren't Stephen Davis, who could pound away between the tackles.

Williams and Foster can't do that. They're speed backs, who need to run outside at times and be part of the passing game to take advantage of their ability to make things happen in the open field.

Q. Anything else the Panthers can do to spice up a passing game that relies almost entirely on Smith? Yes, how about a pass-catching tight end. Sure, the Panthers needed their tight ends to help the offensive line block. But improvement on the line could free up the tight ends.

Kris Mangum is getting older and Michael Gaines hasn't shown he can be consistent enough. The Panthers tried to boost this position with Freddie Jones a few years ago, but he retired. They also thought Mike Seidman could be a complete tight end, but that hasn't worked out. It's time to go out and get a pass catcher to give Delhomme a solid safety valve.

Q. Is Delhomme still viewed as the quarterback for the long term? Yes, the coaches and front office weren't delighted by his play, but the belief is it was a result of the problems on the offensive line and the inability to run the ball consistently. Delhomme made the Pro Bowl and took the Panthers to the NFC Championship Game in the 2005 season, and his skills haven't diminished. Still, the Panthers would be wise to look for a quarterback who can provide a reasonable alternative if Delhomme struggles again. A team with Super Bowl hopes isn't going to draft a quarterback early, because it takes too long to develop. But a free agent with some experience is a good possibility.

Q. Speaking of free agents, who's not under contract for next season? This is a bright spot. The Panthers don't have any crucial players scheduled to become free agents. Their unrestricted free agents are linebacker Chris Draft, safety Shaun Williams, Seidman, safety Colin Branch, linebacker Na'il Diggs, tackle Todd Fordham, linebacker Vinny Ciurciu and defensive tackle Kindal Moorehead. The restricted free agents are Gaines, defensive tackle Jordan Carstens and receiver Drew Carter. Draft might be the best of the unrestricted players, but he'd be better off in a backup role.

Q. Is Dan Morgan ready to step back in for Draft in the middle? That remains to be seen. Morgan has been medically cleared to play next season after having problems with multiple concussions. But Morgan is expensive and risky. He's a great player when healthy, but the Panthers no longer can afford to count on him as a defensive cornerstone. It's likely the Panthers will try to restructure Morgan's contract to lessen the cap hit, and anything they get out of him will be viewed as a bonus.

It's time to invest a first-round draft pick or some serious free agent cash in a middle linebacker.

Q. How are the Panthers going to be players in free agency when they don't have a lot of salary-cap room? They presently rank near the bottom of the league in cap space for 2007, but there are ways around that. They can reduce Peppers' $15 million cap figure and Delhomme's $10 million cap figure significantly by restructuring their contracts. In Peppers' case, they might try to extend his contract, because it's to expire after the 2008 season. There are several other contracts that can be restructured.

Q. Any veterans who could be salary-cap casualties? There are several possibilities. The Panthers could just release Morgan if they believe he won't be a big factor. Defensive end Mike Rucker, cornerback Ken Lucas, defensive tackles Maake Kemoeatu and Kris Jenkins and safety Mike Minter all have considerable cap figures.

Some of those players will restructure, but others could be released.


Q. What are the biggest draft needs? These could change as free agency plays out. But, right now, middle linebacker, offensive tackle and safety are at the top of the list.

Q. Anything else on the wish list? A return specialist. Kickoff and punt returns were a sore spot. The Panthers need to find someone who can handle both, because Williams will take on a bigger role as a running back next season and Smith has enough duties as a receiver.

Getting a speedster who can give the offense good field position could help almost as much as patching up the offensive line.
Really nice write-up, I agree with just about every point he makes.

I think Kris Jenkins, Maake Kemoeatu, and Mike Rucker could all possibly be released. Personally, I felt that Damione Lewis was our best defensive tackle this season even in his limited play. I also think that Jordan Carstens could make an impact on the interior if we gave him more playing time. I also think Al Wallace could be just as effective on the opposite side of Julius Peppers as Rucker currently is. I also like the potential we have in Stanley McClover.
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:31 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJoe2k5
Quote:
The window the Carolina Panthers were trying to jump through somehow closed.

But that begs the question: Did they hit a screen or double-plated glass?

The team that was supposed to go to the Super Bowl did not. The Panthers didn't even make the playoffs, finishing 8-8. You can say there's always next season, but that's not necessarily true.

Key players are getting older, there will be difficult salary-cap decisions and the 2006 season exposed holes the Panthers didn't know existed.

There still is a core that features receiver Steve Smith and defensive end Julius Peppers, who just might be the best in the NFL at their respective positions.

But it remains to be seen if the Super Bowl dreams are over for good or just were postponed for a year.

Here are 10 questions the Panthers need to answer if they're going to bounce back in 2007.

Q. What unit needs to improve the most? The offensive line. With left tackle Travelle Wharton getting injured in the season opener and center Justin Hartwig able to play in only two games, the Panthers had to shuffle their offensive line and the results weren't pretty. The unit's struggles took their toll on the rest of the offense.

Quarterback Jake Delhomme was forced into mistakes and the running game never operated with any consistency.

However, there is reason for hope. If Wharton and Hartwig can get healthy, Jordan Gross can play his natural right tackle position and Geoff Hangartner can challenge Evan Mathis at right guard. Mike Wahle needs to get healthy, but he's a solid left guard.

Jeremey Bridges, who was brought in after the season started, showed some promise as a tackle and also can play guard. It might be tempting to think getting the injured guys back will be enough. But the Panthers can't stop there. They need to add at least one more quality lineman to guard against last season's problems. Drafting a left tackle in the first round isn't out of the question.

Q. Even if the offensive line improves, do the Panthers have the running backs to give them a strong rushing game? Yes, but some things need to be changed. DeAngelo Williams and DeShaun Foster are talented running backs. But the coaching staff needs to realize they aren't Stephen Davis, who could pound away between the tackles.

Williams and Foster can't do that. They're speed backs, who need to run outside at times and be part of the passing game to take advantage of their ability to make things happen in the open field.

Q. Anything else the Panthers can do to spice up a passing game that relies almost entirely on Smith? Yes, how about a pass-catching tight end. Sure, the Panthers needed their tight ends to help the offensive line block. But improvement on the line could free up the tight ends.

Kris Mangum is getting older and Michael Gaines hasn't shown he can be consistent enough. The Panthers tried to boost this position with Freddie Jones a few years ago, but he retired. They also thought Mike Seidman could be a complete tight end, but that hasn't worked out. It's time to go out and get a pass catcher to give Delhomme a solid safety valve.

Q. Is Delhomme still viewed as the quarterback for the long term? Yes, the coaches and front office weren't delighted by his play, but the belief is it was a result of the problems on the offensive line and the inability to run the ball consistently. Delhomme made the Pro Bowl and took the Panthers to the NFC Championship Game in the 2005 season, and his skills haven't diminished. Still, the Panthers would be wise to look for a quarterback who can provide a reasonable alternative if Delhomme struggles again. A team with Super Bowl hopes isn't going to draft a quarterback early, because it takes too long to develop. But a free agent with some experience is a good possibility.

Q. Speaking of free agents, who's not under contract for next season? This is a bright spot. The Panthers don't have any crucial players scheduled to become free agents. Their unrestricted free agents are linebacker Chris Draft, safety Shaun Williams, Seidman, safety Colin Branch, linebacker Na'il Diggs, tackle Todd Fordham, linebacker Vinny Ciurciu and defensive tackle Kindal Moorehead. The restricted free agents are Gaines, defensive tackle Jordan Carstens and receiver Drew Carter. Draft might be the best of the unrestricted players, but he'd be better off in a backup role.

Q. Is Dan Morgan ready to step back in for Draft in the middle? That remains to be seen. Morgan has been medically cleared to play next season after having problems with multiple concussions. But Morgan is expensive and risky. He's a great player when healthy, but the Panthers no longer can afford to count on him as a defensive cornerstone. It's likely the Panthers will try to restructure Morgan's contract to lessen the cap hit, and anything they get out of him will be viewed as a bonus.

It's time to invest a first-round draft pick or some serious free agent cash in a middle linebacker.

Q. How are the Panthers going to be players in free agency when they don't have a lot of salary-cap room? They presently rank near the bottom of the league in cap space for 2007, but there are ways around that. They can reduce Peppers' $15 million cap figure and Delhomme's $10 million cap figure significantly by restructuring their contracts. In Peppers' case, they might try to extend his contract, because it's to expire after the 2008 season. There are several other contracts that can be restructured.

Q. Any veterans who could be salary-cap casualties? There are several possibilities. The Panthers could just release Morgan if they believe he won't be a big factor. Defensive end Mike Rucker, cornerback Ken Lucas, defensive tackles Maake Kemoeatu and Kris Jenkins and safety Mike Minter all have considerable cap figures.

Some of those players will restructure, but others could be released.


Q. What are the biggest draft needs? These could change as free agency plays out. But, right now, middle linebacker, offensive tackle and safety are at the top of the list.

Q. Anything else on the wish list? A return specialist. Kickoff and punt returns were a sore spot. The Panthers need to find someone who can handle both, because Williams will take on a bigger role as a running back next season and Smith has enough duties as a receiver.

Getting a speedster who can give the offense good field position could help almost as much as patching up the offensive line.
Really nice write-up, I agree with just about every point he makes.

I think Kris Jenkins, Maake Kemoeatu, and Mike Rucker could all possibly be released. Personally, I felt that Damione Lewis was our best defensive tackle this season even in his limited play. I also think that Jordan Carstens could make an impact on the interior if we gave him more playing time. I also think Al Wallace could be just as effective on the opposite side of Julius Peppers as Rucker currently is. I also like the potential we have in Stanley McClover.
Dude, we can't release Kemo, we would take a massive cap hit.

Maybe fox should try and draft a QB with NFL potential early before talking about how they take to long to develop. Oh, and how about trying to at least prepare one for the future. Our future is as good as our back up QB right now, which means our future is nothing.
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:14 PM    (permalink
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There isn't any way we could avoid his cap hit? Could we trade him? From how he played this season, he certainly isn't worth the type of money we paid for him. I think the cheap duo of Jordan Carstens and Kindal Moorehead could be just as effective as Kemoeatu was.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:20 PM    (permalink
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No, if we traded him we'd still take the same cap hit.
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Old 01-08-2007, 02:17 PM    (permalink
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Ok, Kemo has a huge contract. You can avoid the cap hit. It's not possible. The cap hit comes from the signing bonus money. This money is given upfront but only counts against the cap a certain % each year of the contract. If the player is released or traded the remaining amount is prorated to the next year's salary cap. Jenkins just made the Pro Bowl. Yes he was a little overweight this season but give him this offseason to get down to 335. Rucker is the only one who may be gone. He has a high cap figure (but a low cap hit if cut), is in the last year of his contract, is getting old, and had a major knee injury. Give Stanley McClover a chance. Showed great promise at Auburn and took some bad advice and came out too soon.
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Safety should be the #1 priority for Carolina. There are only 3 safeties on the roster, Minter, Deke Cooper and Salley!! TE has now become an option with new OC Jeff Davidson (Charlie Weis disciple). MLB not OLB is an area that needs to be addressed. DE depth is a need. No need anywhere for a DT. Injured LT and C coming back and the OL is switching to the ZBS (no cut-blocking though).
KR/PR MUST be addressed somewhere.
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Old 01-08-2007, 03:32 PM    (permalink
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He is kind of small right now, maybe he can bulk up a little more.
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:06 PM    (permalink
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Ok, Kemo has a huge contract. You can avoid the cap hit. It's not possible. The cap hit comes from the signing bonus money. This money is given upfront but only counts against the cap a certain % each year of the contract. If the player is released or traded the remaining amount is prorated to the next year's salary cap. Jenkins just made the Pro Bowl. Yes he was a little overweight this season but give him this offseason to get down to 335. Rucker is the only one who may be gone. He has a high cap figure (but a low cap hit if cut), is in the last year of his contract, is getting old, and had a major knee injury. Give Stanley McClover a chance. Showed great promise at Auburn and took some bad advice and came out too soon.
I believe you mean that the remaining amount is accelerated against the next years cap.

It's prorated out over the total years of the contract unless it's accelerated due to the player being released/traded. Seems like you just used the wrong term.
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:44 PM    (permalink
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Default chris leak

does anybody should come back to his home town of charlotte and be drafted by the panthers
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Old 01-08-2007, 05:26 PM    (permalink
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Default Re: chris leak

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Originally Posted by pantherzfan28
does anybody should come back to his home town of charlotte and be drafted by the panthers
As an undrafted free agent, I certainly would welcome him to Carolina. He'll get as much of an opportunity as our other young quarterbacks.
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Old 01-08-2007, 05:31 PM    (permalink
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Default Re: chris leak

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Originally Posted by JustJoe2k5
Quote:
Originally Posted by pantherzfan28
does anybody should come back to his home town of charlotte and be drafted by the panthers
As an undrafted free agent, I certainly would welcome him to Carolina. He'll get as much of an opportunity as our other young quarterbacks.
woah, you understood that? Is he talking about Chris Leak?

I wouldn't mind him, we'll see how he does.
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:23 PM    (permalink
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Default Re: chris leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShutDwn
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Originally Posted by JustJoe2k5
Quote:
Originally Posted by pantherzfan28
does anybody should come back to his home town of charlotte and be drafted by the panthers
As an undrafted free agent, I certainly would welcome him to Carolina. He'll get as much of an opportunity as our other young quarterbacks.
woah, you understood that? Is he talking about Chris Leak?

I wouldn't mind him, we'll see how he does.
Yeah, I didn't know either until I glanced at the insanely small Subject bar at the top of his post and saw Chris Leak's name. I just don't see any NFL potential in Leak.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:19 PM    (permalink
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Perhaps in a WCO he could succeed, but other than that I don't see it.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:30 PM    (permalink
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The defense doesn't need to cut Jenkins, Maake or Lucas, all three are very good players who (jenkins and Lucas) were either injured or getting over long term injuries.

Maake is in his first year with the guys around him and made some good plays for us this year.
The problem with the defense was the amount of time they were on the field, not necessarily their play.

At linebacker we need to bring draft back and bring in someone new. At QB we should take a long hard look at someone like Kolb who could very really be a long term answer at the end of this window.
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:47 PM    (permalink
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Not to mention that the caphits from those players would eat up what little cap room we will have this offseason.

Safety is a position we need to upgrade.
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:04 PM    (permalink
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I know Reggie Nelson has gotten all the recent publicity, but I still feel that Michael Griffin is the best all-around safety in this draft. Just watch any Texas game and Griffin is all over the field.
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:22 AM    (permalink
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I think Landry and Nelson are a little bit more like Chris Hope, Ed Reed, maybe a bit of Shaun Taylor, and Griffin is a little more like Polamalu and Adrian Wilson.

I'm sick of safeties that cannot cover worth a damn, we need someone like Nelson or Landry.
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