Well Panthers fans, we along with the rest of NFL fans are just another step closer to training camp, preseason, and then the 2010 NFL regular season. Not bad, considering that up to this point, time has slowly plodded along at the speed of smell.
Getting underway today are mini-camps throughout the league, including our Carolina Panthers.
So here are a few things to look at, should you decide to attend any of the mini-camp sessions, as I will unfortunately not be able to make the 1,400-mile round-trip. But you can always submit pics of your time on our Facebook page!
- Jimmy Clausen and Matt Moore.
Don’t expect a big quarterback competition at this point. It’s the time of season where as NFL players put it, they’re wearing “dresses.” No hitting, no tackling, just getting to know the plays and getting back into the swing of things.
However, since Clausen is eager to take the starting job from Day One, keep a close eye on him; what he does and how he reacts may surprise you. He also needs to become a team leader, and lead by example.
2. The Leader on Defense
The Panthers lost it’s leader on defense; or at least it’s last veteran leader in Chris Harris, right? Maybe not. There is still one man on the roster who has been ready to lead the defense since his rookie season. Yes, Jon Beason.
There’s not much more to say about it, other than I feel confident in Beason’s ability to step up and take control of the leadership role on defense. He stepped on some high-priced toes last year with no problem.
3. The Complement at Receiver
Who is going to be the complement to Steve Smith at receiver this year? Muhsin Muhammad is no longer with Carolina, so that leaves the Panthers with a laundry list of guys at the receiver position: Dwayne Jarrett, Brandon LaFell, Armanti Edwards, Kenneth Moore, Charly Martin, Wallace Wright, Dexter Jackson, David Gettis, and Oliver Young.
Don’t count Jarrett out just yet. I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach that he’s going to surprise us fans this year. Or it could just be that I haven’t had breakfast yet.
I would say we’ll most likely see LaFell as the receiver behind Smith.
4. How will Everette Brown Do?
Julius Peppers is now being overpaid in Chicago. Call it what you will; correct me if I’m wrong.
So now, Everette Brown is the starting defensive end. The Panthers brought back veteran Tyler Brayton, which was a good move, to keep experience at the position.
There is also a decent amount of depth there as well, with Hilee Taylor, Eric Moore, Charles Johnson, Greg Hardy, and Eric Norwood as an option.
Brown showed some promise and improvement as the 2009 season progressed, and says he’s ready to step into his new role.
5. Who Wins the Competition at Strongside Linebacker?
With the somewhat surprising departure of Na’il Diggs, the Panthers have a few names to throw in the pot and see who grabs the job with both hands.
James Anderson, Dan Connor, Jamar Williams, and Eric Norwood all have the potential to stake a claim for the position. May the best man for the job win, but I’m pulling for Connor.
Once again, Panthers’ Mini Camp begins today; Friday, April 30 and runs through Sunday May 2.
Tags: 2010 NFL Regular Season @THECatCrave Armanti Edwards Brandon LaFell Carolina Panthers Charly Martin Chicago Dan Connor David Gettis Defensive End Defensive Leader Dexter Jackson Dwayne Jarrett Eric Norwood Everette Brown Facebook Greg Hardy Hilee Taylor Jamar Williams James Anderson Jimmy Clausen Jon Beason Julius Peppers Kenneth Moore Linebacker Matt Moore Mini Camp Muhsin Muhammad Na'il Diggs NFL Oliver Young Quarterback Steve Smith Training Camp Twitter Tyler Brayton Wallace Wright Wide Receiver