Unanswered Questions for the Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE,NC- MAY 1: Rookie Jason Chery #18 of the Carolina Panthers catches some balls as he puts in some extra time after the minicamp practice at the team

For most of us, our mouths are watering for training camp to get underway. For the next 41 days however, there will be very little news coming from the Carolina  Panthers, as Wednesday was closing day of spring workouts or OTA’s.

To quote a line from a good song by The Steve Miller Band: “Time keeps on slippin’, into the future.”

But the time is drawing closer, with every passing day.

At the conclusion of OTA’s, many questions still remain unanswered.

Matt Moore looked shaky at times during practices, but he’s confident in his ability to fend off rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

Perhaps the biggest question will be at the linebacker position, with the loss of Thomas Davis, who re-injured the same ACL he had repaired during the offseason.

The Panthers have contemplated making a big change at the position, playing Jon Beason at the WIL position, and putting third-year veteran Dan Connor at middle linebacker.

Their other option would be to keep Beason at MIKE and play Jamar Williams at WIL.

Either way, I feel fairly comfortable given the amount of time between now and the regular season, to get figure out a solution to that question.

One position that has received very little discussion, is at fullback. I oft wonder if most fans realize that the Panthers have not one, but two fullbacks on the roster.

No, one is not named Brad Hoover. However, there is a lot of promise being shown by both second-year man Tony Fiammetta, and undrafted rookie signee, Rashawn Jackson.

Jackson had a couple hiccups while attending the University of Virginia, but seems to have his mind in a better state, thus he was working hard during OTA’s, to hopefully remain on the roster come September 12 of the regular season.

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Tags: Brad Hoover Carolina Panthers Dan Connor Jamar Williams Jimmy Clausen Jon Beason Matt Moore NFL Rashawn Jackson Thomas Davis Tony Fiammetta

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  • John

    I never read anything negative about Matts play but I would imagine the introduction of a passing game could have thrown him off. A little passing game humor there. But anyway I would be shocked to see Hunter Cantwell in the QB rotation come the start of the season so I see Jimmy as the number 2 guy. With Pike at 3. I think Pike has more upside than Clausen but Pike is at least a year from being truly ready for the NFL I think. I see Hunter hitting the practice squad.

    On the LB question I really think we need to see if Jamar can handle it. I think he has shown ability when he gets to play a bit. And that would let us leave Beason in the middle where he can run things more easily for the front 7. I think that will be crucial this season.

    I think Rashawn brings a lot to the table. Many scouts expected him to go 5-6 round as the second best FB in the draft. He hits the hole well. He’s a willing blocker both interior and downfield, a decent outside runner, and he shows some receiving ability. I really think we could well end up with 2 very good FBs on the squad. And I could see a real battle as to who the “starter” will be.

    • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

      I just get a laugh out of other writers and media types who get worked up over a depth chart from OTA’s. Nothing is set in stone at this point, but being that Cantwell has more experience (for what it’s worth) than the rookie class of QB’s it stands to reason that he would be working with the second team players. Of course by Week One, we could see Clausen as the #2, Pike 3 (or vice-versa), and Cantwell is gone. I never hold any stock in depth charts at this point of the season, and use it only as a reference point during regular season.

      I’d really like to see Beason, Williams, and Connor in at the same time at some point during the preseason. If it’s possible, that is.

      Having Rashawn at fullback could give the Panthers something with a little more dynamic out of the backfield. It could work, that’s for sure. I’m curious to see how much Fiammetta’s improved since last year, too.

      • John

        If Pike is number 2 in week 1 that would not mean good things for Clausen. Having been in essentially this offense, having a month or so headstart and having the draft spot he does he should easily land in the number 2 spot.

        Although I seriously wouldn’t be surprised to see Pike mount a significant challenge next season.

        • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

          I pretty much agree with you, John. Just giving Pike benefit of the doubt at this point.

          Thanks for the read and comments!

  • Mark

    One thing I will be watching closely is the play of Jarrett. So far he has been a bust and if he doesn’t live up to expectations this year I see him being dumped. We need a legitimate #2 behind Smitty,if not Jarrett then they need to look elsewhere. Smitty gets double covered almost every play because we don’t have a threat on the other side. Time to change that.

    • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

      Yeah, I can agree with your assessment of Jarrett to a degree, but I still believe part of the blame could be placed on the former QB.

      I really believe we will see a completely different Jarrett this season.

      • John

        Jarrett really hasn’t been given much of a chance. I think you are absolutely right that is partially a function of QB play. When Jake could throw Smitty was where his attention stayed. And when he melted down that was still the case only even Smith couldn’t save those ducks.

        Something fantasy football has taught me is we don’t see any but the truly elite wideouts produce consistently starting year 1. It takes 3 years for most to really get it. And that’s 3 years of getting to play. Jarrett has barely gotten on the field so far. Got to get on the field to gain confidence and get in rhythm with your QB. I think this transition to Moore really gives Jarrett a fair shot. They have practiced together for some time. They seemed to click a bit in the last couple of games. And we finally saw Jarrett working the end zone with Moore in. That was supposed to be his stock in trade. So I have hope for Jarrett.

        With that said he better get it done. LaFell is not going to make it easy for him and Edwards is going to be taking up a spot for sure. He needs to bring it to ensure a spot in the top 4.

        • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

          I’ve good feelings about Jarrett this time around. It makes me wonder too, if Keary Colbert and/or Drew Carter could have thrived with a different QB in our system too, though. Maybe not, but again it makes me wonder.