Carolina Panthers Training Camp Preview: Receivers, Part 2

NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 09: Linebacker David Vobora #58 and safety Eric Bassey #41of the St. Louis Rams bring down tight end Jamie Petrowski #85 of the Tennessee Titans during a pre-season game at LP Field on August 9, 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

I really wanted to combine the wideouts with the tight ends in the last edition, but my fingers were overheating and my hands were beginning to cramp from my high-speed typing. So, I felt it best to break this edition into two parts, thus also allowing for proper digestion of Part One.

In this second part, we’re looking at the tight ends. For Carolina, the tight end position has mainly functioned as utilitarian — much like an offensive lineman. There really hasn’t been much flair from the TE position as other teams might show, but one tight end in particular, has seen the most time on the playing field, spending the majority of his snaps as a blocker for the run game: Jeff King.

King’s a big dude. He’s a solid piece in run-blocking schemes. When his number’s been called on short dump-off passes, he’s also been effective. Overall, King is a staple in the team’s offense.

Then there are two unknowns, in their own respect: Dante Rosario and Gary Barnidge.

With Rosario, the question remains, do you have any more to offer? Because we’d like to see what Barnidge has to offer. And with Barnidge, it’s more of a statement. As fans, we’re saying we know this guy has a lot of uncovered potential, but Dante Rosario is standing in his way of allowing us to find out.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like Rosario. I’m among those that wants to see if he has anything else to offer, because up to this point, he’s been spotty at best. He shows a lot of upside in drips and drabs, and other times little-to-nothing. I’m nearing the point of “shit or get off the pot, already.”

Right now, these two guys are the biggest question marks going into training camp. And not so much because of what they’re capable of or if they have anymore to offer, but more along the lines of how much playing time will one receive in favor of the other? Who is going to make the most of the opportunity given to them? And finally, a decision which is out of either player’s control, will the head coach make the right decision in who the No. 2 tight end will be for the season?

Added to the roster, is second-year tight end Jamie Petrowski.

Signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2006, Petrowski is looking for a city to call home. He also did a stint with the Indianapolis Colts. So keep an eye on him, too. He might be the hungrier “dog.” It could very well come down to a battle between him and Rosario, if Barnidge steps up and takes over the No. two spot.

Check back tomorrow, as we cover defensive backs. Also, by special request, I will be posting a special piece tonight about starting quarterback Matt Moore and all the “love” he’s been receiving as of late.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Dante Rosario Gary Barnidge Jamie Petrowski Jeff King NFL Tight Ends Training Camp Preview

  • John

    King has done what was asked of him and I am glad we have him. But he will never be the kind of offensive TE we need to truly take advantage of the defenses our running game generates. It has to be Rosario or Barnridge. Rosario is such a tease still I can’t help but wonder whose fault that has been. He goes multiple games without a single target. Receivers simply don’t improve without getting thrown to. You have to give them the chance to make something happen as confidence is so important for every player. If you are always a decoy you get sloppy and then you get so few chances that every mistake becomes magnified.

    I think Rosario has all the tools, we’ll have to see if he can produce consistently. But with that said let’s see what Barnridge has and Petrowski for that matter. The only right way to do that is to open up the darn playbook a bit and let these guys do something. Give them chances. With our running game we should be able to really take advantage of what one of these guys can bring.

    Davidson take off the locks it’s now or never to prove that as the O coordinator you can do more than call the draw already. Your job isn’t safe. Show us what you got up your sleeve. Please!

    • Eric Quackenbush

      I have to say, that with the change at quarterback, and with the potential at tight end and wide receiver, this team could be scary good. I think ideally, the best thing to do would be to keep the foundation of the running game, but open up to allow for some more pass plays. This team was winning games against unlikely opponents late last season, because all of a sudden, when the box was stacked, Moore was spreading the ball around…Spreading it around. Not just to Smith, but Moose, King, Rosario — heck, even Jarrett. Defensive coordinators were like, whoa, hold up a minute. The Panthers have receivers and a quarterback who can spread the ball around? Wow, we’re in for a long day.

      This team needs to do more of that. And I hope that the last five games of ’09 were something more than just a memory and it’s pretty much business as usual now. I half believe there’ll be a change from what we saw early last year to what we saw late in the season. In the meantime, we wait.

      • John

        I can agree with all of that. It all starts with the running game and we need to take advantage of that strength to be more productive in the passing game.

  • J. Gore

    Barnidge was the number one target in Louisville and i think he could be our guy. He does however need to bulk up to improve his run blocking abilities. King is solid but can’t really stretch the field. Rosario, I just don’t know. Cool mouthpiece though. lol