Cat Cravings Around the Web


EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 08: Wide receiver Steve Smith #89 of the Carolina Panthers gets past Will Allen #25 of the New York Giants and jumps in for a touchdown in the third quarter of the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Giants Stadium on January 8, 2006 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 21: Wide receiver Steve Smith #12 of the New York Giants catches a pass for a touchdown against Justin Tryon #20 the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on December 21, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. The Giants won the game 45-12. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

It’s been quite a while since I last posted here, on some of the latest goings-on around the web on our Carolina Panthers, but the going was slow, and now that their first preseason game is tucked away, news seems to be shooting through the roof — more than what I’ve become accustomed to of late, anyway.

There’s another talker out there, who has an opinion on Steve Smith; this one coming from SI.com. GK, my partner in crime, has the story for you already. However, I still have to offer my two cents.

I have to wonder, how is the New York Giants’ Steve Smith a more stable option than Smitty, based on one full season of play? I could be sarcastic with my multiple interpretations of the meaning behind the title, but I’ll be straight forward, as it’s obviously about fantasy football.

Is Steve Smith, Jr. the No. 1 wide receiver for the Giants now? Will he be the go-to guy for Eli Manning when it’s crunch time, if the Giants have fiddled away most of a game with questionable plays?

Last I checked, there were at least two — maybe three — other very good and capable receivers along with Smith: Ramses Barden, Hakeem Nicks, and Mario Manningham.

I’ll finish by saying, if you want to be the man, you have to beat the man. So far, Junior hasn’t shown a whole lot to convince me that he is better or more stable than THE Steve Smith. Might he be? Sure. But at this point, Junior has a ways to go before he catches up to Smitty, who has five Pro Bowl appearances and a “Triple Crown” winner on his resume. Not to mention, Smith has accomplished a lot more with less. You can throw in the argument of “which receiver has a Super Bowl ring?” But that’s the easy way out. And to you I ask, who put that win away for the Giants? In the end it was David Tyree and Plaxico Burress.

Don’t make me go to YouTube and drag out the recent highlight reels of our Steve Smith.

Anywho…onto the multiple Panthers tidbits from around the web.

On the topic of Steve Smith, Smitty has been activated, as he made his first practice debut Monday morning; Smith broke his arm in a flag football tournament at the YMCA back in June, which left most of us shaking our heads. Surprisingly (considering Smith doesn’t care too much for preseason games and training camp), he was cracking some jokes with the media today, stating he is “trying to get chump-proof.”

Keeping with the theme at wide receiver, Panthers wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert on Sunday, said that there is a No. 2 receiver on the team’s roster already. The talent is there. It’s just a matter of who?

I’m very confident; very confident. And whether it’s one guy or three guys, I have confidence in all of those guys to be able to take coaching and when their name is called go in there and produce. –Wide Receivers Coach, Tyke Tolbert

That’s a lot of confidence in an unproven core of receivers. Well, I have confidence in Tolbert, too.

The defensive line played exceptionally well, considering Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports had the unit ranked like…at the bottom of the barrel. But what are rankings really, right? Nothing more than numbers combined with someone’s inflated opinion.

However, there is one guy whom we’ve all been curious to see on the field, and that is defensive tackle Louis Leonard. The unfortunate thing for Leonard, is the guy just can’t catch a break to save himself.

During OTA’s in June, Leonard tweaked his left knee. On Sunday, he became dehydrated and had to take fluids via intravenous. Hopefully, this is the last of the big guy’s problems.

I don’t know how I missed this, but apparently there are three players on the roster who have one thing in common: the same last name. I thought there were only two, and that they played on offense; alas, I was wrong…again.

Defensive ends Eric Moore and Greg Hardy have been making an impression on Carolina’s coaching staff, as well as Baltimore’s quarterbacks on Thursday night.

I was impressed with the play of Tyler Brayton and Hardy on Thursday night, that I paid no mind to Moore when he was on the field. His is another name (next to Josh Vaughan) that I will be watching on Saturday night vs. the New York Jets.

Finally, we have to wonder — at least I do — is wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett finally catching on? So far he has done little to make a lasting impression on me, aside from a catch that was called back thanks to a holding penalty.

So is D.J. finally coming out of his shell? He says he’s grown up and isn’t so immature anymore. The guy is 24, so considering the early age at which he was drafted, I will make one more concession for him and say “okay, show me. Your time is now.”

Follow Cat Crave on Twitter @THECatCrave. Become a fan on Facebook, too!

Next Panthers Game View full schedule »
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Carolina Panthers Dwayne Jarrett Eric Moore Greg Hardy Jason Cole Louis Leonard NFL Steve Smith Tyke Tolbert Tyler Brayton Yahoo Sports