In reading post-game commentary submitted by friends on Facebook — friends whose opinions on such matters I deem
more credible than my own, given they can actually watch games on local broadcast — I’ve been mulling the thought of whether or not the time has come for second-year wideout Brandon LaFell to take over a more full-time starting role than what he has occupied?
More after the jump…
I’ve been a proponent off allowing our young guys the time needed to develop and get comfortable within a position (provided there’s adequate depth ahead of said player) before being cast out there to make a difference. However the more good I hear about LaFell and how he’s taken on an on-field image worthy enough to be compared to as “Moose-esque” (former longtime Panthers’ receiver Muhsin Muhammad) by some of Carolina’s elder, more experienced fans, I ponder if the time is now for LaFell to start?
I’ll be perfectly honest, I’ve not been thrilled with the lack of production early on by Chargers’ transplant Legedu Naanee, however I’ve heard some opinions that his game has improved in the last couple of weeks, as well. But this is about our drafted guys being allowed the opportunity to produce, especially when they seem to be “getting it.” Ultimately, this is what Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and General Manager Marty Hurney have envisioned for this franchise: Draft our guys and bring them up through the ranks.
What bearing does this have on first-year head coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski? Granted, both prefer a player who is somewhat familiar with the system, but if LaFell is showing more promise, thereby outperforming his mentor of sorts, is it not time for Carolina to start LaFell? Okay, to borrow (and likely abuse) another metaphor, is grasshopper able to snatch the pebble from the sensei’s hand?
I welcome your thoughts in the commentary below!
Follow Eric Quackenbush on Twitter! @PSU_EQ