David Gettis has had a very interesting NFL career. I liken it to that of Jack Bauer in the first two seasons of 24. He was put into an awful situation in the first season (exclude the fact that he is put into an awful situation in every season.), like Gettis playing with Jimmy Clausen/Matt Moore at the helm. Both then took a huge leave of absence, in Gettis’s case, due to two serious injuries, and in Bauer’s case, mental injury. I see this season as a redemption story for Gettis, just as season 2 of 24 was for Jack Bauer.
Gettis has every reason to come back as a huge receiver for the Panthers. He proved to have that intangible playmaking ability similar to that of Cordarrelle Patterson. In fact, after looking back at some of his highlights on YouTube, I see a lot of similarities between him and the newly minted Minnesota Viking, excluding the fact that Gettis is presumably a lot smarter and more encouraged and driven. The coaching staff just needs to put faith into the former Baylor Bear.
Let’s take a look back at some of the stats that Gettis put up during his first year as a Panther. Gettis played in 15 games with 13 starts. He totaled 37 receptions for 508 yards and a team-leading three receiving touchdowns. He surpassed our current second receiver, Brandon LaFell, three games into the season. He seemed to be made from the Calvin Johnson mold, a tall, somewhat thin, but not too thin of a player. He became the first Panther other than Steve Smith or Muhsin Muhammad to produce a 100-yard receiving effort, at the time; of course Greg Olsen joined that club last season. And please guys, remember this was the year of Jimmy Clausen/Matt Moore, a bad year for the Panthers.
Now if you look at where he is at now, you’ll see a completely rested player who the Panther’s organization obviously faith in. Gettis has been on the PUP/IR list for the entirety of the 2011 season and the majority of the 2012 season. The Panthers could have let him go, because of his long tenure on the PUP/IR list, which is sometimes more than enough reason to cut a player, similar to the career of newly minted Panther DT Colin Cole. But the organization did not cut him and now Gettis’s future lies in the hands of the coaching staff. Ron Rivera, Mike Shula, and any other Panther with any influence on who plays and who doesn’t should give Gettis every chance to perform.
Granted, the Panthers have bolstered their Receiving unit a bit. Ted Ginn will only give depth, not so much of a playmaker as a receiver, but his returns are top notch. Domenik Hixon is obviously the player who could challenge the career of Gettis, excluding LaFell who is his biggest hurdle to overcome on his way to the top. So Gettis, in my opinion is better than Ginn. Hixon has experience and was a valuable slot receiver for the Giants last year, he proved that against the Panthers on Monday night last season, but Gettis has the talent to surpass him as well. Now while I am extremely biased in my adoration of LaFell, Gettis did surpass him as a starter in 2010, much to my dismay. Now LaFell did injure himself in 2010, the first reason why Gettis took his spot, but Gettis did hold on the spot after LaFell came back from a not so serious hamstring strain a game later.
Gettis has the ability to be the next Muhsin Muhammad and maybe the next Steve Smith. He is big, strong, and made some very difficult catches in his rookie campaign. The Panther’s organization just needs to give him a chance. I feel pretty strongly about the success about Gettis, if we lose him, we’d be out a very talented receiver, something the Panther’s desperately need. How do guys feel though? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.