July 31, 2011; Spartanburg, SC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver David Gettis (12) during training camp at Gibbs Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Case for David Gettis

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.

July 31, 2011; Spartanburg, SC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receivers David Gettis (12) and Brandon LaFell (11) during training camp at Gibbs Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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  • Chase Roundtree

    Love this article. I was just thinking warier today about how Ghettis is a wild card for Carolina. He has all the tools necessary to be at least a number two receiver. If it weren’t for the knee injury I have no doubt that he would be near the top of the depth chart ready to take over for Steve smith as the number one guy this year. Ghettis is 6’3 with the ability to go up and get the ball as well as the speed to play out side and size to play inside. Late into his rookie season he became a fairly nice route runner. The only knock against Ghettis coming into the NFL from Baylor was drops and poor hands. He addressed his ability to carb through out the season. I really hope Ghettis can step up and reach his maximum potential. If so Carolina will be set at WR with Lafell and Ghettis when Smith finally retires.

    • Tony Cardwell

      If Gettis progresses, the Panthers will not have to worry such much about providing a replacement for Smith. Along with Hixon, the Panthers core of WRs would be great with a new and improved Gettis. I just hope Gettis does improve, it would be great for the team.

      • Glitchh

        Yes, with his speed is there some reason why Gettis couldn’t be Smith’s replacement rather the next Muhsin Muhammad, who wasn’t a speed burner? What he showed his rookie season gave me high hopes he could turn into a #1 receiver, I’m just hoping not only that he can stay healthy but that all his health problems haven’t robbed him of the confidence he needs to return to his original form. Ginn is reportedly another one of those who can’t hang on to thrown balls so his best place is special teams. Edwards just needs to go and there seems to be no place for the Hawaiian any longer so go carve out your place David!

    • ahrcshaw

      I agree, but the pressure is on, he has to prove his worth this year, I think he will become a free agent next year.

  • http://twitter.com/wrcknhavoc Cpantherz

    I had to re-look at those highlights. I didn’t notice how much he kept getting behind coverage. Also he isn’t all that bad at catching the ball with defenders all over him. He does remind you a lot of Mush. That is one player I miss tremendously.

    • Tony Cardwell

      Glad he reminds you Moose! I see a lot of his skills in Gettis!

  • Clint Houston Pressley

    I actually wrote today about the forgotten man David Gettis! Love this article cause is so true! When coach Rivera first started coaching the panthers he was very high on Gettis & like you hope they give him a chance cause he is big very fast &can catch! Oh yeah I believe I remember Rivera saying he was a great route runner as well!

    • Tony Cardwell

      Exactly! I’m glad you see my point. He has way to much talent to waste!

  • Tony Cardwell

    I meant to say Gettis reminds me of Cordarrelle Patterson, not Tavon Austin. I apologize, I plan on fixing it soon!

  • Army7

    I’m pretty sure gettis will become injured and useless. I mean, that’s just what he does. If u are always injured- nothing else matters. I’m surprised how folks chat about how “possibly good a player might be” it’s a waste of time

    • Tony Cardwell

      You literally can not predict injuries, it is impossible. A random occurence should not dictate a players career. Also, if don’t want to read speculation or opinions read an encyclopedia, it’s all facts and not opinions, which is a “waste of time” in YOUR opinion.

      • Army7

        That’s not true- a random injury CAN dictate a players career. I didn’t understand the rest of ur comment about encyclopedias or whatever but I’m sure most fans prefer to talk about players that actually PLAY. Look, I like gettis. I hope he becomes the panthers #1 receiver- but until he is able to stay healthy and contribute- i will pull for the players doing the job each week. Not the guy on the sidelines wearin street clothes

        • Tony Cardwell

          I thought you were stating opinion pieces were a “waste of time”, so that’s why I posted about the encyclopedia, a book based on fact, as suggested reading. Obviously both of us were confused by the meanings on the comments. Glad you read the article though, and I’m glad you commented.

  • D-N- JAE

    Its funny….as much as I love and watch the panthers, I haven’t seen nor know much about Gettis. I really forgot about him until I read this article It would be an amazing story if he came back balling this season. The league wouldn’t see it coming.. I’m rooting for him!

  • Derek

    I got faith in Gettis and i thank he could one day be the number 1 go to guy.

  • Anthony Dunn

    How is his health currently? Didn’t see him at all last year and LaFell has matured each season.

  • ahrcshaw

    This year is the pivotal year for Gettis. I think he becomes a free agent in 2014 because his current contract is over, I am not sure. In any case he is on the ropes, 1) he plays and does well, they may keep him as long as his price does not go up to high. 2 ) he doesn’t play real well, or he get hurt again they might keep him at the same price they are paying him now. 3 ) They pass on him if he does not do extremely well. I hope he does well because I think he is a good player, the Panthers selected him as a definite #2 WR. The question is does he still have the desire that it takes. Is he a Thomas Davis, or a Jeff Otha ? He has got to get on the field this year.

  • Jimmie Thorne

    I love Gettis. I definitely believe Gettis can replace Smith. He pretty much matched Steve Smith numbers during his rookie year, so I would imagine that he will do the same catching from Cam. I just hope he can stay healthy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/norris.thornburg Norris Thornburg

    I’d love for him to get another shot. He actually reminds me of a taller Smitty. Maybe not as intense but in terms of speed and ability. Smitty ran a 4.41 40 in 2001 and David ran 4.43 in 2010. Gettis made some great catches, just like Smith. Lafell actually reminds me of Moose. Moose ran 4.56 40 in his combine and LaFell ran 4.58. Up to this point in LaFell’s career, his stats are almost identical to Moose’s at the same point in his career. So I’d love to see him back on the field.