Carolina Panthers Offseason Update


So far the Carolina Panthers have not been a hotbed of information during the second week of the offseason, which I do find some comfort in.

To kind of recap the past week’s events, we can be pretty sure that John Fox will return to the Panthers as head coach in 2010. Beyond that is an unknown, but if I were a gambling man, I’d say a contract extension depends on the result of the Panthers’ 2010 season.

The latest news from the Panthers aren’t the developments that most are anxiously awaiting word on, but it’s a little something to propel us through the week.

Training Camp

Since the Panthers inaugural season in 1995, the Panthers have held training camp in Spartanburg, SC at Wofford College.

On Tuesday, the Panthers renewed their contract with Wofford College, keeping the Panthers there through 2014. They also have an option to extend the contract after 2014.

There are only three other teams in the NFL that have held training camp at the same location longer than Carolina: Minnesota Vikings (Minnesota State – Mankato), Pittsburgh Steelers (St. Vincent College; Latrobe, PA), and the Green Bay Packers (St. Norbert College; De Pere, WI).

“There could not be a better place for training camp from a football perspective,” said Panthers general manager Marty Hurney. “The facilities are outstanding and the cooperation from the school is everything you could want. It has been an ideal arrangement.”

So that is certainly good news, as I look forward to my first time at Panthers training camp and spending a couple weeks in the area.

On the Coaching Front

Quarterbacks coach Rip Scherer spent a couple of weeks contemplating his future, and whether it would involve the Carolina Panthers or would he rekindle with an old love of sorts, at the University of Virginia as their offensive coordinator.

Scherer, who coached with the Virginia staff in 1979, a graduate of William and Mary, also was the head coach at James Madison University.

It had been rumored while mulling his offer with the Cavaliers, that he might be a candidate as the quarterbacks coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, due to having a close friendship with Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, and Scherer’s cousin Kevin Colbert, is director of football operations.

When asked about it, Scherer responded in a text message, “nothing else happening—strictly rumors.”

Trading a First-Round Pick Paying Off?

In 2008 at the NFL Draft, the Panthers decided to trade their 2009 first-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles, to move up into the first round and select offensive tackle Jeff Otah.

It was a success. In his rookie season, Otah was a big factor in the Panthers being able to run the ball so well.

At the 2009 NFL Draft, the Panthers decided again to tempt fate, and trade 2010’s first-round pick for the right to move up in the second round. With that, they drafted defensive end Everette Brown.

Brown had a quiet season overall, but for a rookie he had a decent amount of success on the field. His speed and intelligence proved him to be one of the most effective pass-rushers for Carolina, finishing with 16 quarterback pressures.

Julius Peppers and Damione Lewis were the only two with better numbers than Brown–Peppers with 35 and Lewis with 21. Both players saw double the amount of playing time than Brown.

Brown also recorded 2.5 sacks. Not a whole lot to be impressed with, but he can only get better down the stretch.