Yahoo’s Jason Cole is Down on the Panthers’ Receiving Core


I hate gossiping; at the same time, if I’m not partaking in it, then someone else is. And when someone else is gossiping and giving their opinion on our Carolina Panthers free of charge, well, I’m either going to agree or rebut what they have to say.

Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports posted an interesting article, titled “Sims-Walker Not Enough to Elevate Jags.”

The Jaguars released half their roster the day after their pointless draft. Not that their roster beforehand was much better.

How could Mike Sims-Walker possibly do it on his own?!

At any rate, what this turned out to be, was an article which eventually listed Cole’s opinion of where every team’s receiving core ranked in the league.

I don’t have a problem with opinion, but as I’ve stated in the recent (within the last week) past, at least back up your opinion with sound fact.

Cole ranks the Panthers’ receiving core at 20. I don’t have a problem with the where, as much as I do the why.

"After Steve Smith, there’s not a lot of hope on this roster. Dwayne Jarrett has been a bust and the TE position is a wasteland. -Jason Cole, Yahoo Sports."

Now look at the teams prior to the Panthers. At No. Six, he has listed the Arizona Cardinals. Okay, fine. But why?

“Losing Anquan Boldin hurts a lot and the TE spot is thin, but Larry Fitzgerald is a great anchor. Steve Breaston is better than people think and Early Doucet showed up big in the playoffs.”

Yet he forgot to mention how the Cardinals were the winning product of a very weak division in 2009. What was their final record again, 9-7?

The Panthers finished 8-8 — one game less — with a backup defensive line, a banged up offensive line, Steve Smith, “no receivers,” a backup quarterback, and that “wasteland” of tight ends.

To me, that’s the same as saying Steve Smith is a great anchor. Dwayne Jarrett could prove to be better than people think under a different quarterback, and the Panthers have two 1,100-yard running backs on it’s roster.

Yet, the Arizona Cardinals’ receiving core is ranked 14 places better than the Panthers.

A little — perhaps a smidgen — bit of history about Jason Cole: He is a regular guest on John White’s Cat Crave Radio.

Again, I don’t have a problem with the ranking of the receivers, as much as the vague reasoning. But during one of those guest appearances on CCR, might Cole give us a further in-depth explanation as to how he arrived at his conclusion of the Panthers having an anemic receiving core beyond Smith?

Dante Rosario is a scrappy but good route-running TE, Gary Barnidge is comparable to Kevin Boss in size, strength, and skill (I know, how dare I compare our Panthers’ tight end to one of the “New Jersey” Giants?), and Jeff King blocks well — I’ve never been too crazy about his route-running or pass-catching, but overall I likes what we gots in the receiving core.

Beyond Steve Smith there is promise, which is probably the same thing the Cards’ front office and coaching staff is thinking and hoping about it’s receiving core beyond Larry Fitzgerald.

Is the aggression towards Carolina because receivers like Larry Fitzgerald — someone who I’ve never heard of until 2008, is not a controversial receiver in the eyes of the media like Steve Smith is, that awards the Cards such a high ranking?

I have respect for Fitzy, but if Smitty had a Twitter account, I’d follow him and drop Fitzgerald in a heartbeat.

In the end, I want to know why Cole believes the Panthers tight ends are a wasteland, and why there isn’t much hope on this roster beyond Steve Smith.

Did Jason Cole want to see the Panthers draft Golden Tate or Arrelious Benn? I admit, I was all for Tate. As for Benn, I’ve seen enough of him around the Big 10 with Juice (Box) Williams at QB to have my opinion set on “Nah.”

At the end of the day, the Panthers may have over-addressed the need at receiver in this year’s draft, and with undrafted rookie free agents. Dwayne Jarrett still has (in my court) the preseason to mend his ways. Beyond him, there are six-to-nine receiver candidates drooling for a job.

Follow Cat Crave on Twitter @THECatCrave. Check us out on Facebook, too!