Are the Carolina Panthers Really in the Midst of a ‘Rebuilding Effort?’
I swear, sometimes you really can’t take things for anything more than face value. Case in point, the title of this piece.
While Facebooking Monday night, it was brought to my attention by staff writer GKillete, that there is a rogue blogger out there, who likes to write whatever comes to his mind with very little discretion.
The title of his piece: “After Loss of Julius Peppers, Carolina Panthers Headed for Rebuilding Effort in 2010.”
“Really? Okay.” So I took a look at it. Right away, I didn’t like that the only name used in the title to attribute a “rebuilding effort,” was none other than Mr. Overrated himself, Julius Peppers.
Jeff Howe, who is the writer of the New England Patriots for NESN.com, is the brainchild behind this piece of utter nonsense.
The only part of this which I can absolutley, 110% agree with, is the “2009 record,” and “2010 Schedule Difficulty.”
Beyond that, it goes downhill.
Key losses: Julius Peppers, Jake Delhomme, Muhsin Muhammad, Chris Harris, and A.J. Feeley.
The loss of Julius Peppers was simply addition by subtraction. The only thing he was good for, was his reputation of giving offense coordinators a nightmare to gameplan for — when and if he decided to participate to his fullest potential.
Jake Delhomme was another addition by subtraction move of the offseason. I have nothing but respect for the guy’s leadership and candor while in Carolina, but 16 or 17 — whatever the number, it was too many — interceptions is just-cause to release a quarterback during the offseason.
Muhsin Muhammad…He will be missed, but let’s face it. It was painfully obvious last year that age was taking it’s toll on the 14-year receiver.
Chris Harris was a move of necessity, and right about now, post-Thomas Davis re-injuring his ACL, I bet a lot more of the naysayers are glad the trade of Harris to the Chicago Bears to acquire a linebacker in Jamar Williams transpired. The team has talent at the safety position. In fact, trading Harris and allowing the younger guys with a couple years experience to step up was more of a side-step than a step back.
A.J. Feeley. Are you kidding? The guy never took a snap in 2009 while on the Panthers’ roster. I don’t think he even took a snap when the Philadelphia Eagles visited Charlotte in Week One!
Let’s look at a few candidates who were cast away during the offseason, who just might be missed.
Brad Hoover. Currently, Carolina has two fullbacks on it’s roster. Second-year man Tony Fiammetta and undrafted rookie free agent Rashawn Jackson of the University of Virginia. It’s safe to say that unless Fiammetta’s ball-carrying skills have vastly improved, the job could be up for grabs.
Brad Hoover was a leader on the offense. Not just in the locker room or in the community, but especially on the field. He blocked very well, and wasn’t afraid to put his body in harm’s way.
Damione Lewis and Ma’ake Kemoeatu were big losses. Not re-signing defensive tackle Hollis Thomas might be a blow, as well. How about the loss of Na’il Diggs? These were role models for the younger guys and team players. They came in everyday and worked their asses off. Lunchpail guys.
And Howe’s list of key additions was nothing short of anemic.
During the entire offseason, the Panthers only made two key additions out of a bevy of needs: quarterback Jimmy Clausen and linebacker Jamar Williams. That’s all, nothing more.
However, he forgot to mention how the Panthers bolstered the special teams unit through free agency, adding talent like wide receiver Wallace Wright, safety Aaron Francisco, cornerback Marcus Hudson, and newly-signed draftees Greg Hardy, Eric Norwood, Jordan Pugh, and Tony Pike.
Soon, he can add the names Brandon LaFell and Jimmy Clausen to the list of recently signed.
In the end, this is another piece written by the fan of another team, who knows nothing of what he speaks when it comes to a team over 1,000 miles away from Foxborough.
My word of advice to Howe: Stick to topics like what are Tom Brady and Gazelle Bunchin doing this weekend? Topics which I neither know anything about, nor have any interest in.
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