Panthers News: Trade deadline, Ikem Ekwonu, Brian Burns and power rankings

Exaining the latest Carolina Panthers news and rumors from around the media.
Brian Burns
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Carolina Panthers OT Ikem Ekwonu's struggles

It wasn't all a bed of roses on Sunday. Ikem Ekwonu's sophomore slump seems to be turning into something far more concerning performance-wise, which is a situation worth monitoring closely as the campaign progresses and could also come with significant ramifications attached.

Pressing the panic button this soon into Ekwonu's career would be foolish, especially considering how well the former first-round pick out of North Carolina State performed as a rookie. This was a sentiment echoed by team writer Darin Gantt, who claimed the prowess of offensive line coach James Campen means a turnaround is entirely possible in the not-too-distant future.

"The guy who's doing the polishing is a big part of the reason I am not as worried about [Ikem] Ekwonu as a lot of people. He has James Campen in his ear. And on his rear, most days. James Campen isn't a good coach, he's a great coach. When he was in Green Bay forever, he built a reputation for developing outstanding lines with mid-round picks, if his guys were picked at all. He's the guy you want on a project, and Ekwonu still is one. He turned 23 today, and he's the fourth-youngest player on the roster. When he got here last season, Campen would often be on all fours on the practice field, manually putting Ekwonu's feet where he wanted them to be. He was building a left tackle from the ground up."

Darin Gantt,

Some technical flaws in Ekwonu's production require immediate attention based on recent weeks. But this might be a confidence issue above all else - something Campen can do nothing about when it's time to take the field.