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August 03, 2006

Shelton struggling early in camp

Don’t draft Eric Shelton for your fantasy football team just yet. The second-year running back got three cracks at the end zone from three yards out behind the first-team offensive line Thursday. He gained precisely one yard.

It’s true he was going against the first-team defense. Football is like baseball. Just like pitchers are ahead of hitters early in the season, defense is ahead of of fense in August.

It’s not time for panic, but it is time for concern. Shelton’s packing about 240 pounds and he looks the part of the best bet in short-yardage situations. But, so far, he hasn’t acted the part. Maybe he will produce and maybe he’ll benefit from better blocking. But, if neither of those things happen, the Panthers could have a hole.

DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams aren’t particularly big and don’t fit the profile of short-yardage runners. Brad Hoover or Nick Goings could handle short-yardage carries in a pinch, but that’s not really what the Panthers want.

Posted by Observer Sports on August 3, 2006 at 08:29 PM | Permalink


Pat, I've been reading your columns for the past few years and your comments about Eric Shelton don't make sense. I have looked to Charles Chandler and you for a balance viewpoint. Your comments are appropriate if we just completed the pre-season games. Have faith in the Panthers second round draft pick.

Posted by: Terry Miencier | Aug 4, 2006 12:19:14 AM

Gimme a break, Terry. If a hungry (I mean that literally since he checks in at 240) young player trying to make it on a team can't bust three yards on three tries, then it's a cause for concern- first team d or not. Especially coming off a year in which they put him on injured reserve rather than cut him. If he was a late round pick rather than a second round investment... he could already be on the street.

Posted by: stinger | Aug 4, 2006 8:14:54 AM

Perhaps it is because of the exceptional defense.

Posted by: Phil | Aug 4, 2006 8:18:49 AM

I agree with Terry. Pat Yasinkas is an idiot and struggling for things to write about. I wish they would assign him to the Knights or something because his coverage of the Panthers is horrendous. Lets talk about this after the first preseason game.

Posted by: Gary | Aug 4, 2006 8:21:18 AM

hey this is a superbowl or bust year. he needs to step it up now or go home, i don't care which defense he faces

Posted by: master1shake | Aug 4, 2006 9:07:44 AM

So... you're trying to tell me that PAT is an idiot because Eric Shelton can't run the ball more than one yard on three tries... after resting his legs for more than a year? I hope Shelton works out, he has the tools but let's get real. The clock is ticking and it's time for him to bust out with a training camp play that sticks in people's minds that shows the promise.

Remember the raves about Drew Carter two camps ago? Remember Fred Lane at fan day? Remember hearing about Steve Smith's first couple of camps wowing people? Remember the highlight reel that Foster put together before his rookie year injury?

Camp plays count, people. Shelton's on the clock.

Posted by: stinger | Aug 4, 2006 11:10:22 AM

Let's not give Eric Shelton the guillotine just yet. Everyone needs time to work out the rust, especially after sitting out a year.

BUT (Conjunction-juntion, what's yo' function?), I have to agree with Stinger. If a player is trying to impress the coaches, he will make the plays to impress the coaches. I hope that Shelton is able to make those plays because they need someone of his stature to pound opposing defenses.

To echo Stinger, Shelton is on the clock.

Posted by: Philip Walker | Aug 4, 2006 12:19:06 PM

I'm pulling for Shelton, cause the Panthers need a short yardage Bettis lookalike. BUT I have to go to one of my favorite phrases via Coach Fox, "It is what it is." You gain one yard in three attempts, that's all you'll get against any good team. And Pat, don't listen to the hatahs. I like hearing the truth. That's why I hated seeing Rosinski fired. Sorry, Mixon.

Posted by: Ron | Aug 4, 2006 4:36:21 PM

everyone else in camp is bragging on him and now you smash him?

Posted by: walt | Aug 4, 2006 5:39:39 PM

Sounds like more of an area of concern for the offensive line than for Shelton - especially since Foster and Williams didn't manage much, either. Looks like they're a bust resigning and draft pick, too, by those criteria.

Might as well cut Hartwig right now, right?

This from the paper that brought you how many "So-what-if-Kerry-Collins-likes-a-drink-he's-no-alcoholic" columns?

Posted by: jdb1972 | Aug 4, 2006 11:07:35 PM

This is just stupid! I watched the first pre-season game the year carolina got stephin davis and they were one yard out from a score against green bay (not that good) and on three straight carries , davis failed from the one! All of these so called writers at the observer , they said "oh don't worry, davis will come around don't panic!" well pat, tom, and scott please make up your mind! len pasquarelli on espn has written an artical on carolinas deep defensive tackles,maybe thats why Eric can't get in!

Posted by: don | Aug 5, 2006 11:45:32 AM

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