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October 10, 2006

Panthers vindicated as Sauerbrun cut

Somewhere in the offices of Bank of America Stadium, there are some quiet snickers.

   The news that Todd Sauerbrun was cut by the Denver Broncos the instant he came off the suspended list had to bring some further vindication to the Panthers. They traded the troubled punter to the Broncos before last season and they’ve received very good production from Jason Baker, who came to Carolina as part of that deal.

   They also got rid of one of the biggest headaches in franchise history. Still, there was always worry that the Panthers might have given up too soon on a guy who might have been the most talented punter in franchise history. Sauerbrun promised to be on his best behavior in Denver and, for awhile, he came through.

   But the league suspended Sauerbrun for testing positive for a banned dietary supplement and that prompted the Broncos to come to the same conclusion as the Panthers.

   The only real loser here is Sauerbrun. He once talked about his desire to be the first punter in the Hall of Fame. With his talent, that might not have been that much of a stretch. But that talent has been squandered and he might not be able to get another job.

   

Watching the Monday night game reinforced how good Brad Hoover and Nick Goings are at surviving.

   Denver fullback Kyle Johnson has blossomed into one of the league’s best at that position. But Johnson wasn’t even good to make the Panthers roster when he was a fifth-round draft pick in 2002. Seeing Johnson play was a reminder of how hard the Panthers used to try to find upgrades over Hoover and Goings.

   They also used a seventh-round pick on Casey Moore in 2003, but he wasn’t able to stick around. Maybe Hoover and Goings aren’t the prototypes (Goings actually isn’t even close because he’s got tailback size), but the two blue-collar players are so efficient at what they do that they’ve been able to hold off challenges by players with more physical talent.

   

Speaking of the backfield, this could be an interesting period for the tailbacks.

    Rookie DeAngelo Williams has an ankle injury. The Panthers are being quiet about the severity of the injury (as is their custom), but it appears Williams will miss some time. If that happens, Goings will slide into the backup role behind DeShaun Foster. We all know exactly what Goings brings to the table. But the interesting thing here could be that the door may be open for Eric Shelton to get some playing time. The second-round pick from last year still doesn’t have an NFL carry and was disappointing in the preseason. But the Panthers kept Shelton because he has potential.

   

The next few weeks could be his last chance to show he can produce.

Posted by Observer Sports on October 10, 2006 at 05:01 PM | Permalink

Comments

Agree totally on vidication over "Sourbrat" in Denver. The guy is pure talent wrapped up in 100% bad attitude.
Disagree about anything postive written about Goings and Hoover. These two guys routinely run plays for no/little gain. They are also "one hit and down" runners meaning the go to the turf on initial contact. Foster is exactly the opposite. Hoover and Goings play as if they are saving themselves for later rounds of a boxing match.

Posted by: mag7 | Oct 12, 2006 12:04:10 AM

Well you don't want to kick a man when he is down... Everyone makes mistakes and he is a very talented player. Maybe he will get his head on straight and be able to get back into the game and pursue his goals again?

Posted by: SEO News Guru | Oct 13, 2006 2:46:20 PM

Ray Guy should be in the Hall.

Posted by: Russ | Oct 14, 2006 9:46:44 AM

Sourbrat is a punk. The NFL needs to clean house on the punks. Speaking of punks, Miami needs to flush their whole team, coaches too.

Posted by: Tim | Oct 16, 2006 10:03:32 AM

Can someone also flush Bunting please? Peppers is the "Man" period. Wonder if they could play him a little at Tight end or H back? Played it High School. He'd be unstoppable out in the open.

Posted by: sickheel | Oct 17, 2006 11:17:02 PM

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