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April 30, 2007

Davis unlikely to play safety

With the Panthers desperate for safety help, after not finding it in the draft, there's a sudden rally cry for the team to move linebacker Thomas Davis to safety. Thomas_davis

Davis played safety in college at Georiga. He also played safety very early in his NFL career. You might remember that didn't go very well. Besides, Davis has bulked up the last two years and might be too big for the position.

The bottom line here is coach John Fox said Sunday he has no plans to move Davis to safety, although he didn't completely rule out that scenario in an emergency situation. The thinking is the Panthers have invested the better part of two seasons in developing Davis as a linebacker. He had some flashes last season and the Panthers believe he's ready for a break-out year.

There's no sense in ruining that possibility. The Panthers can find safety help somewhere else.

Posted by Observer Sports on April 30, 2007 at 08:57 PM | Permalink


The thought of moving Davis to safety is a very bad one. When he was at safety, he looked lost and slow. He's only bigger now. Late in the year last year, there were articles in the Observer about how well Davis was playing and he was regularly posting double digit tackle games. He's a stud at linebacker. Let the man develop and quick messing with his head. It's hard enough to learn one position in the NFL.

Posted by: Will Piner | Apr 30, 2007 9:11:28 PM

With all the talk about safeties, just who are the available options on the street? Are the guys the Panthers let go last year the best available options or is there someone else out there?

Posted by: DWest | Apr 30, 2007 9:20:26 PM

sign 5 or 6 safeties and watch waivers, we really only need one to suceed through camp.
Minter, although old, and a little slower, is still a capable NFL starter. And if we do sign branch, we have at least a little depth. Next year, we look for that stud either in F.A. or the draft.

Posted by: jake | Apr 30, 2007 9:25:03 PM

Tim Shaw would be a great saftey in the NFL. Fast undersized linebacker...Same thing Dallas did with Darren Woodson

Posted by: Dewey | Apr 30, 2007 10:12:53 PM

I was thinking the same thing about Tim Shaw. I saw some clips of him, and to me, he looked like a safety out there. I wouldnt be shocked since they alread have about 6 LB's who will be on the roster. But I hear that Sammy Knight may become available after the cuts, I wouldnt mind that.

Posted by: MM | Apr 30, 2007 10:41:11 PM

This is a partial list of NFL safetys drafted since 2002 in the first 3 rounds of the draft by teams other than the Panthers: Roy Williams, Ed Reed, Lamont Thompson, Tank Williams, chris hope, coy wire, Troy Polamalu, Rashean Mathis, Ken Hamlin, Mike Doss, Terrance Kiel, Bob Sanders, Madieu Williams, Sean Jones,Stuart Schweigert, Matt Ware, Brodney Poole, Josh Bullocks, Donte Whitner, Michael Huff, Daniel Bullocks, Roman Harper, Sean Taylor, Laron Landry, Reggie Nelson, Michael Griffin, Brandon Merriweather, Eric Weddle.........

Carolina panther safetys drafted in first 3 rounds since 2002? Zero I guess there has never been value at the safety spot in the last 6 years?

Posted by: chad | Apr 30, 2007 11:18:29 PM

well, there has but we've made some good first round picks.

2006 DeAngelo, I'd take him over the next best safety

2005 Thomas Davis WAS drafted to be a safety

2004 Chris GAmble- it was a decent pick, but they did pass on Bob Sanders, but still that year, the team needed a CB much more than a Safety

2003 Jordan Gross, thats a pick they had to make, at i think at that poing we still had grant.

2002 I'm not taking any safety over Peppers.

2001 Dan Morgan, yeah that turned out to be a rough pick, especially since Archuletta was drafted in that round. But hindsight is 20/20. At the time Morgan was the obvious pick.

Posted by: MM | May 1, 2007 12:01:57 AM

Thomas Davis was drafted to justify dumping spoon 1 year later and only tinkered at safety cause we had no one else! Until McCree a lifetime journeyman stepped up and played well! So we dumped him 1 year later also... ...Jordan Gross was drafted ahead of Terrel Suggs, Larry Johnson, Troy Polamalu, and several other pro bowlers! Morgan was 2001 prior to fox and hurney and Ko Simpson, Darnell Bing, Greg Blue and numerous other starting safetys have been drafted 4th round and later! Gamble over Sanders? hmmm wonder which one is wearing a ring? Fox and Hurney don't value either safety position so don't try to make excuses on why we haven't had any good players in those two positions under Hurney and Fox! They don't want them, they don't pay them and we even draft them, cut them and have them start on other teams while we continue to say in the media, next year we will address safety! Give it up!!! PS MM..First 3 rounds not just 1st round picks meaning we drafted Bruce Nelson, Mike Seidman, Ricky Manning, Keary Colbert, James Anderson and Eric Shelton over the previously mention 28 Safetys...Go CJ Wilson rookie of the year

Posted by: chad | May 1, 2007 12:16:14 AM

If I'm Foxy, I absolutely see what Shaw can do as an understudy to Minter. We're talking a 4.5 40, Academic AA guy -- speed and brains. Sounds like a safety to me.

But whoever said the Panthers do not value the position is absolutely correct.

Posted by: JAT | May 1, 2007 6:29:16 AM


Kris Jenkins, Carolina for Marlon McCree, San Diego. Crazy? Possibly, but makes sense. San Diego could use interior line help.

Posted by: Ben | May 1, 2007 7:18:57 AM

Marlon McCree isn't worth what Jenkins is.

Although I was sad that we didn't resign him a few years back, except for that fist-pumping action he did after every play - it was getting kinda old.

Posted by: Richard | May 1, 2007 8:02:46 AM

WEll first to address the thomas davis stuff come on lets be real he's slowly approaching a border line bust. And he was NEVER posting double digit tackles last year at LB whoever told you that mis lead you my friend. (check the stats nfl.com) Last year he avg a measily! 4 tackles a game! 0 int and 1 sack. he has done nothing at Safty and LB. personally if morgan is healthy (i doubt) I'd like to see Beason take over Davis starting spot. AS for the Safty situation I agree with you all but I am sorry Minter is not capable of starting at safty in this league anymore and it has little to do with age...he was always slow and couldn't cover now he can't even tackle which was the only good thing about him in his young days...so now he's a simple liability on the field. MArty hurney is an idiot....only time will tell if im right or wrong but if im right and i hope i am not..Martey will out of a job next year.

Posted by: Cheven | May 1, 2007 8:25:01 AM

Chad, I agree with the fact that we need a safety, but hindsight is 20/20. I think they got good value in their first three picks. I thought the trade down was a great move when it was completed, but it did not turn out as expected when all 3 safeties were taken before we picked next. Oh well, time to get over it and live in the present.

Posted by: LeeL | May 1, 2007 9:16:54 AM

Why don't you check the stats my friend. Slowly approaching a border line bust? I don't think so. He was second on the team in total tackles last year.

Apparently you only read part of them. Thomas Davis racked up 96 tackles last year with 73 of them as solo.

He was credited with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Oh yeah, and he may not have had an interception but for a strong side linebacker he had 4 passes defended.

Give the guy a break. He basically was replaying his rookie year last year after playing Safety didn't work out.

Maybe next time you will read the disclaimer at NFL.com regarding stats...

"Tackles are not an official NFL statistic. The totals below reflect those recorded by the Stats Crew at each game. For updated tackles stats following coaches film review, please visit the Carolina Panthers site."

For those looking at the safeties we could have had in the past. The past is the past. Nothing can be changed about it. Let it go and move forward with the rest of the team. If our seasons turns out good, then great, if it doesn't then it will be dealt with at the end of the year. Relax.

Posted by: Matt A | May 1, 2007 9:16:57 AM

Cheven I fear you are right! Didn't we release Shane Burton, Brenston Buckner and then draft Aytiah Ellison and sign Kemo to 25mill? So now we want Jenkins gone because he is an overweight DT? Hold on what about Ted Washington and Vince Wilfork and Siragusa? Isn't jenkins a Defensive Tackle? Doesn't he only outweight the 1st pick in the draft by about 15 lbs who is a QB? Enough with the trade Jenkins for McCree crap! We dumped McCree and if you would read my other posts, we DONT WANT A SAFETY!!! The fans do, the scouts do and the media does, FOX AND HURNY DO NOT!!! They also dont want a pro bowl DT or a TE or a LT or a true ML...Tim Shaw at safety, wow you guys are drunk!

Posted by: chad | May 1, 2007 9:19:07 AM

My one concern is that we'll go into the year really thin at safety.... and then Minter will get hurt in Week 3 and we'll have two totally inexperienced or just plain bad safeties on the field. That's going to interfere not only with our pass defense but also with our run D b/c we'll need to put more DBs on the field to compensate.

Posted by: Mark | May 1, 2007 9:55:14 AM

Next year when we have the last pick of the first round, we can grab a safety.

Posted by: Dave | May 1, 2007 10:59:56 AM

They must do something at safety, it is irresponsible of Hurney and Fox to let it get this bad. Several Veteran safeties were available in free agency at bargain prices. Then to whiff in the draft is plain silly; why should we believe they will pick up any capable safety before TC or even before opening day. I think with Shaw at LB, you might see Anderson move to safety.

Posted by: jb | May 1, 2007 11:06:45 AM

Guys, guys, guys. Listen here. There is absolutely no way that Tim Shaw, who is going to be a good player with lots of versatility, can play Safety. Time Shaw has straightline speed, not lateral speed. There's a reason Penn State coaches played him at DE last year. The guy has special teams stud and backup LB written all over him, which is great and something we sorely need.

I'd like to us move to a 3-4 this year. Kemoteau in the middle, Lewis and Moorehead at DE, Morgan and Beason at ILB, and Peppers and McClover at OLB. Thomas Davis should be all over the field in a Troy Polamalu type role. With the corners we have that can play man-2-man, the glarding weakness, as we all know, is a safety who can patrol the deep half of the field, regardless of scheme.

The Chargers are taking advantage of Merriman's athleticsm at linebacker. Why aren't we doing the same with Peppers? Put him on the line on 3rd down. Let him run and make plays on 1st and 2nd.

Posted by: Billy | May 1, 2007 11:38:43 AM

I agree with the depth concerns at S. We have signed 2 un-drafted FA at S in LSU's Jesse Daniels and Quinton Teal. To be an optimist we have Minter, Salley, CJ Wilson, Cooper, Newton, and DeLoatch to compete at S. Plus the possible FA cuts from teams who are deep at the position and with salary cap concerns.

As far as Shaw at S, I would not hold my breath on that. In reading up on several scouting reports on him they all said he was a little tight in his hips and that was at LB. He is fast, physical and smart so I look forward to seeing him blow up some wedges on kickoff coverage next year.

Go Panthers!!!

Posted by: Will P | May 1, 2007 2:14:37 PM

it sounds good, but do honestly think the Panthers will completely change their defensive scheme. They draft and sign guys to play in the tampa 2 4-3 defense, so I doubt that after coaching this system, they will change everything up. And Beason said he was thrilled to play for a team with a 4-3 cause that better suits his playing style. But I would like to see peps at OLB from time to time like the Dolphins use Jason Taylor.

Tim Shaw will most likely be a backup and special teams ace, but in the even the coaches needed him to, he could adjust to safety. Anyone who plays linebacker or running back must have good lateral movement. But I'm not too worried about the safety situation this season. I think Tim Lewis will be able to do a good job with whoever is in there.

Posted by: MM | May 1, 2007 2:14:55 PM

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