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August 23, 2007

Should Panthers sign Jeremiah Trotter?

If you go by e-mail topics, there seems to be a buzz among fans that the Panthers should sign linebacker Jeremiah Trotter.

On the surface, it makes some sense. Dan Morgan’s health will always be an issue and Trotter’s had a long, productive career in the middle. Seems like a fit.

Except its not a fit for anybody who’s been watching the Panthers in recent years. The days of bringing in old guys for one last ride (see Nate Newton, Reggie White, Eugene Robinson, Eric Swann, Chuck Smith, Natrone Means, etc.) ended when George Seifert left town.

The fact is the Eagles cut Trotter because coach Andy Reid believed he’d lost a step after watching the linebacker in training camp. Reid’s career record is a pretty good sign he knows what he’s talking about.

Believe it or not, the Panthers are comfortable with the linebackers they have, even though that includes Morgan and the annual concerns. Adam Seward can play the middle quite well on early downs and outside linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis can be every-down players. If Morgan goes out for the long term, Beason can slide to the middle and veteran Na’il Diggs can play the outside.

That’s the system coach John Fox and Marty Hurney have designed and other than bringing in Keyshawn Johnson a year ago, they’ve stuck to it. Even when Jason Sehorn, a Fox favorite from his New York days, was begging for a job a couple years ago, the Panthers stuck to their plan and let the washed-up safety keep looking.

Posted by Observer Sports on August 23, 2007 at 09:40 PM | Permalink


You have to remember; if you bring some one in, you're going to have to let some one else go. We can only keep 53 players. Bring in Trotter and who are you going to cut... Seward, Shaw? Doesn't make sense in the long run.

Posted by: Mills51 | Aug 23, 2007 10:23:22 PM

No, you keep Seward & Shaw and cut Diggs. Trotter can line up at any spot. He may have lost a step but at least he can step on the field without pulling his hamstring when the wind blows which is more than I can say for Diggs. Trotter also brings more veteran leadership to a very young linebacker corps.

Posted by: JT | Aug 23, 2007 11:33:08 PM

You cut Morgan and use the cap space to sign Trotter. Lost a step or not, he is still a good linebacker (on every down), a good fit for the panther defensive scheme, and very affordable. It's plainly obvious that this is the way to go.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Aug 23, 2007 11:35:47 PM

How exactly does Na'il Diggs qualify as injury-prone, exactly? The guy's missed more than 3 games a grand total of ONCE in his seven-year career, and he's averaged more than 14 games played. A gamechanger? CERTAINLY not, but injury-prone? Hardly. Is Smitty injury-prone? He had the same hammy pull last year, and his worst year was a whole half-season less than Diggs'.
As for Trotter, I have no idea why anybody thinks a guy with recent Pro Bowl-caliber play (and, specifically, a 100+ tackle season just last year) will come "cheap" or that he will be a good fit in our system given that he's never played in a system that wasn't ridiculously blitz-happy.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Aug 24, 2007 12:02:56 AM

First of all, the Panthers have alot of RAW talent at linebacker. I would consider it a positive to have some of the young bucks we've got. Why not just throw them to the wolves like witherspoon was....BEASON IN THE MIDDLE....DAVIS AT WEAK....AND ANDERSON AT STRONG. Seward is a great special teamer, but he is not ready...put your bucks in and tell them to let loose!

Posted by: Keith | Aug 24, 2007 12:15:06 AM

sign him, cut diggs! dooooooooooooo ittttttttt!!!!!!!!

Posted by: james austin | Aug 24, 2007 12:17:42 AM

I don't care much for Trotter. I like the guys we have and I think Tim Shaw will be pretty good someday. If Morgan gets hurt, then Diggs, Beason and Davis can play, and Anderson and Shaw provide decent depth. Trotter in Carolina won't be any better than Trotter was in Washington when he hadn't lost a step, which certainly a lot worse than Morgan at 100%. Not only that, but we're good at every position on D except safety, and Trotter won't help that. If we sign anybody else on defense, it will be a safety. And we're not looking that hard. I'm sure we'll draft one next year if Harris and Salley don't perform as expected.

Posted by: charlsong1 | Aug 24, 2007 12:17:46 AM

Procton, you are wrong on Diggs. He only played in 9 games for Green Bay in 2005. He only started 6 of those games. He injured his left MCL in camp and then his right MCL against us that year. Then what happens? He goes down against Miami last year with a knee injury. Then I believe this year he got hurt in camp. So I believe that qualifies him to be labeled injury-prone.

Posted by: Matt A | Aug 24, 2007 9:23:39 AM

why is no one giving us a shot to make it past the wildcard round? We went 5-1 in our division, swept the saints and bucs, had the lead going to the fourth in 13 of 16 games, and we're returning 18 of 22 starters. With the most dominating offensive and defensive players on our team(Smitty and Peppers) and a pretty easy schedule we should not only win our division, but we should make it to AZ in feb.

Posted by: rafi | Aug 24, 2007 9:36:34 AM

I dont see how getting Trotter can hurt the defense that only plays two quarters a game.

Posted by: The Critic | Aug 24, 2007 9:39:05 AM

Yes you get trotter. Leadership and his tackles are 100+. We need to stop the run. We need an insurance policy for Morgan. Youth need leadership. Our linebackers if you have not noticed get lost on the field. Trotter can help these guys. We will be a top 5 defence with that spot sured up.

Posted by: kwadjo | Aug 24, 2007 9:54:12 AM

uh, does anyone else think we might need to address the Safety issue?? I think Harris is good, but he looks lost against the pass, Deke Cooper is not good at all, and Nate Salley may be good, but he missed to much practice time, he may not be mentally or physically ready.

Pat, you said that they days of bringing in older players for one last ride ended with George Seifert, really? Have you already forgot Shaun (why is his name spelled that way) Williams, Keyshawn Johnson (that was last freakin season Pat!!!) Jesse Armstead, Kevin Donnaly, Todd Steussie...you get the point, its not out of the question for them to sign an older veteran player

Posted by: mattdaddy | Aug 24, 2007 10:00:45 AM

I would love trotter to come here but you have to make a cut. I agree with Mills51 you cut diggs and keep Sweard and Shaw.Trotter can play both all 3 positions at Linebacker.So if the we do go after him i say cut diggs sign trotter.

Posted by: Ryan Langley | Aug 24, 2007 1:11:09 PM


I'm tired of explaining myself.


Posted by: JAT | Aug 24, 2007 11:19:26 PM

trotter trotter, TROTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET TROTTER.

Posted by: james | Aug 25, 2007 1:21:51 AM

No, no, Matt, you're right. His ONE game he missed last year and the 7 he missed (barely half of what Steve Smith missed in ONE season) really qualify him. Again, he's averaged more than 14 games a season over 6 years. That's no fluke. Has he missed a real game yet this year?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Aug 25, 2007 1:35:00 PM

I don't get the point mattdaddy, since Williams wasn't old, Donnaly and Steussie paved the way for our Superbowl run, and Key was very serviceable in his last year. The point was Seifert brought in players PAST their ability to contribute. I agree that a safety would be a much better pick-up than a 'backer. We could sift through the cuts here shortly but we have a surplus of talent at interior o-line and at DE. A modest trade could help out a lot.

Posted by: S.H. | Aug 25, 2007 1:35:48 PM

the Panthers middle of the field is about as soft as the cream filling in a devil dog. they should agressively pursue trotter.

Posted by: john | Aug 25, 2007 1:52:16 PM

First off Procton, no one on here said that Smitty wasn't injury prone so I don't know why you insist on continuing to bring that up. Plus, as hard as Smitty plays it is going to open him up to getting hurt. I guess to try and give more credence to your argument. True, Diggs may avg 14 games a year, but the reality is the guy gets hurt and he's in the downside of his career so naturally that makes him more likely to get injured anyway.

He's had 3 full seasons out of 7:

2000 - High Ankle Sprain
2004 - Kidney Contusion
2005 - Right MCL Sprain, Left MCL Sprain
2006 - Knee Sprain
2007 - Hamstring Pull

So in the past two seasons and beginning of this one he's had a total of 4 separate injuries. I would be willing to bet he will suffer another before this season is over.

Posted by: Matt A. | Aug 25, 2007 4:15:28 PM

trotter is a bum...a real slow bum

Posted by: fuck charlotte | Aug 25, 2007 5:42:14 PM

Procton, you have a good fundamental background on Panther football, but please stop with the antidotal facts in your analysis to prove someone wrong. I haven't been fortunate enough to watch the pre-season games B/C I have Directv with no local channels in my area, and the Sunday Ticket doesn't include those games. I see several dynamics on the defensive performance that may or may not concern me. First is the pass rush. Well Rucker and Peppers have been very limited. I'm not even sure if Rucker has played a snap in pre-season. Maybe he has and I'm sure Procton will provide some valuable insight on that. But I do know Peppers has seen very limited action and McClover has started. Morgan has been held out for the most part excluding the one quarter he played today. Those are 3 key components of our Defense that influence the opponent's passing game. Secondary coverage can only hold on for so long until the QB finds one of his progrssion routs, which makes our CB's and Safties look worthless. Just from my perspective, I'm not a proponent of Trgovac as the D-coach. In my opinion, he runs a simple vanilla style defense that solely depends on the talent alone to do the job. Just recall the games against Dallas and Philly. I think we have a talented defense and a sub-par defensive strategy. It works against some teams, but will bite in the ass against others.

Posted by: SC | Aug 25, 2007 8:42:43 PM

I apoligize for talking too much, I need to get some steam out, especially after those thrashings in pre-season. Anyone who thinks that Trotter over Diggs wouldn't be an upgrade needs to have a mental adjustment. Diggs is not the LB solution. His best role is on the practice squad. We need that presence out there, especially given Morgan's record. I'm not saying go back to the George Seiffert philosophy, but when a player on the market can provide an immediate response regardless if he has lost a step from his 4 pro-bowl selections, he should be considered as a viable asset. As per how much money his services would command, who knows. It should definitly be explored in my opinion. As far as our offense in concerned, I think Davidson as the O-coach is going to be fine. He's moving people around on the line to make them more versatile for injury options. I want to believe that's the reason the offense hasn't performed exceptionally. And the Denver cut-blocking scheme is going to help in the running game. Now let me discuss something more controversial, if John Fox doesn't win this year you can bet Bill Cower is going to get the call. I like Fox, but his concervative approach has gone a bit extreme. We ran a no QB set for the entire half of the Atlanta game last year. And if you think that was because of Weinke alone, please let me know something I am completly ambiguous about. As a coach, I believe you need to be doctrinal conservative. However, you need to be flexible in your game approach and the will to adapt regardless of your philosophy. I think that's where Fox needs to elevate his coaching skills. That's just my broad opinion on a much more complicated. platform.

Posted by: SC | Aug 25, 2007 9:54:32 PM

Keith, you racist prick, no one uses buck anymore.Why would you refer to the term bucks describing the african american players. Please shut your mouth and Stop your comments and go make dinner.

Posted by: WOW | Aug 26, 2007 10:55:28 AM

1. sign trotter
2. if fox doesnt win this season take belicheck from the pats.
3. cut diggs.
you know bill loading the pats up in the offseason may be a sign that this is his last term in new england. parcells did the exact same thing before he left the teams he left. what do you guys think? also look at how long it took cower to win a super bowl? do you really want to wait that long in carolina? and if so then fox is as good as any to keep around because he may win it sooner than cower did in pittsburg. the panthers will win the superbowl this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: james | Aug 26, 2007 11:10:38 PM

SC, I agree with much that you say. Trgo seems too vanilla to me too, but EVERY time we bring the blitz, we get burnt. I'm worried about Pep. The "undisclosed illness" stuff is very disturbing. He was sick at the end of last year and lost a lot of weight. It affected his play. I hope and pray he is OK. I agree that Davidson is a good thing,and that the needed tinkering with the O-line is where our problem lies. Give Jake time and we're golden. He bounced a lot of balls off Panthers against the Pats. I also agree that if Foxey has a real bad year that The Chin will come upstate. Where I respectfully disagree: The no QB set vs. the Falcons was anything but conservative. Imagine the hits he would have taken from the media if it weren't HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL. Hello, the Falcons haven't stopped it YET! And yes, it was because of Weinke alone. Also more of a Henning than Fox thing, although you can bet Foxey signed off on it. I respected that then and I still do. He summoned the stones to do that and most coaches wouldn't. They would have lost the game. His use of DeAngelo won it. I also appreciate Proctons posts. He has helped inform, and is quite amusing as he ministers to the occasional dumbass in his patented fashion. You go Mike!

Posted by: S.H. | Aug 27, 2007 3:45:58 PM

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