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May 15, 2008

Panthers have beefed up on offense

    Last season, the Panthers' offensive unit averaged 257 pounds, while Minnesota led the league at 279, with 22 of the 32 teams averaging 260 or more. Obviously, this mid-season estimate from ESPN.com changed from week to week due to injuries, but you get the general idea; Carolina was built more for finesse than power.

       If we average the projected offensive starters for 2008 -- and count rookie running back Jonathan Stewart in the mix instead of the lighter DeAngelo Williams -- Carolina is going into camp with an offensive starting unit that should come in at 264.6 pounds, an increase of 7.6 pounds. While that doesn't seem like much on the face of it, only 11 teams averaged more in last season's assessment.

    That figure would increase by at least a pound should guard Toniu Fonoti, listed at 350, but looking a bit lighter than that at minicamp, beat out 325-pound Keydrick Vincent, the projected starter at RG.  It would drop just a little if veteran DeAngelo Williams (217 pounds) gets the nod to open at RB instead of Stewart (235).

    Whichever way the Panthers go, the unit should still be a more powerful bunch than the 2007 group, which should be to coach John Fox's liking.

-- Stan Olson

Posted by Observer Sports on May 15, 2008 at 03:44 PM | Permalink


POWER running is the game...I live in cleveland and know what a power running attack can do when used properly. Wheather it be the Steelers, Ravens or Browns ( well only just last season), the power running attack opens up many passing windows and just seems to grind teams down. I know its not flashy but it works. Not only that but it keeps a defense fresh, and our defense seems rather stacked at this point as long as our DL works out.

Posted by: randy | May 15, 2008 4:03:47 PM

Yeah sounds good to me..but Deangelo will be starting being that Stewart will be returning kick offs as fox has recently said...I mean..there really won't be a "starting" RB for this offense until One emerges as the guy....One will get more Carries than the other probably...and that will depend on who does better and or..the offensive game plan that week. I don't care either way as I like them both.
Now all we need is better more aggressive play calling from Davidson/Fox

Posted by: Cheven | May 15, 2008 4:39:53 PM


"Sorry Pats!?!?!" Are you %#&@! kidding me!?! People need to change the ol' addage, "Money talks and BS walks" to "Money talks and people gawk!" Are you buying the innocence of the New England Paper Champions for a second??

Posted by: SYRPIS | May 15, 2008 5:05:37 PM

I'm buying that many many teams are involved in cheatiing

Posted by: matt | May 15, 2008 5:11:04 PM

Of course they aren't innocent, and I agree with Matt saying that many teams are involved with cheating as well, even if it isn't to the extent of what the Pats did. I really hate that it came out a few years back that our Super Bowl team had guys using steroids on it, but they aren't the only ones. It's really a shame for the majority that don't cheat, because it only takes a few bad ones to create an image. What the Pats were doing...that wasn't just a few players, it was an organization, whether known by the players or not. I'm honestly not even mad about it anymore, because by bringing that garbage to light it brings down the arrogant Bill Belichick. He was always a cocky man with no respect for his opponents, and before it was hard to argue that he didn't have reason to be cocky. Now, he's just a guy who apparently is consumed by winning at any cost, even if it means doing something which takes away from the value of winning. Now that arrogant man has to live with everyone knowing how weak he really is, and karma is a $#@%$ when you go into a Super Bowl undefeated and come out beat up losers.

Posted by: James | May 15, 2008 5:35:23 PM

Thanks James... not to mention no class at all!!! ... walking off of the field like that before the game is even over...?!?!

Posted by: SYRPIS | May 15, 2008 7:40:11 PM

BTW... despite Kraft doing his best to bury the embarrassing reality of what a fluke his organization is, other people are still talking about it as well. This is from Fox's latest Q&A session:

Q. About Spygate, how do you think (New England's illegal videotaping practices) affected our Super Bowl (against the Patriots in 2004)? "Wow. I thought I was getting softballs here, but I got a changeup. It's something that the league is dealing with. When I went swimming as a youth, they always told me to stay in my lane. So that's not something I feel free to comment on. It's hard to say. There was no hard evidence that did occur, so we'll just leave it at that."

Posted by: SYRPIS | May 15, 2008 7:46:23 PM

James, OF COURSE it was used by the players. They were able to study signals and audibles, and when the coaches called plays designed to take advantage of the fact that, umm...the Patriots knew what was coming, they were able to run right to the ball.

Posted by: Michael Procton | May 15, 2008 8:26:44 PM

I don't think more weight equates to better play. It may create a physical team, which is what the Panthers are looking for this season.

Posted by: Mike Conrad | May 15, 2008 9:21:00 PM

the only thing different about the patriots from many other teams is that they got caught.

Posted by: matt | May 15, 2008 9:25:20 PM

Too bad that is not how it works, Procton. Nobody knows exactly how they used those signals except for the Pats themselves. Football is no different than baseball and many players and coaches have acknowledged the fact that you change your signals almost every game. It is completely acceptable within league rules to use binoculars to watch the coaches make signals and you could then write it down by hand what the signal was and what was called. The act of using technology to record is what is prohibited. So, naturally teams change their signals on a regular basis. There is no telling of what use those signals actually were, not to mention the fact they were never used in the same game they were videotaped. Everyone is trying to gain an advantage one way or another. It just so happens the Pats were the ones who got caught, which is unfortunate for them.

Posted by: yo'momma | May 15, 2008 9:28:17 PM

The Panthers use of steroids in the 2003 season was far worse than anything the Patriots did with "Spygate". Regardless of what the Patriots saw on tape, they couldn't have used any of it until the NEXT time they played one of those teams and the Dolphins and Browns have been through multiple coaches since then, meaning the signals changed with the coaching staff. Even on top of that, players make plays. The Panthers put out some fraudulent players such as Todd Steussie, Jeff Mitchell, and Kevin Donnalley in the Super Bowl. While the position players that helped the Panthers get to their highest point should be revered, the lineman who got them there were ACTUAL, PHYSICAL cheaters. Juicing takes more away from the game than stealing signals ever could. In football, you are taught to steal signals as they come.

Posted by: Al | May 15, 2008 10:49:40 PM

You mean to tell me that you think none of the pats, like Harrison and Bruschi, were on roids?!?

Changing play calls every game?? To some degree, yes. With the superbowl, the first half was pretty stagnant on offense, but after the half-time extravaganza the panthers couldn't seem to call the right defense!!! And no, not every team gets away with sending spies to practices and opponent sidelines with video cameras. Finally, the officiating during that superbowl could be called biased at the absolute minimum.

The Panthers were robbed of a superbowl victory officially, but watching that game, you can obviously see who the better team was...

Posted by: SYRPIS | May 15, 2008 11:03:38 PM

*I meant Matt...

Posted by: SYRPIS | May 15, 2008 11:06:24 PM

The panthers weren't robbed of the superbowl, they simply didn't execute when it mattered most (2pt. conversions, kasay kickoff, stopping that final drive)

Posted by: matt | May 16, 2008 6:23:51 AM

For anyone who thinks that NE did not use those tapes during games, including playoffs and Super Bowls is plain crazy. I for one am trilled that Sen. Spector is going to hold an investigation. Hopefully he will start sending subpoenas to Belichick and the rest of the NE cheats in late August, early September. It will be a great day when Belichick gets in front of the committee and trys to pull his arrogant bs one liners and those senators eat him alive. And when ol' Belicheat lies I hope they lock him up.

Posted by: J Thomas | May 16, 2008 9:57:16 AM

Procton, where did you read in my post that the players didn't use or benefit from the tapes? Absolutely they benefitted, but I have no idea and neither do you if the players were aware of the source of Bellichick's supposed play calling genius. Regardless, I think we all agree that it was dirty and rightfully brought to the surface.

As far as comparing what a few of the Panthers players did with the Pats coaching staff Al, are you kidding me? Both are jacked up I must say, but when you know who's dropping back into coverage, who's blitzing, etc. you can design your plays around that. That is much more than a few individuals with tiny balls getting an extra shoove. Not to mention the Pats cheating was an organizational decision, not an individual one. I'm not justifying either because I don't like cheating regardless, but playing off the Pats crap like it's just another day at the park sounds a lot like you do not undestand the part of football that compares to a chess match. I've seen a lot of sports media doing the same thing, and here's my question for them and you.

If it didn't benefit them, then why did they do it and take the risk associated with getting caught?

Yeah, sleep on that one and tell me it didn't help.

Posted by: James | May 16, 2008 12:09:47 PM

"whether known by the players or not."

They were STUDYING those tapes. There is no way they didn't know.

Posted by: Michael Procton | May 16, 2008 12:56:08 PM

That's ridiculous Al, they didn't have to wait for the next time they played a team to use their signals, they only had to wait till the next HALF. I remember commenting a while back about how much I hated Belichick and the Pats but how I had to hand it to them that they were the best at making half time adjustments to their opponents and I felt that's what makes a great coach. Well now we see how they made those adjustments don't we?
I really wish someone could find the differences in the Patriots first half and second half numbers over the last couple years. I'm sure there would be a large discrepancy and it would make for a great article. I remember many Patriots games in which it was close in the first half and then they just lit it up in the second. Our Super Bowl being a prime example.
As for our steroid users being worse than spy-gate Al, (both of course are cheating) but which do you think alters the outcome of a game more? Three individuals who's performance is improved due to cheating? OR an entire team whose performance is improved due to cheating? I rest my case.
This spygate thing is worse than even the media is allowing it to be, especially considering how many games and super bowls have been won by the Cheatriots during the "spygate era" starting in 2000. It also shows how completely arrogant Patriots fans are as well. Red Sox fans too I imagine.

Posted by: Christian | May 16, 2008 1:06:31 PM

I'd also like to add, that if John Fox and/or our coaching staff was proven to have used similar cheating tactics to win games, I as an ardent Panthers fan, would be calling for their jobs. I'd rather be a fan of a losing ethical team, than a winning cheating team. Same for any players who use steroids, I don't want them on my team. Even if it were my favorite player Steve Smith. I don't see hardly any Patriots fans with the integrity to call for Belichick's job. Nope, they'd rather just cheat and take the trophies.

Posted by: Christian | May 16, 2008 1:12:09 PM

Procton, so the Pat's studied the plays. They made a few more plays to win the game. Nobody remembers who finished 2nd. I am not a Pats fan but will give them their due. One day ,maybe you can become a winner.

Posted by: James | May 16, 2008 1:19:46 PM

Oh yeah, I forgot to ask about that Super Bowl. There was like a minute left after the Panthers scored to tie it up. John Kasay was just about ready to kick it off and then my cable went out.

It ended in a tie, right?

Posted by: Livin' in a cave | May 16, 2008 4:48:59 PM

I didn't write that last blog...and as far as the players studying them Procton, in what report did that come out? I'm not saying they did or didn't, but if evidence involving players surfaced, then I never saw any of it. I suppose I could have missed it, but if you find a reliable source that points out without a doubt that players were studying film please let me know where you got it from. Once again, you try to pick apart something I wrote that had nothing to do with the major point.

Posted by: James | May 16, 2008 5:59:15 PM

Who cares if Fonoti loses weight or not...It is clear the better gaurd is Vincent. Fononti would NOT be good next to the drafted rookie. Veteran Vincent has serious techique and could get this rookie ready.

Posted by: D | May 28, 2008 1:36:35 PM

the funny thing is that i believe brown got more money than vincent or fonotti. correct me if im wrong.everybody seems to forget about him.
also,pro football weekly called vincent the weak link in their line.

Posted by: ray | May 29, 2008 10:43:21 AM

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