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June 23, 2008

Jarrett pleads guilty to DWI

    Now maybe Dwayne Jarrett can get on with his life.

    Jarrett, the Panthers' second-year wide receiver, took responsibility for his March 11 driving while impaired arrest at his Mecklenburg County District Court appearance Monday, pleading guilty to the charge and surrendered his driver's license. He was ordered to pay $420 in court costs and perform 24 hours of community service. He will also enter the first stage of the NFL's substance abuse program. That means he will be subject to more frequent tests for drugs and alcohol.

    Young guys make mistakes, and too many of them involve drinking and driving. Fortunately, Jarrett's incident didn't hurt anyone. And the Panthers have made it clear to him that they expect no more such problems in the future.

    Jarrett addressed the issue earlier this month, telling reporters following an offseason training activity workout, "I was more disappointed in myself than anything.  And something like that definitely adds on to the pressure that you already have (on the field). I'm strong and it won't hold me down."

    Many observers believe that Jarrett has improved dramatically from the disappointment who caught six passes in his rookie season of 2007.

Now that must carry over into his personal life as well. He's saying the right things and not making excuses; now he must act on them.

-- Stan Olson

Posted by Observer Sports on June 23, 2008 at 01:49 PM | Permalink

Comments

From an AP article this afternoon:

"This is a thing that happened and you learn from your mistakes," the 6-foot-4 Jarrett said outside the courthouse. "You always have to take the right steps in everything you do. That's life in general. I took full responsibility for what happened. I'm here in court. Everything worked out."

Jarrett also had a well-documented run-in with the team's star receiver, Steve Smith. While conducting an interview at his locker with reporters, Smith interrupted and told Jarrett he should spend more time in the film room instead of talking to reporters.

"He's definitely one of the most explosive players in the NFL and he's someone you take heed to," Jarrett said. "We collided heads at times, but he wanted the best for me. We just had that miscommunication between us and we worked things out. There's no bad blood between us. I'm here every day working hard just like he is and I'm just trying to learn from him."

Jarrett said he and Smith, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, have since smoothed their differences.

"We definitely had a lot of talks the last year and that is between us," Jarrett said. "There's nothing I can pinpoint on. But he came to me and said some things he wished he could have handled better as far as things he said in the past and got out -- that kind of conflict between us that it was made to look like in the paper. But he's my teammate and we're just trying to get the Panthers back to that big game and I'm trying to do everything in my power to help them."

Jarrett is saying all the right things right now, and I especially like that he pleaded guilty and accepted responsibility for what he did. It will be interesting to see how much effort he puts in camp and when the season comes around. I don't see him becoming a superstar, but with as many slaps in the face he has received over the past year, he should wake up and prove he can play in the NFL..."should" is the key word there though.

Posted by: mountaineerdynAsty | Jun 23, 2008 2:29:17 PM

Mountain, I agree, and he really did look good in workouts. I think now that his head is on right (he had no idea what he was getting into last year), he could evolve into a big contributor...

Posted by: stan olson | Jun 23, 2008 3:05:30 PM

Thanks for that tidbit, Stan, I hadn't heard much on his progress during OTA's. This definitely is a make or break year for him, if only for the fact that the talent pool is the deepest it's been in quite some time. So, if he can't find the motivation to push himself to another level and compete with these guys for serious playing time, he never will. When he couldn't even beat out Colbert and Carter for a starting job, let alone being on the active roster, that spoke volumes about his maturity level. Here's to hoping he's cleared that mental hurdle.

Posted by: mountaineerdynAsty | Jun 23, 2008 3:31:53 PM

There is real talent there, something I wasn't sure of last year. A lot of rookies get more than they expect when they hit the NFL, and I think Jarrett simply didn't realize how great the gulf is between a top college program and the big boys.

Posted by: stan olson | Jun 23, 2008 4:32:12 PM

Jarrett has certainly made his mistakes with his first season with the Panthers, but people have to remember he was only 20 years old when drafted. He faced the music with his DWI, didn't give any excuses or deny taking a test like Benson, which shows character in my book. Maybe he's maturing, his words definitely sound as if he is. He now could use a little support from teammates and fans.

Posted by: Reno | Jun 23, 2008 7:51:17 PM

Sounds great.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Jun 23, 2008 9:36:26 PM

It's funny you brought up Carter, Mountaineer. I just saw an article saying that Carter might have been one of the Raider's best offseason signings based on what he's done in camp. Well we've all heard that story. He was always great in camp without pads on. I just think it is funny because we heard that line every year with him.

In any case hopefully Jarrett does have his head on straight. Moose won't be around for a lot more time, and Hackett has to stay healthy.

Posted by: Ashe | Jun 23, 2008 10:53:29 PM

Carter probably was one of the Raiders' best offseason signings, for a couple of reasons. For one, we're talking about the Raiders, a team that doesn't tend to make a whole lot of good signings in the first place. But secondly, Carter really does fit with what the Raiders like to do in the passing game- chuck it deep and hope someone catches it. Carter certainly has the speed for that- he'll just never be an every down receiver for most teams because he can't make the tough grabs in traffic.

Posted by: Haywood Jablowmi | Jun 23, 2008 11:14:58 PM

Carter is an intriguing player. Physically he is one of the most talented players the Panthers have drafted. He has Smith-like-speed, size, and elusiveness. Now here is where it gets intriguing, why can't he catch routine passes? Some would say he just has hands of stone, but I tend to think otherwise. I think he was okay with where his level of play was at and had no hunger to better himself. If he really wanted to quit dropping passes, he could have put in extra time on the practice field to put an end to it. You always hear the cliche about a change of scenery being good, but when you lack that desire, like so many of the elite NFL players have, I can't imagine that light switch turning on in a different city. All in all, Carter was not hurting the Panthers cap and I think there was a reason they let him walk.

Posted by: mountaineerdynAsty | Jun 23, 2008 11:31:16 PM

the sad thing is that a drunk Jarrett is still better than both of us

Posted by: Keary Colbert and Drew Carter | Jun 24, 2008 7:26:22 AM

Funny...Colbert and Carter have been starters on a playoff team. Jarrett couldn't even get in the lineup for a 7-9 team with a TERRIBLE wideout corps.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jun 24, 2008 9:07:19 AM

http://www.sportsline.com/spin/story/10868945

Please vote for Sir Purr!!! Our mascot needs our help. Today is the last day to vote.

Go Panthers!!!

Posted by: Stargazer2426 | Jun 24, 2008 9:34:31 AM

Todd Pinkston also started on some playoff teams with terrible wideout corps.

Posted by: Keary Colbert and Drew Carter | Jun 24, 2008 9:49:19 AM

And Pinkston, just like Colbert and Carter, has shown to be head and shoulders above what Jarrett has offered.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jun 24, 2008 10:54:32 AM

I'd rather take a receiver who struggles his rookie year and then progresses than one who overachieves his rookie year and then gets progressively worse.

Jarrett isnt the only reciever to struggle his rookie year, so you should use that to base your argument.

Isaac Bruce had 22 catches his rookie year while playing in 12 games

Steve Smith had 10 receptions in 15 games his rookie year

Posted by: superfan | Jun 24, 2008 11:21:22 AM

Proctologist,

You are the most contrary person I have ever seen.

There is only one thing that Pinkston, Carter, and Colbert have "shown to be head and shoulders above what Jarrett has offered" and that is at underachieving. They all underachieved for SEVERAL seasons while 21 yr old Jarrett has only underachieved for ONE season in a position (WR) where production is never expected to be great in your rookie year.

Carter didn't even play a down his rookie season due to injury, and his second season he had a whopping 5 catches for 103 yds, WAY outperforming Jarrett's 6 for 73 yds.

We all know Colbert had a promising rookie year, but that success could be attributed to the fact that Muhammad had a 93 catch, 1405 yd, 16 TD season, and every defense was rolling help to his side because they did not fear the rookie on the other side. This is made clear by the fact that Colbert piled up a 16 yard per catch average that year, when he has never been known for his speed or deep threat ability. He caught several deep passes that year because most teams were only making him beat one man (their second best CB at that) and his production dropped off considerably after week 8, when teams began to realize they couldn't just give him freebies and actually started defending him. Incidentally, the Panthers actually were much more successful AFTER Colbert's production dropped off in 2004. Once defenses started rolling coverage his way after week 8, Muhammad gathered 909 of his 1405 yds, 12 of his 16 TDs, and the Panthers went 6-3. In the first 8 weeks, Colbert played in 6 games and piled up 24 of his 47 catches and 411 of his 754 yds, and the Panthers went 1-5. Besides, after his rookie season his production was non-existent, with his 3rd year being the worst when he snagged a whopping 5 passes for 56 yards.

I am not defending Jarrett or saying that he is going to be a great in this league, but you are arguing a point which absolutely makes no sense. Carter and Colbert are GONE and Pinkston was never with this team, while Jarrett is still potentially a part of the teams future. And his ONE chance, his ROOKIE season, was no worse than individual seasons that both Colbert and Carter showed us while they were with the team.

All I am saying is that sometimes you don't HAVE to try to make a point. Especially when it is one as weak as this. Colbert and Carter were not the answer at our #2 WR position, and Jarrett may not be either, but regardless, what is the point of you arguing over which career backup is better?

Posted by: Steve | Jun 24, 2008 12:14:55 PM

My point was simply that Dwayne Jarret has done absolutely nothing to show himself as a better player than Colbert, Carter, or Pinkston, as "Keary Colbert and Drew Carter" alleged. It's not simply that Jarrett didn't produce last year. If he had struggled last year because of an injury or talent ahead of him, that would be one thing. However, the only reason he didn't see the field in spite of an abundance of talent was his lack of effort with the playbook and in the film room. I'll take a less talented player who works hard over an athletic specimen who doesn't try any day. Furthermore, Jarrett was rated as a borderline first-round pick, which is higher than both Carter (by a WIDE margin) and Colbert. The argument shouldn't even be necessary.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jun 24, 2008 12:46:32 PM

So then why writoff Jarrett so soon?

Posted by: superfan | Jun 24, 2008 1:08:39 PM

Jarrett didn't produce last year, bottom line. The fact of the matter is WR is a position that sees very little production from rookies, especially first and second round picks. I'm by no means justifying his lack of production, but he was in the same boat as plenty of players drafted early. Colbert produced his rookie season and then regressed, so that's just befuddling to be the exception to the rule and then fall of the face of the earth. Peter Warrick, Travis Taylor...now of the Panthers, Sylvester Morris, R. Jay Soward, and Plaxico Burress were all drafted in the first round in the 2000 NFL Draft. All of those players, with the exception of Burress, who had a miserable rookie campaign playing 12 games, have been complete flops. You can go through every year and see the same thing, so Jarrett's struggles are sadly the norm, excuseable? Hardly, but I'm not going to crucify him for last season.

Posted by: mountaineerdynAsty | Jun 24, 2008 1:09:06 PM

I'll say it again -- I have hope for Jarrett largely because Moose is back in the lineup. Moose was, according to the man himself, a big reason why Steve Smith went from being a fleet-footed hothead (whom I once stupidly advocated cutting in the Observer forums) to one of the top 5 receivers in the NFL. I hope Moose helps get Jarrett straightened out too. Jarrett obviously doesn't have Smith's crazy angry drive, but maybe he can become a solid possession guy.

Posted by: BullCityDog | Jun 24, 2008 1:48:22 PM

Let's remember who was throwing to all our receivers last year. I'm glad in a way, Fox gave Jarrett more time. We'll see if it pays off this year with Delhomme throwing to him. I just hope he's learned the playbook by now. He definitely has talent.

Posted by: DrTarheel63 | Jun 24, 2008 2:18:38 PM

DT, you might have a point if Jarrett had even been good enough to get a jersey and get in the games. The quality of our QBs didn't matter when he was sitting there in his NFL Officially Licensed Team Gear sweatsuit.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jun 24, 2008 2:23:25 PM

Exactly Procton, "the argument shouldn't even be necessary."

So why argue every single time someone posts their opinion on here? Who cares if Colbert and Carter have produced more? Neither of them showed us anything while they were here, and in his single season, Jarrett hasn't either. So why argue? None of these players matter for our long term goals, except for MAYBE Jarrett if he turns out to be better than advertised.

And just to be straight, Colbert and Jarrett were drafted in the same round, and who cares about draft predictions which put Jarrett as a "first round talent"? All that matters is where he WAS drafted. Ryan Leaf, Robert Gallery, Mike Williams, Tim Biakabutuka, the posterboy for college busts: Lawrence Phillips, etc. were all 1st round talents, and not one of them did anything in the NFL. Also, Drew Carter was rated much higher than his 5th round status based on talent, and only fell as far as he did because of ACL injuries in his sophomore and senior seasons which scared most teams away. Even after his knees were repaired, he still ran the 40 in the low 4.3 range, meaning that by your reasoning he still has the TALENT to be really good. I also found an article from Panthers.com that stated that Carter was "very easy-going and laid back". At 6-3 200 lbs. with 4.3 speed, maybe his problem was that he didn't have to drive to put in the effort to make his hands better, same as Jarrett not studying the playbook enough.

Procton, it is ok to just let people put in their two-cents sometimes without feeling the need to rebut them.

Posted by: Steve | Jun 24, 2008 4:22:51 PM

Steve, if you want to allow other people to spread misinformation on this board, that's fine. Your prerogative. I, on the other hand, won't have players who have contributed to the success of this team trashed for the sake of a kid who lazed his way to a TERRIBLE season at a position where we desperately needed him.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jun 24, 2008 10:31:27 PM

Procton,

For you to equate other people's opinions to spreading "misinformation" is just completely asinine and disrespectful. It's why you're not getting much in the way of respect when you post your opinion as "FACT" all the time. Individual statistics, while true in their own right, don't always add up to the opinionated conclusions that you personally draw from them...at least, not in the opinions of others.

You also seem to vacillate between arguing that TALENT matters most...and then discard it when PRODUCTION matters more...to support whatever argument you're making. All of these players have talent or they wouldn't even have made it to the NFL level. It's how that talent PRODUCES compared to other talented defenders, that matters to a team's success. Note, I didn't say an individual's success, because those accolades only matter to the Hall of Fame. It's a team's success that's the deciding factor from year-to-year in whether a player and his teammates get to go deep into the playoffs and win championships.

So, let's go back and review. It's true that Keary Colbert and Drew Carter contributed in some ways to the team's success. I would argue Colbert had the most impact despite being thrust into a starting role his rookie season. He went on to catch 47 balls for 754 yards and 5 TDs. Okay. That's fair given the expectations people probably had of him. His production, however, has gone down every year after that. He got injured, went on the IR, and just never came back to perform at a similar level. He got a fair amount of playing time last year while defenses were double- or triple-covering Smith. Despite that, he just couldn't get open or make plays that impacted the outcome of the games. So, time to reload...

Let's look at Drew Carter. He started on injured reserve with his ACL problem the same year Colbert was having his career season in 2004. He broke into the line-up in 2005 and dazzled people with a 44-yard play on his very first catch. Since then? His best season was 38 catches for 517 years and 4 TDs. Okay numbers. Not great. But enough to get Oakland interested in him. And Colbert's numbers did the same for Denver. Still, Carter had his chances. He just couldn't fill that #2 or #3 slot receiver position for us in a manner that produced wins.

Now Dwayne Jarrett. Not a lot to write home about so far. He runs a poor 40-yard dash time. Smith has implied Jarrett doesn't study enough film or learn his playbook like a pro needs to do. He's made 6 catches for us, none of them earth-shattering in importance. Supposedly, he still has TALENT, of course. We're just waiting to see the production on the field. Given that he's seen little time on the field, that's kind of hard to do.

People can claim his lack of production when he DID see the field had something to do with the QBs throwing his way. Probably not a lot, but maybe a little bit there. It's okay to leave some possibility it could have played a factor in the backup QBs finding him. The guy's route-running could have been a factor too. His competitiveness and work ethic, as well. It's all a combination of those things.

Meanwhile, let's go back to TALENT. We know Jarrett produced with his talent while playing at USC. The only question is whether that came as a result of the system and all the other stars he had as teammates. Or does he truly have NFL-calibre talent? We don't know yet. And until he gets on the field and sees more plays with the first-teamers (even if it's a situational play for him), we still won't know.

So speculating on his value at this point is worthless. Let the man put in his time at training camp. Give him a chance to prove he can compete. Then, if he makes the team, give him a chance to prove he can produce. If he can set aside the scrutiny around the DWI...learn the system...and show he's matured (both physically and mentally) in his approach to his career, then we may a VERY good receiving corps on our hands. All he has to do is play up to his potential with no more distractions. But if it doesn't pan out (whether in training camp or this season), he's likely gone.

My two-cents,
--Neil

Posted by: NSpicer | Jun 25, 2008 4:09:15 PM

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