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July 29, 2008

Stewart impressive in red-zone offense

SPARTANBURG -- Tuesday's practice is over as some threatening weather rolled toward Spartanburg. Here's how it went:

-- The Panthers spent a lot of time working on their red-zone offense during the day's single practice session. Rookie running back Jonathan Stewart was featured several times – often as a receiver. Stewart, who is a burly 5-10, 235 pounds, showed his strength more than once. On one play, he took a handoff and bowled over two defensive linemen at the goal line.

“He’s had some flashy looking runs ever since the first day,” said coach John Fox of Stewart, who is practicing after missing time in the spring because of a toe injury. “We’re easing him into it and he continues to impress us.”

The team also ran some plays using the play clock. Fox said the offense only made one error that forced a timeout.

“That’s pretty good for the first day on the play clock,” he said.

-- Receiver D.J. Hackett has had a quiet camp, but he caught two straight touchdown passes from Jake Delhomme during red-zone drills. The first scoring pass had rookie safety Charles Godfrey and cornerback Richard Marshall talking to each other about what went wrong. -- David Scott

-- Missing practice were: Defensive tackles Maake Kemoeatu (shoulder), Damione Lewis (leg) and Darwin Walker (head) and offensive tackle Charles Spencer (knee). Lewis said he was kicked and the injury wasn’t serious. Ian Scott and Gary Gibson replaced Kemoeatu and Lewis on the first-team defensive line during drills.

Running back Nick Goings, who sprained his ankle Sunday and missed Monday’s practices, returned Tuesday.

It’s worth keeping an eye on Spencer’s status. He’s had trouble with the knee, an injury that was largely responsible for him being waived by the Houston Texans.


Linebacker Landon Johnson, a free agent from Cincinnati who was signed in the offseason, is competing for a starting spot with Na’il Diggs.

“I’ll fit in wherever they need me,” said Johnson.

That spot is now strongside linebacker, after Thomas Davis switched to the weakside at the beginning of camp.

Panthers coaches have made things easier for newcomers like Johnson by simplifying their defensive scheme.

“There is a little more freedom as a player here than there was at Cincinnati,” said Johnson.

Said Beason of the competition between Diggs and Johnson, who started 53 games for the Bengals in four seasons: “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens. I think (Johnson) and Na’il are the same type. No one guy does one thing a lot better than the other. Landon’s a smart guy. He comes to work every day.” -- David Scott

Posted by Observer Sports on July 29, 2008 at 06:28 PM | Permalink


If Jonathan can hold up with the toe injury, Williams and Stewart will be a nice combo this year for you guys.(duh!) I can't wait to come to my first Panthers game!

Posted by: papa c | Jul 29, 2008 6:51:28 PM

The text is broken near the middle of the first paragraph. It jumps from Stewart to Landon Johnson with no transition. Just a heads-up, guys.

You're all doing an outstanding job with the coverage--kudos. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: hillbilly | Jul 29, 2008 6:57:52 PM

DT is now the weekness of the team. Ian Scott and Gary Gibson? I guess Stewart did look good against these bums. Jenks is out because he's not a company man. But our company men are old and mediocre. I hope Beason is ready to take on blockers heads up all season.

Posted by: ScooterMcGruber | Jul 29, 2008 7:38:16 PM

Thanks for the update, David. How great is it to be a Panthers fan right now???!! I can't wait to see these guys live on Saturday.

Posted by: Scott | Jul 29, 2008 7:39:49 PM

I'm happy to see that the offense is moving forward on all cylinders, but am I the only concerned one here that Marshall and Godfrey had to discuss what went wrong. Also, I'm concerned that it was Scoot and Gibson out there on the 1st team due to injuries. What's going to happen if that's the case in the regular season?

Posted by: Jared from Jersey | Jul 29, 2008 7:43:38 PM

Let's simplify the offense. I have a feeling that our wonderful outstanding great guy of a super bowl loser is not going to make it through the season and we need our great super wonderful outstanding backup to be able to run the offense. GO DEFENSE we are gonna need ya. Offense wins game but defense wins championships. Look everyone I didnt even mention JAKE SUCKS. oops... #1 panthers fan and #1 Guy who wants JAKE TRADED

Posted by: tj | Jul 29, 2008 7:54:40 PM

who do you suppose we trade Jake to?

Posted by: matt | Jul 29, 2008 8:08:14 PM

I think Jonathan will eventually take over full time as the Panthers primary running back and I'm not saying that because we're related. I'm not sure DeAngelo can take the every down pounding that Jonathan can(of course I'm biased). Plus, I believe DeAngelo will be much more effective on passing downs. Asking a linebacker to cover him will be a problem. The thing I wonder is when Jonathan does eventually become the main feature back, who takes over his kick-return duties?

Posted by: KoKo Bagginz | Jul 29, 2008 8:10:11 PM

I say we trade JAKE to anyone who will take him MATTY, problem is he is took high risk so we have to keep him MATTY. Seriously though guys, you can not honestly say you want that guy as your QB. Let's get McNair out of retirement and on a team with a running and passing game. We can trade JAKE to Bojangles as a chicken packer problem is he will fumble to many chickens

Posted by: tj | Jul 29, 2008 9:08:18 PM

I honestly do want the same qb who was the qb on two NFC championship game teams. If you have a realistic alternative to Jake, feel free

Posted by: matt | Jul 29, 2008 9:37:57 PM

tj, if you don't have something constructive to add to the discussion, just shut up!

Posted by: dbigcat | Jul 29, 2008 9:38:28 PM

I like Jake son. He is your father, I shoulda told you that before now.

Posted by: tj's mom | Jul 29, 2008 9:41:14 PM

tj you really are dumber than a sack of hammers aren't you? We should trade you for a dead chicken, then we would have something smarter than you. What is tj, toe jam?

Posted by: MadCat | Jul 29, 2008 9:43:51 PM

I wish we could trade your sorry a#@ to the WNBA. Shut up with hating on Jake. Season hasn't even started yet and no one wants to hear your nonsense....

P.S. TJ is a gay name.

Posted by: Smitty #1 | Jul 29, 2008 9:44:52 PM

TJ, what other quarterback besides Brady, Manning, Roethlisberger and McNabb have been with their teams for two NFC championship games since '03? Yeah, I thought so. If you want to argue, don't

Posted by: Craig | Jul 29, 2008 9:47:28 PM

Scooter...What's with all the panicking about the DT's? They gave the guys a day of rest because Lewis got kicked in the shin and Kemo had a sore shoulder. Every blog you read says these are minor injurires and given the practice schedule and Fox's propensity for trying to keep guys healthy...he gave them a day to heal up...so chill. I have yet to hear a coach or player complain about Jenkins not being on the team so doesn't really look like he's missed to me. If you read the Jets blogs he's not really wowing anyone up there either...especialy given the fact that he reported to camp over weight (word is he's up to 360lbs now), imagine that. You Jake haters are going to be eating it this year. If you're really a Panthers fan then how in the hell can you honestly say that we're not a better team with him under center after watching last season?

Posted by: JT | Jul 29, 2008 10:14:57 PM

"Stewart, who is a burly 5-10, 235 pounds, showed his strength more than once. On one play, he took a handoff and bowled over two defensive linemen at the goal line."

My first thought was, "why couldn't two D-linemen stop him?" Then I saw all the injuries and who was starting at DT in their place (a 2nd & 3rd stringer) and still had to wonder why O-line offensive line didn't blow up a hole in the D-line. Is it time to make a switch at RG, and even C??

All that being said (and asked), it's awesome to hear that Stewart has got the power to run people (especially DT's) over!!! One of the "experts" at ESPN was questioning his ability to do so. Hah!

Posted by: SYRPIS | Jul 29, 2008 10:37:30 PM

Yeah it sounds like the injuries to Kemoeatu and Lewis are minor...and even if they weren't, it's not like that suddenly would make DT our weakest position. It's already our weakest position. Lewis has been a decent pass rushing DT for us but he and Maake don't scare anybody. And we don't have a whole lot of quality depth behind them either. But as long as Peppers returns to form (hopefully better, as Gross suggests) and Brayton or someone does a decent job at the other DE spot, our defense will be more than OK. Possibly top 10 in the NFL if Stewart and D-Lo come on strong and keep the D off the field.

Posted by: DB | Jul 29, 2008 11:37:06 PM

Thanks for the updates! Can we get an update on how Otah looks in practice?

Posted by: ibkozi | Jul 30, 2008 1:30:46 AM

SYRPIS, you are not at training camp, so why would you make changes to a team that you cannot see for yourself. I'm sure there were plenty of other instances where the o line blew open a hole, or when the DTs stuffed the run.

in fact, i heard jake threw a bad pass, lets trade him and get brett favre....

yeah likely.

The blog only represents a small part of practice, why don't you wait until preseason starts, then you can decide.

Posted by: scottish panther | Jul 30, 2008 3:48:37 AM

Hey Scott... I know your no Englishman and therefor proper English is not your first language, but didn't you see the question marks (just like this one-->)? That typically means someone is asking a question, not making a statment.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Jul 30, 2008 5:19:10 AM

"Tuesday's practice is over as some threatening weather rolled toward Spartanburg."

They ended practice early not because it was lightning, not even because it was raining. It was ended because some big mean dark clouds were moving towards Spartanburg but not there.

John Fox is such a p*ssy and it carries over to this team. He needs to stop worrying so much about being a "players coach" and buddies with these players and more about making this team good. I mean is the team even going back to Spartanburg after Fan Fest? He ends camp earlier and earlier every year so he can get back to playing golf and eating at steak houses every night.

Maybe he should go have lunch with Tom Coughlin and ask him how much he babies his players.

Posted by: Harold Gogonards | Jul 30, 2008 7:40:23 AM

If Gary Gibson has to play significant minutes all you people that are talking playoffs can forget it.

I don't think anyone realizes just how pathetically weak the d-line is.

Love is blind...

Posted by: scary | Jul 30, 2008 7:42:08 AM

"Hey Scott... I know your no Englishman and therefor proper English is not your first language"

I am guessing English is not your first language as well?

Posted by: Mason | Jul 30, 2008 8:54:59 AM

I wouldn't make too much of this at all. This is training camp, and much like the preseason games you're going to get looks at different guys during different plays for a variety of reasons. It's a feeling out period and a time for the players to learn the offensive/defense together. The defense is going to allow plays like this, just like the offense is going to fumble the ball.

Would you rather hear only about one side all the time making big plays? I know I wouldn't, because that means we are really weak at one spot. Scary, I'll admit that on paper the D-line doesn't look like a
very strong as a unit, but lets give them a chance (ie. playing a real game or two) before we write off the playoffs next year.

Posted by: James | Jul 30, 2008 8:55:40 AM

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