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July 27, 2008

Stewart's new tutor: Natrone Means

When Panthers general manager Marty Hurney talks about rookie running back Jonathan Stewart, he sometimes reminisces about two backs who helped lead his teams to Super Bowls -- Stephen Davis and Natrone Means.

Davis, a Spartanburg native, helped the Panthers reach the Super Bowl during the 2003 season. Means' running was a key to the San Diego Chargers reaching the title game against San Francisco in 1994.

Hurney was the Panthers' GM in '03 and worked for Chargers' GM Bobby Beathard in '94.

Now, Means has joined Hurney during training camp to help tutor the Panthers' running backs, including Stewart.

Means is one of four men who are serving coaching internships for the Panthers as part of the NFL's minority fellowship program.

Means, who formerly starred at North Carolina and Central Cabarrus High, said he's excited about working with Stewart, DeAngelo Williams and the rest of the Panthers' backs.

Means acknowledged that Stewart reminds him of himself. Like Means "back in the day," Stewart is  compact, muscular, powerful, and fast.

Stewart is 5-10, 235 pounds. Means was 5-10, 245.

More on this in tomorrow's print and online editions of the Observer.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on July 27, 2008 at 05:33 PM | Permalink


I think if Stewart is healthy, he will finally be the stud this team has needed for a few years now. If I was him, I would listen to Natrone Means who back in his day and when he was on, was one of the best and powerful backs in the NFL. And if thats not enough, that stiff arm and the respect he gets from the defense on his strength and cutting ability make me get goosebumps about the upcoming season. Go Panthers and Go Joe Fields.

Posted by: Orange Chuck | Jul 27, 2008 5:45:35 PM

agreed...i hope stewart turns out to be our answer for a power back but wont know FOR SURE till the season starts....I do believe that stewart WONT be an eric shelton...sheltons biggest problem i think was attitude and laziness and from what i have heard it sounds like stewart does NOT have issues with any of that....i am excited about the potential for this yr

Posted by: wvtrailertrash | Jul 27, 2008 6:27:06 PM

Anyone "Actually" remember when Natrone Means was signed and Played for the Panthers????????

Yea, I go back that far and have always followed this team.Maybe Frank Reich will be brought in to help Delhomme/Moore soon. ;)

{Off this Topic} I noticed in another blog earlier that someone was talking about the heat on Foxy and the Coaching staff again,with only making the playoffs 2 years out of 7,but they want to bring in a guy like Coward/Cowher who it even took longer ?Not to mention he had a worse playoff record and couldnt rebuild a 1-15 team.

Lay of the best coach the Panthers have/will ever have.......

Posted by: Ghost of Sparta | Jul 27, 2008 7:19:33 PM

Couldn't agree with you more Ghost. Foxy is a top tier coach. We are lucky to have him.

I remember Means also. Too bad he was on the down side of his career. Always enjoyed watching him play. Hopefully, Stew has more elusiveness, and is able to avoid any major injuries.

Posted by: iamhubby | Jul 27, 2008 7:35:20 PM

Unfortunately thats the nature of the business, speculating about how your team can get better but I agree, this team won't do any better then they did when they hired Coach Fox. These guys play their hearts out for him and when healthy, is one of the top contenders in the NFC. I think as long as this team is competitive and shows improvement from last year, which they will if healthy, I would not be shocked to see Coach Fox almost get a lifetime contract with this team. I think this is the best draft they have ever had from top to bottom and going to an experienced receiving corp with some young guns in the wings is a lot better then playing the young ones and hoping they mature in time. Go Panthers.

Posted by: Orange Chuck | Jul 27, 2008 7:56:25 PM

Fox is a good coach but getting in the playoffs 2 out of 7 years and missing 3 in a row will get you fired period there is no debate on this one even Procton would agree with this

Posted by: jeff | Jul 27, 2008 9:21:09 PM

I agree with you jeff...weaher you dis like or like fox (I don't) if he misses the playoffs this year........sorry...i don't care if the entire offensive line tears their ACL's and the team still goes 10 and 6...if we miss the playoffs....the bottom line stat of 2 post season appearences out of 7 seasons! and 3 misses in a row!! means you have to go! I don't care who you are...

Cower at least had like 9 or 10 out of 12 winning seasons....

Posted by: Cheven | Jul 27, 2008 10:06:19 PM

Just when you thought you'd never hear about the Natrone Bomb.... there he is...

Posted by: Ashe | Jul 27, 2008 10:12:12 PM

Of course Procton would agree with you jeff. He's an idiot too.

If anyone should be fired it is the athletic training staff of the Panthers. We have to be in the top 5 for number of injuries EVERY SINGLE YEAR, and more often than not we lose our star players, and if not stars, at least starters: Jenkins for 2 years, Smith for a year, Delhomme for a year, Morgan for most of his career, Wharton for a year, Hartwig for a year, Foster for a year, Stephen Davis for a year, etc.

Every time we build some momentum by having a successful season, we go into the next season and lose like half of our team. It is ridiculous. Remember 2004 when our fourth string RB (Nick Goings) started most of the season? Or how about last year when we ended the season with our 4th string QB? Tell me another coach who faces that kind of karmic eff-you adversity and still fields a competitive team.

Fox has done a great job, lay off.

Posted by: Steve | Jul 28, 2008 12:10:53 AM

Fox has done a great job all things considered, but that doesn't mean he will be retained. He was brought in to build a team that could compete for and ultimately win a championship. The Panthers need to make significant strides this season, regardless of injuries, in order to do so. While I like Fox and I doubt Cowher is much better of a coach, even if he does have a ring to his name, this likely a season where if Fox doesn't win, something huge changes... maybe he'll be back, but someone up there is going to take the fall.

Posted by: Mav | Jul 28, 2008 12:45:46 AM

That rocks! I always was a Nate fan!

Posted by: SYRPIS | Jul 28, 2008 12:49:02 AM

Thing is when a team such as (Detroit,Arizona,Greenbay,Atlanta,New Orleans etc. etc. etc.) releases a good coach that has been some what productive for them after 5 -6 seasons what happens?

They just waste more money on a coach who cant get the job done for another 5-6 maybe 4 season's,much less even get a playoff berth,then again they fire that coach and the pattern just repeats itself.

One thing I will give the Steelers crdit for is having the guts to stick with a head coach for over the 5-6 year mark and let them build the team over the long haul,Dallass used to be the same way before Ol stretch face bought the team.

Miami used to consistently make the Playoffs before Wayne got senile with Shula as coach.

What Im saying is it doesnt do a damn bit of good to let a coach build a team then replace him because he doesnt win the superbowl or make playoffs every season,because then you have a coach who comes in and half of the money thats tied up in the players arent his type of players.

Its just dumb from a buisness standpoint or overall goal/ mission statement standpoint.

Look at how much money in the past 10 years has been wasted on head coachs alone, and see what their productivity was.......

Posted by: Ghost of Sparta | Jul 28, 2008 3:32:10 AM

You Panthers are gonna love JStew We will miss him. Your very lucky to have him around to watch

Posted by: DuckDuuck | Jul 29, 2008 7:44:57 PM

Glad to hear Natrone is still working w/football. The man was a BEAST!
How about that exciting finish to the Panthers vs Chargers game on Sunday. I wonder if Natrone was conflicted even a little...

Posted by: GSO Panthers Fan | Sep 9, 2008 10:42:23 PM

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