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August 31, 2008

Panthers sign 5 to practice squad; Texans claim McClover

Schwartz200pforblog The Panthers have signed five of the players they cut Saturday to their practice squad, including draft picks Nick Hayden and Geoff Schwartz.

Others added to the practice squad were running back DeCori Birmingham, wide receiver William Buchanon, and defensive back Joe Fields.

Carolina had the option of adding quarterback Brett Basanez, but opted not to do so.

The Panthers can add three more to their practice squad, and also are expected to add a kick returner to their active, 53-man roster.

Hayden, a defensive tackle, and Schwartz, an offensive tackle, were sixth- and seventh-round picks, respectively.

Only one player cut by the Panthers was claimed via waivers by another team. Defensive end Stanley McClover, cut in favor of rookie Hilee Taylor, was claimed by the Houston Texans.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on August 31, 2008 at 04:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (25)

August 30, 2008

UPDATED 9.1.08 DEPTH CHART

Panthersrbs200pNow that the Panthers have a new kick returner (Mark Jones), here is the Panthers' depth chart:

OFFENSE

QB -- Jake Delhomme, Josh McCown, Matt Moore

RB -- DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Nick Goings

FB -- Brad Hoover

WR1 -- Steve Smith (suspended first two games), D.J. Hackett, Ryne Robinson, Mark Jones

WR2 -- Muhsin Muhammad, Dwayne Jarrett

TE -- Jeff King, Dante Rosario, Gary Barnidge

RG -- Keydrick Vincent, Mackenzy Bernadeau

RT -- Jeff Otah, Jeremy Bridges

LG -- Travelle Wharton

LT -- Jordan Gross, Frank Omiyale

C -- Ryan Kalil, Geoff Hangartner

DEFENSE

DT -- Maake Kemoeatu, Darwin Walker

DT -- Damione Lewis, Gary Gibson

DE -- Julius Peppers, Hilee Taylor

DE -- Tyler Brayton, Charles Johnson

MLB -- Jon Beason, Adam Seward, Dan Connor

SLB -- Na'il Diggs, Landon Johnson, Donte Curry

WLB -- Thomas Davis, James Anderson

CB -- Ken Lucas, Dante Wesley, C.J. Wilson

CB -- Chris Gamble, Richard Marshall

SS -- Chris Harris, Nate Salley

FS -- Charles Godfrey, Quinton Teal

SPECIAL TEAMS

KO -- Rhys Lloyd

FG/PAT -- John Kasay

P -- Jason Baker

LS -- Jason Kyle

KR/PR -- Mark Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on August 30, 2008 at 09:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (91)

Hurney's comments on cuts

Here is an edited version of general manager Marty Hurney's comments regarding the Panthers' cuts:

ON KEEPING DE HILEE TAYLOR INSTEAD OF DE STANLEY McCLOVER:

"Like several of the decisions, it was a close decision. We just felt Hilee showed some upside.

Stanley

played well. We went with Hilee. We think he will continue to improve. We believe

Stanley

will play for somebody and play well. They both have pash rush abilities. Hilee is probably a little bit more raw, but he had a good preseason, so we made the decision."

---

ON THE WRs REMAINING ON THE ROSTER:

"

With Steve (Smith) suspended, we’re thin there. You saw Dominique Thompson made it. Obviously, we have Moose (Muhammad) and Dwayne (Jarrett) and hopefully we'll get D.J. back. It’s a position we've been nicked at throughout the preseason and we'll just have to see how it goes here in the next three or four days."

ON THE OFFENSE LINE, INCLUDING KEEPING ROOKIE MACKENZY BERNADEAU:

"We kept nine linemen. We did keep Mackenzie. We think he’s going to be a very good player. He improved the entire training camp. We thought he played well in the last preseason game against the Steelers. He's a guy who has good size and good movement. It was a difficult decision to let M

ilford

Brown go, but we could only keep so many numbers there."

ON WHETHER HE DECISION TO CUT RICARDO COLCLOUGH WAS MADE BEFORE OR AFTER HIS DWI ARREST EARLY SATURDAY:

"Obviously we were sorting through the roster cuts this morning and the timing wasn’t very good, that’s for sure. We had difficult decisions there and it came down to we had a couple of guys there we know we had here last year and we made the decision to keep them."

ON KICKOFF AND PUNT RETURNS SINCE RYNE ROBINSON PROBABLY WON'T BE AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST GAME:

We have a couple of options there. That’s something we're going to have to sort through over the next few days. We have guys who have done it. Chris Gamble have done punt returns. (There's) Richard Marshall. Jonathan Stewart returned kickoffs in college.

ON HAVING ONLY FOUR RUNNING BACKS (Williams, Stewart, Hoover, Goings):

"You would always like to add another. But in the scope of it , you just have to work with the numbers. That’s just sort of how it fell. LaBrandon Toefield and Decori Birmingham both showed some things over the course of training camp. Again, it was a numbers situation. Four is really as many as we could have.

ON CUTTING TONIU FONOTI:

"On the offensive line, we just had very good competition. We felt that was one of the deepest spots on our roster. Unfortunately, we were unable to keep all the guys. They competed well and it just happened that we could only keep nine."

ON RELEASING VETERAN FS TERRENCE HOLT:

"T

hat was extremely difficult. He had great respect from the players, and he played well. It came down to whenever look at those two reserve safety spots, it comes down to (being able to play) safety and special teams. (Panthers kept Nate Salley and Quinton Teal). That was an extremely difficult positon. Terrence came in and played extremely well for us and really brought a lot of intangibles into our locker room."

ON KEEPING RHYS LLOYD TO KICKOFF ONLY:

"H

e gives us an advantage with our kickofs and he definitely helps our kickoff coverage. He's been very impressive. That’s an important aspect of our game. It really was something that you never know until you decide. But it became more and  more evident each week that was a decision that made sense."

Posted by Observer Sports on August 30, 2008 at 08:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)

Quick analysis of cuts

Initial impressions of the Panthers cut list:

Biggest surprise: Defensive end Stanley McClover. The Panthers kept rookie Hilee Taylor instead. Though McClover is probably better now, team officials like Taylor's upside and were pleased with his play in the preseason.

Biggest no-brainer: After Ricardo Colclough's arrest on a DWI charge, the Panthers had no choice to let him go, and did.

Biggest surprise, Part II: The number of veterans who didn't make the team. Safety Terrence Holt, guards Toniu Fonoti and Milford Brown, and the fact that wide receivers Travis Taylor and Samie Parker were BOTH cut.

Biggest impact of Rhys Lloyd staying: Lloyd was kept around for kickoffs, with John Kasay doing the field goals and PATs. The extra person forced the Panthers to go with only four running backs -- DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Brad Hoover and Nick Goings. Sure seems like they need to add another.

Best candidates for practice squad: QB Brett Basanez, DT Nick Hayden, OT Geoff Schwartz, RB Decori Birmingham.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on August 30, 2008 at 08:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

Panthers cuts announced

We'll have more details later, but here's a list of players cut by the Panthers, per the team's release in the past few minutes:

WAIVED

QB BRETT BASANEZ
RB DECORI BIRMINGHAM
WR WILL BUCHANON
S JOE FIELDS

FB TROY FLEMING
WR CHRIS HANNON
DT NICK HAYDEN
G EVAN MATHIS
DE STANLEY McCLOVER
G/T REUBEN RILEY
OT GEOFF SCHWARTZ
LB/ST TIM SHAW
DB DARREN TONEY
TE CHAD UPSHAW
DL STEPHEN WILLIAMS


TERMINATED VESTED VETERAN:

G MILFORD BROWN
CB/KR RICARDO COLCLOUGH
G TONIU FONOTI
S TERRENCE HOLT
WR SAMIE PARKER

WR TRAVIS TAYLOR
RB LABRANDON TOEFIELD

Posted by Observer Sports on August 30, 2008 at 07:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (31)

Colclough out of jail

After spending nearly five hours in a Mecklenburg County jail today, Panthers backup cornerback Ricardo Colclough has been released, and could soon be getting his release from the team.

Colclough was charged with driving while impaired and was checked into the jail at 8:40 a.m. and then released at 1:33 p.m., according to police records.

His first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on August 30, 2008 at 01:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (48)

Timing not good for Colclough

The timing of Ricardo Colclough's DWI arrest early this morning hardly could have been worse.

He was probably just across the line of the "on the bubble" players on the Panthers roster, and figured to make the team as a backup cornerback and, if needed, a kick returner.

But it won't be surprising now if he's listed among the cuts that are announced later today. That would send a strong message about off-field expectations to the rest of the team, plus it's not like Colclough is a top-tier reserve cornerback.

The Panthers could try to sign Ricky Manning Jr., recently released by Chicago, or add a player cut by another team, or just keep Dante Wesley or C.J. Wilson.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on August 30, 2008 at 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

CB/KR Colclough receives DWI

On the eve of the biggest cutdown day of the NFL preseason, Panthers cornerback Ricardo Colclough was charged with driving while impaired.

According to Mecklenburg County Jail records, Colclough was being held at the jail this morning.

Colclough appeared to have won a spot on the Panthers' roster as a backup cornerback and kick returner.

The Panthers are required to announce their cutdown from 75 players to 53 by 6 p.m. today.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on August 30, 2008 at 10:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

August 29, 2008

Breaking down the trade

So now that the Panthers have added veteran quarterback Josh McCown via trade with Miami, what does it mean?

Here are some early thoughts on the matter:

-- Make no mistake about it, McCown is being brought in to be the No. 2 quarterback behind Jake Delhomme. McCown's base salary of $1.95 million this season and $1.75 million in 2009 tells you everything you need to know about that. McCown is still young (29) and has good experience (31 starts in six seasons with the Cardinals, Lions and Raiders).

-- The trade does not mean that Moore is more seriously injured than originally thought. He has a deep bruise in his left leg and is listed as day-to-day. The truth is, he has struggled during the preseason. He threw two interceptions and fumbled against the Steelers Thursday, and finished the four exhibitions without leading the Panthers to a touchdown. Even though he didn't get to play with the starters, his play didn't do a lot to encourage team officials that he is ready to run the team consistently efficient if something happens to Delhomme. Moore has outstanding potential, but his development is still in the early stages.

-- Say goodbye to Brett Basanez, and that's too bad. He's a promising young quarterback and one of the best guys the Panthers have ever had on the team. Hopefully, they'll bring him back on their practice squad.

-- Remember all the fuss this preseason about whether or not Brett Favre was going to un-retire, and then whether or not he'd be with the Packers?

The Panthers' ability to obtain McCown is a direct trickle-down from the trade of Favre to the New York Jets. After that happened, the Jets released Chad Pennington and the Dolphins signed Pennington. That's what made McCown, who otherwise might have started for Miami, available.

If Miami hadn't obtained Pennington, McCown probably would have started. But once Pennington was on board, McCown was expendable because Miami rookie Chad Henne had a solid preseason.

Dealing away McCown before he even played a regular season game was an expensive move for the Dolphins, who paid him a $2.5 million signing bonus earlier this year and cannot recoup that money. The Panthers inherit McCown's base salaries from that deal, as listed above.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on August 29, 2008 at 07:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (28)

Breaking News: Panthers trade for McCown

   The Carolina Panthers have traded with the Miami Dolphins to obtain veteran quarterback Josh McCown.

   McCown, 29, was in the running to be the Miami Dolphins' starting quarterback before the team signed Chad Pennington.

   Pennington was slated to be the New York Jets' starter until they traded with Green Bay for Brett Favre.

   McCown became unhappy after the Pennington acquisition and was hoping to go elsewhere.

   The Panthers wouldn't disclose the compensation, but sources said they gave the Dolphins late-round draft pick compensation.

   "Josh is a guy we've liked the last several years when he was an unrestricted free agent," said Panthers general manager Marty Hurney. "He's a guy who brings experience. He has a live arm, good intangibles and we think he's just a guy who will help our depth at the quarterback spot. We had an opportunity to do it and we thought it was a good fit."

   McCown's acquisition came one day after Carolina backup quarterback Matt Moore suffered a deep bruise in his left leg playing in the team's exhibition finale at Pittsburgh. The team announced earlier today that the injury wasn't serious and that Moore was listed as "day to day."

   Hurney said the Panthers remain high on Moore.

   "We like Matt," he said. "We think we have a good mix."

   Moore struggled this preseason, however. He didn't lead the Panthers to a touchdown in four exhibitions.

   McCown likely will become the Panthers' No. 2 quarterback, and may stay there because of his experience even after Moore recovers.

   The trade almost certainly means third-team quarterback Brett Basanez won't be in the mix after final cuts are made today.

   Because the deal was completed after 4 p.m. Friday, the Panthers don't have to make a cut before their other roster moves today.

   McCown has made 31 career starts in six seasons with the Cardinals, Lions and Raiders. He has completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 6,582 yards, 35 touchdowns and 40 interceptions. He's considered a mobile quarterback, and has rushed for 572 yards and three touchdowns.

   Fumbling has been one of his problems. He has fumbled 39 times, losing 14.

   McCown started nine games for the Raiders last season and was later signed by the Dolphins in the offseason.

   -- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on August 29, 2008 at 06:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (18)

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