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August 18, 2009

Looking back, looking ahead

Now that we're safely back in Charlotte, here are a few more thoughts about Carolina's 24-17 exhibition loss to the New York Giants last night in the Meadowlands, and some other Panthers items:

-- One of the most glaring statistics was the fact that the Panthers fumbled six times, losing four.

Three of the fumbles, plus a Josh McCown interception, happened in the final five minutes of the first half. That's a rough showing for the second-team offense.

-- Fourth-team quarterback Hunter Cantwell continues to show legitimate potential, which could land him on the Panthers' practice squad.

Playing against defensive reserves well down the Giants' depth chart, Cantwell completed 4 of 8 passes for 67 yards, one touchdown and a fumble that went the other way for New York's game-winning TD.

Cantwell played very well on a late fourth-quarter drive that resulted in a 31-yard TD pass to Jason Chery and a game-tying two-point conversion pass to tight end Andrew Davie.

The scoring drive covered 88 yards in just five plays. Cantwell was 4-of-4 passing on the drive for 67 yards (5-of-5 counting the two-pointer). The drive started with a nifty 25-yard pass play to receiver Larry Beavers.

Unfortunately for Cantwell, he was hit while trying to throw on the game's final play and fumbled. Giants defensive end Tommie Hill recovered the ball and returned it 18 yards for the game-clinching touchdown as time expired.

That wasn't good for Cantwell but plenty of people watching were glad the exhibition didn't go into overtime.

-- It is glaringly obvious that the Panthers need at least one, maybe two, veteran defensive tackles with Maake Kemoeatu out for the season. The team's top two defensive stars have made statements alluding to that in the past few days. Last week, middle linebacker Jon Beason said it's "definitely" something that needs to happen. After Monday's game, defensive end Julius Peppers suggested it as one way to address Kemoeatu's loss. 

The Panthers' options for acquiring help include making a trade with another team for an established player, as they did two years ago when they acquired safety Chris Harris. That likely would cost them a future draft pick. They also could wait until other teams make cuts, but might be better to work out a trade because of the uncertainty of getting a player they want via waivers.

-- It appears too much was made, including by me, of general manager Marty Hurney's trip to Green Bay to scout the Packers-Cleveland Browns game last Saturday night. Speculation instantly centered around the possibility that Hurney may have been there to get a close look at Browns defensive end Corey Williams, who was a standout DT when Green Bay ran a 4-3 scheme but has struggled in Cleveland as a 3-4 DE.

While it's possible Williams could become a valid consideration for the Panthers if Cleveland wants to deal him, it's important to note that Hurney scouts exhibitions from time to time, as do many other top executives around the NFL. Hurney likely will do more game scouting this preseason. Just because he shows up somewhere doesn't necessarily mean something dramatic is about to happen. Usually, it means he's doing routine business.

-- Charles Chandler

Follow our Panthers' updates on Twitter ... @CharlesChandler and @davidscott14

Posted by Observer Sports on August 18, 2009 at 04:41 PM | Permalink


Question about the salary cap? With Kemo on IR, does that free up his salary space under the cap? Otherwise how will we ever be able to afford a DT or 2 under the cap?

Posted by: Slash | Aug 18, 2009 5:25:49 PM

we need a legit back up qb minnesota is going to put tavaris jackson on the trading block,only 26 years old great arm,and can sit behind jake for a year and learn the offense.

Posted by: truthbtold4 | Aug 18, 2009 5:55:08 PM

Hunter Cantwell is a better QB than Tarvaris Jackson. Get real. The Vick morons on the radio need to get a life as well.

Posted by: Authority | Aug 18, 2009 6:03:33 PM

Oh no.
Here we go.
We couldn't get one garbage run-first QB, so the fans go nuts for another.

Posted by: PantherPerk | Aug 18, 2009 6:17:09 PM

Peppers talking about needing a vet DT makes me wanna puke. Sign your damn offer sheet to be the highest paid defensive player ever and free up some salary cap space, Pep...oh wait, it's too late for that. Your incredible greed has hamstrung your team...way to go, jerk.

Posted by: Pep Kills | Aug 18, 2009 7:02:26 PM

I almost forgot how many morons there are in this city, hunter is a better qb then tjack you must be joking.So tell what was hunter's qb rating last year,or other then peyton manning who had a higher qb rating the second half of the season other then tjack..... oh yea nobody, you none football knowing fans maybe straight with McCown,moore,and cantwell as our backup's but im not.I mean wow a black qb runs cause he can and at times has to,and all of a sudden he's just a running qb,we forget the last half of the season last year he had a 9td's to 2int's ratio.

Posted by: truthbtold4 | Aug 18, 2009 7:22:53 PM

Am I the only one who saw two blatant illegal block-in-the-backs against the Panthers early in the first half? I think one was on our first punt. I could be wrong, anyone else know what I'm talking about?

Posted by: TheMike. | Aug 18, 2009 8:15:41 PM

Yea,CantGETwell was very impressive last evening against scrubs,every year with some of the fans they want to jump on a new QB'S jock thinking hes the truth.

CantGETWell is nothing more than fasani pt. 2. Tavaris Jackson is not much ahead of him either.

Bring in better dt's before the season is lost.

Posted by: Ghost of Sparta | Aug 18, 2009 8:39:36 PM

you're not alone, TheMike. the blocks in the back couldn't have been more obvious on the first two punts. both times quenton teal got bowled over from behind...

Posted by: ny refs | Aug 18, 2009 9:47:20 PM

we have no cap room......Peppers can do it all....heck....he is getting paid as much as some teams whole starting defense....pathetic

Posted by: David | Aug 18, 2009 9:50:32 PM

So the release of Landon doesnt save?

Posted by: Ghost of Sparta | Aug 18, 2009 10:17:07 PM

So the release of Landon doesnt save?

Posted by: Ghost of Sparta | Aug 18, 2009 10:17:17 PM

Win or lose... the Panthers still win at the turnstile. Their greed and your ignorance makes millionaires out of college dropouts who PLAY A GAME.

I have a college degree and I PLAY Chutes and Ladders once a week (like football players), but I still can't afford a new Hummer.

Posted by: Beagle Boy | Aug 18, 2009 11:05:03 PM

Beagle Boy,
Perhaps you could afford a Hummer if you didn't waste your time playing a kid's game, and worked harder at earning a living. A college degree isn't an assurance of financial success.

Posted by: Jim | Aug 19, 2009 7:28:57 AM

Hunter looked really good. I would develop him, reminds me of Big Ben

Posted by: williwonka | Aug 19, 2009 8:52:05 AM

It is Julius Pepper's fault because he feels that he deserves money for his play on the field, of which the Panther Organization felt not to offer him. Except for one year, JP has performed and been to the Pro Bowl on several occasions for his on the field play. It is JP's fault that we do not have a healthy, ready to play Defensive Tackle and we paid Gross and Jake more money. Kemo has always been injury prone. D Lewis is recovering from Shoulder surgery and what happens when and if he goes down with and injury this season, like last year? Without a Defensive Tackle, you open up the chances of Beason being injured trying to make-up for the lost of KEMO.

Posted by: Say What | Aug 19, 2009 9:00:50 AM


Every post/blog/article on this site turns into JPepp caused all of life's problems, delhomme/fox suck and should be cut/fired and mike vick could save us all... BS to all.

The Panthers FO applied the franchise tag on Peppers. He could have signed a long term deal to create cap space this year but he didn't... it's a freakin business.. get over it.

Delhomme is an average QB that's made some mistakes but do you remember the 2007 season? I agree we should be planning for the future at that position but seriously he is our QB this year and probably next… get over it.

Fox is the best coach in the history of the franchise… there's a reason all you haters aren't professional football coaches… stfu already.

Mike Vick sucks as a QB... he sucked before he was a dog murderer and remains... a sucky pathetic QB sociopath dog killer who happens to be fast. Time to get over that too.

The bottom line is and the #1 thing that should be focused on is getting a replacement or two for Kemo. The offense will score points this season, but if we can't stop the run this year (facing the likes of AP, Westy, R. Brown, M. Turner, M. Barber etc. etc.) it will be a long long season.

Does anyone actually know what our current cap situation is? I've seen this asked repeatedly but either missed or there haven't been any responses.

Go Panthers!

Posted by: blahblahblah | Aug 19, 2009 9:33:08 AM

blahblahblah - the current cap situation is still not good. Kemo still counts against the cap even though he is on IR. To pick up a new DT we will probably need to make a cut or 2, unless we find someone cheap.

I agree with you on all the crap that people say on these boards. These "fans" don't look at the numbers at all. They get this passionate hate in their system and take it out on everyone on the team.

I'm not a big fan of Jake, but there hasn't been anyone available that's better. His extension was obviously a 3 year plan. I expect to see a QB drafted next year in the 2nd or 3rd round to give Moore competition. Probably will be Tebow, since he won't go in the 1st.

Posted by: Bob | Aug 19, 2009 10:43:31 AM

If the Panthers want to make a playoff run they are going to have to trade some players and future draft picks for a decent DT. Hurney and Fox know they have to win this year. They will trade for a DT and pick up 2 more off waivers.
Don't be surprised to see Landon Johnson go in the trade along with 3rd round pick next year. We have great depth at LB so we can afford to let him go. We will still need to free up some cap space. Who else goes in the trade or gets cut?

Posted by: Jim | Aug 19, 2009 12:35:08 PM

Don't forget about Dan Connor. He could be on the trading block, too. I know he's a highly touted player, but we NEED a DT; we WANT a good backup for Beason. I don't think Landon would fetch as big a name as Connor. I can't think of any other position where we have enough depth talent to offer in a trade, maybe at FB or TE, but that's a stretch, too.

Posted by: Wayne | Aug 19, 2009 6:15:40 PM

our q.b situation is serious but we have so much talent on offense we can overcome jake and josh.the defense had me worried. no pass rush, we couldnt stop the run. you have to have good cover guys at safety in the cover 2. harris is not known as a cover guy.nobody looked good at def tackle,hugh concern.we didnt really hurry the giant q.bs .what happened to all our pass rush specialists. those spin moves brown was using wont work in the nfl. he may become great but we need help now!

Posted by: ray | Aug 20, 2009 10:47:36 AM

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