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October 31, 2009

Saturday's Panthers links

Carolina Panthers links from around the Internet:

Cards have come up aces since goal-line stand / Charlotte Observer

Muhsin Muhammad out for Arizona game / Charlotte Observer

NFL fines DeAngelo Williams $5,000 / Charlotte Observer

Warner understands what Jake's going through / Rock Hill Herald

Panthers preparing for life without Muhammad? / Rock Hill Herald

Pass defense faces challenge in Cardinals / Gaston Gazette

Five things to watch / Gaston Gazette 

With Muhammad out, Jarrett to start / Gaston Gazette

Cardinals notes: Branch weighs less plays more / Arizona Republic

Posted by Observer Sports on October 31, 2009 at 09:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 30, 2009

All aboard? Not! Moose, Godfrey, Rosario stay home to heal

Turns out Panthers WR Muhsin Muhammad, FS Charles Godfrey and TE Dante Rosario not only are out for Sunday's game at Arizona, but they also didn't make the trip West.

Muhammad and Rosario are nursing knee injuries, while Godfrey has what appears to be a severely sprained ankle. He was wearing a cast and was on crutches throughout the week.

It will be Muhammad's first missed game due to injury in nearly four years, since the 2005 season with Chicago. This ends his streak of 58 consecutive games played for the Bears and Panthers, counting playoffs.

Of the five players listed as questionable for the game, only one practiced on a limited basis Friday -- LB Landon Johnson (shoulder).

The other four all fully participated. That's LB Thomas Davis (hamstring), RB Jonathan Stewart (Achilles), FB Brad Hoover (back), and kicker Rhys Lloyd (ankle).

-- Charles Chandler  

Posted by Observer Sports on October 30, 2009 at 06:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (17)

Moose, Godfrey, Rosario out for Arizona game

As expected, the Panthers will be without at least three prominent players in Sunday's game at Arizona.

The team announced that wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad (knee), safety Charles Godfrey (ankle) and tight end Dante Rosario (knee) would be out vs. the Cardinals.

That likely means that third-year man Dwayne Jarrett will get a start in Muhammad's place and could give rookie defensive back Sherrod Martin his first career start at safety. Rosario's inavailability provides more playing time at tight end for Gary Barnidge.

Five players were listed as questionable for the game -- linebackers Thomas Davis (hamstring) and Landon Johnson (shoulder), running backs Jonathan Stewart (Achilles), fullback Brad Hoover (back) and kicker Rhys Lloyd (ankle).

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on October 30, 2009 at 04:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)

Panthers head out to Arizona early

NFL teams usually fly to the location of away games one day ahead of the game, but for the past several years, the Panthers have left on Fridays for Sunday games out West.

The Panthers were scheduled to leave this morning and to practice near Phoenix shortly after landing this afternoon. The early arrival helps the team get acclimated and to have Saturday to rest after a long flight.

As a result, the injury report, which usually is released around noon on Fridays, won't be available today until after the later practice, which is likely to be about 6 p.m. EDT.

Based on how the week has gone so far, it sure looks like wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad and safety Charles Godfrey will be among the players declared out.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on October 30, 2009 at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)

Friday's Panthers links

    Carolina Panthers links from around the Internet:

Peppers comfortable, playing better in new scheme / Charlotte Observer

Panthers QB coach: I'm going to let Jake be Jake / Charlotte Observer

Moose may be a no-go vs. Cardinals / Charlotte Observer

Friday Forecast: Ron Green Jr.'s NFL picks / Charlotte Observer

Win prizes in our NFL pick 'em contest / Charlotte Observer

Godfrey injury leaves Panthers thin at safety / Rock Hill Herald

Reserved Peppers more exuberant after slow start / Rock Hill Herald

Cardinals not afraid to be different / Arizona Republic

Panthers-Cardinals blacked out in Phoenix? / Arizona Republic

Multimedia game preview / Arizona Republic

Panthers seeking revenge? Well, not really / Gaston Gazette 

Peppers says familiarity key to better play / Gaston Gazette

Posted by Observer Sports on October 30, 2009 at 06:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

October 29, 2009

QB coach Scherer says he'll back off tinkering, let Delhomme "be Jake"

First-year Panthers quarterback coach Rip Scherer said Wednesday he's trying something different this week with Jake Delhomme.

“When a player is struggling, you look at yourself as a coach,” said  Scherer. “What am I doing? What am I not doing?”

Scherer’s answer: Get Delhomme back to the basics.

“I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll just try and pull back a little and let him ‘be Jake’ a little more,’ ” Scherer said. “Jake has a style that’s unique to him. Maybe I had been giving him too much (to think about).

“We’ve been trying to do that the past few weeks, but we’re making more of a conscientious effort this week.”

Scherer, who came to the Panthers in January after four seasons with the Cleveland Browns, said he has never tried to tinker with Delhomme’s throwing mechanics.

“The things I’ve worked with him is more balance and body-lean, trying to help him with his feet,” said Scherer. “But I have never tried to fool around with his delivery.

“I always talk about fundamentals with him, that won’t change. But, if anything, I’ve (talked less) a little bit about those kinds of things so he doesn’t have to filter them and he can just go out and play.”

-- David Scott

Posted by Observer Sports on October 29, 2009 at 05:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (25)

Muhammad doesn't practice 2nd straight day; Peppers talks

A few highlights from practice and today's open locker room period:

-- DE Julius Peppers talked for the first time in several weeks. One day after RB DeAngelo Williams said if the Panthers beat Arizona Sunday it could help them move on from last year's playoff loss to the Cardinals, Peppers said emphatically that nobody on the team should be thinking about last year. Peppers also said this year's defensive line has the most interchangeable group of linemen he's played with in the NFL. As far as his own improved play the past three games, Peppers said he's merely gotten more acquainted with the team's new defense under new coordinator Ron Meeks.

-- Wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad (knee), safety Charles Godfrey (ankle) and tight end Dante Rosario (knee) did  not participate in practice for the second consecutive day. If Muhammad can't play, it's like that Dwayne Jarrett would get the start and perhaps the opportunity to shine that's been so slow in coming for him. Godfrey is still wearing a cast on his right foot and leg. Rookie Sherrod Martin said he is preparing to be in the lineup. It would be his first start.

-- Charles Chandler 

Posted by Observer Sports on October 29, 2009 at 02:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (55)

Smith ranks 4th in SI's NFL players poll seeking "most dangerous receiver"

Despite having caught no touchdown passes so far this season, Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith remains one of the most highly-respected players at the position by players around the NFL.


Smith was rated as the fourth most dangerous receiver in the league in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated, based on a poll of 296 players, which was completed before Week 2.


Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (37%) led the poll, followed by New England’s Randy Moss (15%), Houston’s Andre Johnson (14%), Smith (10%) and Buffalo’s Terrell Owens (6%).


Players polled were not allowed to vote for teammates.


Owens, like Smith, is having a down year, so it would interesting to see how they’d fare if a more current poll were taken. However, both Smith and Owens have been hurt by less-than-stellar quarterback play on their teams.


-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on October 29, 2009 at 09:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)

Thursday's Panthers links

Thursday's Panthers links from around the Internet:

Fox sticks with Jake as best chance to win / Charlotte Observer

Scott Says: Starting Jake is wrong move / Charlotte Observer

Cards' Warner has been in Delhomme's shoes / Charlotte Observer

Arizona WRs present big problems, other notes / Charlotte Observer

Delhomme keeps his job / Rock Hill Herald

Jarrett could see more time with Muhammad ailing / Rock Hill Herald

Panthers to back off on tinkering with Jake's mechanics / Rock Hill Herald

Cardinals are playing with swagger / Arizona Republic

Beanie Wells ready for more time with Cards? / Arizona Republic

Delhomme to start for Panthers / Arizona Republic

Fox says Delhomme will remain starter / Gaston Gazette

Peppers delivered inspiring speech / Gaston Gazette

Posted by Observer Sports on October 29, 2009 at 07:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 28, 2009

Warner: Jake will get through it

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, a former teammate of the Panthers' Jake Delhomme, had this take on Delhomme's recent struggles Wednesday afternoon during a conference call:

"I went through some tough stretches where it seemed like everything went against me. Even though it wasn't always me -- it seemed like every tipped ball got intercepted, every time there was a miscommunication between me and somebody, it was intercepted. Every time I got hit, the ball popped out. Everything spiraled down hill.

"But at some point, you've kind of got to get a grip on it and get moving in the other direction, get on track.

"There's no question Jake will do that because of the kind of guy he is and the player he is."

"We've all been through it. All great quarterbacks go through times when they struggle a bit."

Warner said he relied on friends, family and teammates to pull him through the tough times, like during an 0-6 stretch in St. Louis.

 "I think leaning on people around me, surrounding myself with people who are positive, not people who say I can't play any more."

"But I'd try to be critical of my play and the situation. When I went to watch film, I'd look at what I did wrong. Or did I do something wrong? There were times if I had three interceptions (and they weren't all my fault), and, not to pass the blame, but I wouldn't run out to the media and say it wasn't all my fault."

"But in my mind, knowing it wasn't all on your shoulders was really critical when you make mistakes. You fine tune not to make any more, but you can take some solace in knowing that not everything's my fault. You've got to win and lose as a team. I'm part of the problem, but I'm not all of the problem. It at least allowed me to hang on to my confidence, to believe that I've got to play a little bit better, the guys have got to play a little bit better and we'll come out of this as a team. Instead of going into a shell in your locker feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Because nobody can handle that." -- David Scott

Posted by Observer Sports on October 28, 2009 at 05:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (27)