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February 02, 2010

Marlon Favorite's amazing journey from Panthers' camp to Super Bowl

   FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Less than three weeks ago, defensive tackle Marlon Favorite’s long rookie season in the NFL was over.

   He’d begun the year with the Carolina Panthers, making it through training camp and working with the first team defense at times before getting released.

   Then he worked out for the Falcons and had a brief stint on the Rams’ practice squad. Next came workouts for the Chiefs and Bills and a temporary spot on the Kansas City practice squad. Finally, he landed on Seattle’s practice squad, where he spent the final four weeks of the regular season before returning home to Louisiana, once again as a free agent.

   Then, a startling thing happened.

   His hometown team, the New Orleans Saints, called and signed him Jan. 19 to their practice squad, just five days before playing the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game.

   Now, with the Saints in the Super Bowl to play the Indianapolis Colts, Favorite is along for the ride, wearing jersey No. 63 and partaking in media day interviews by the droves Tuesday.

   “Definitely, there are a lot of people chatting with me,” said Favorite. “Some know my story, some (are) just random. I didn’t imagine it would be like this.

   “This is like basically every major media outlet here. When I walked in here, it was like, `Wow.’ It lets you know how big this event is.”

   It’s a super-big deal for Favorite, who’ll earn a Super Bowl ring if the Saints beat the Colts despite the fact that he’s been on their practice squad barely over two weeks.

   “Praise God, man!” Favorite said with a mega-grin. “It’s just a blessing altogether. I worked hard and I kept that faith the whole season, and look what happens.”

   New Orleans starting defensive end Will Smith said he's happy for Favorite, but joked about Favorite arriving only before the two biggest games of the season.

   "I said he's stealing," Smith said with a smile. "But for him to come on (with) us going to the Super Bowl, I know he has to be excited about that."

   Favorite said, back in the summer, he thought he was going to make the Carolina roster and spend the season with the Panthers. However, once the preseason neared its end, Carolina began making moves to acquire more experienced defensive tackles to fill the void created by Maake Kemoeatu’s injury and Favorite was deemed expendable.

   “Things happen, it’s a business, and I respect that,” said Favorite. “I respect the whole team up there in Carolina.  I really enjoyed my time up there.

   “I really thank Carolina for (keeping him throughout training camp). It really kept me relevant in the league.”

   As a member of the Saints’ practice squad, Favorite can’t play in Sunday’s game against Indianapolis, but he’s working hard to get his teammates ready – and looking forward to the day when he finally makes a regular season roster.

   “I think the future holds big things for Marlon Favorite,” he said. “I just have to continue on the path I’m on right now and strive to get better.”


   (x) Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson, now an analyst for the NFL Network, told the Observer that it boggles his mind to think of Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers hitting the open market as an unrestricted free agent.

   The Panthers say they haven’t decided whether to apply the franchise tag to Peppers for the second straight year, but Peppers’ agent, Carl Carey, said earlier this week he hasn’t heard from the team and expects them to let his client go free.

   “He made $17 million last year,” Woodson said of Pepper’s approximate pay via the one-year tender that accompanied last year’s franchise tag. “He should be happy. He was making a million dollars a game, for crying out loud. Is he going to make more than (that)?”

   But Woodson said it would be great if Peppers hits the open market and said he believes Peppers could play in almost any defense.

   “He could play in space,” said Woodson. “He could be an outside linebacker. He’s big enough, agile enough, (and) athletic enough to play that position, so it’ll be great to see what system he goes with if he leaves Carolina.

   “Can you imagine him going to the Jets or New England? New England could be a good spot for him.”

   (x) Former Rams all-pro running back Marshall Faulk, also of the NFL Network, had high praise for the Panthers’ backfield tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.

   “This year they were probably the best tandem,” Faulk said. “Those two guys did a great job of carrying the load for the team, especially when their quarterback play wasn’t that good.

   “What I like is they work well together. They do a great job of co-existing. One guy never outshines the other. DeAngelo does a great job of including Stewart in everything and not making it a competition as to who’s better, but a competition as to who can do the best in the game.”

   Williams and Stewart became the first backfield tandem in NFL history to rush for 1,100 yards in the same season. Stewart had 1,133 yards and Williams had 1,117 despite missing the final 11 quarters of the season with an ankle injury.


   -- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on February 2, 2010 at 07:27 PM | Permalink


Yep, Mr. Hardjangles is willing to put up money for a 36-year old, Tommy-John patched QB who came off a questionable season to an extenstion of $40M, with $20M guaranteed (when he still had a couple of years left on his contract already) and is unwilling to franchise tag a commodity like Poopers (regardless of what the Panther brass might do with him after that tag is applied). HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE???

"GOTTA-WANNA-HAVA-..." Messed up season and blown opportunity to win it all thanks to bad business practices and loyalty to a big-chinned premadonna local boy who thinks he has earned the right to dictate things to other franchises by winning one superbowl after a decade long stint. Tsk, tsk. It's very difficult, and extremely embarrassing, being a Panther fan sometimes.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Feb 2, 2010 11:45:07 PM

Sypris, tell us how you really feel.

Posted by: firefox | Feb 3, 2010 8:46:18 AM

I no longer eat at Bojangles or shop at Teeters (vic).

Posted by: kevin | Feb 3, 2010 9:00:55 AM

who cares about favorite? he had a golden op with the panthers and couldnt stick. he must suck.we couldnt find anything else to write about, guys.

Posted by: ray | Feb 4, 2010 10:07:11 AM

HOW I REALLY FEEL...? Well, I am glad Richardson helped get this franchise opened up in the Carolinas. I also love the big names he has brought in through the years, like Siefert (who had the highest winning percentage as a NFL head coach and was a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame before he got to Charlotte), Kevine Greene and Reggie White. What I hate is that I truly believe that this is not the first time his involvement with the franchise has forced a head coach to make what would be considered a bad move for the franchise. I also hate the fact that, despite seeming like he was listening to the fans, his BIGGER BILLBAORD came with BIGGER ADS----WHAT WAS THAT, A TRIBUTE TO THE MOVIE ENDING OF STEVE MARTIN'S "THE JERK"???

I honestly think the Panthers are that close to winning it, even this upcoming seasons (despite key players getting older) but Jerry has got to make the choice to focus all his resources APPROPRIATELY into the team to do it. Otherwise, we will probably be looking at another decade long wait.

Also, with all the trade rumors about the Bobcats, I would hate to see the Panthers get traded as well, but if Jake comes back as a starter, then a trade would be saving some serious embarrassment for some fans.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Feb 5, 2010 4:47:02 AM

Oh yeah, I also hate the fact that I can't even get a decent biscuit at Hardee's anymore but Jake gets paid millions to proudly shovel horse manuer (instead of hone his football skills) during the offseason.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Feb 5, 2010 4:56:06 AM

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