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August 31, 2010

Not all PUPs created equal


   Had a lot of email and twitter questions today about the difference between LB Thomas Davis' and RT Jeff Otah's PUP (physically unable to perform) status.

   At the beginning of camp, if players aren't ready to go, the team will stick them on the active-PUP list. This is largely a paperwork maneuver, as they can be activated at any time, and they still count against the 80-man roster limit.

   What Davis went on Tuesday was the reserve-PUP list, which makes him ineligible for the first six weeks. After that time, there's a three-week window for the player to start practicing. Once he starts practicing, there's another three weeks before they have to decide whether to cut a player to make room for him or end his season by putting him on IR.

   Thus, Davis could be activated as soon as late October, but more likely no sooner than mid-November (if everything follows best case scenario trajectory).

   They put him on the reserve-PUP list to buy themselves a roster spot in the short term, but mostly to protect his ability to come back if he continues to progress.

   As unlikely as coming back from two torn ACLs in eight months might be, the fact Davis hasn't been shut down is a telling sign. He might not be able to play again this year, but the simple possibility is enough for him, so he's continuing to rehab like a man on his way back soon.

   Speaking of signs and comebacks, we're less than two weeks from the opener, and there's still no evidence of Otah on the practice field. That tells me the chances of him playing on Sept. 12 in New York are getting slim, and the Panthers better be prepared to live with Geoff Schwartz for a week or two.
Otah had his left knee scoped on Aug. 4, and the thought was he'd be back on the field in a month.
If they thought it was going to be six weeks away, they'd have put him on reserve-PUP with Davis. Since they didn't, it appears they're bracing for no more than a couple of weeks without their powerful strong-side blocker.

-- Darin Gantt


Posted by Observer Sports on August 31, 2010 at 09:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

Sorensen chat: Panthers answers only

Here is an excerpt from Tom Sorensen's chat, which was held today from noon to 1 p.m., edited for Panthers answers only. If you want to read the full text (with questions on a lot of other topics), click HERE.

Jim: Tom, you've written nice things about Armanti Edwards, but realistically, this is looking like a wasted draft pick for 2010. He won't be able to return punts, and he can only be a receiver in special situations. Wildcat? Maybe. Not enough for a 2nd-round pick. Right?
tom sorensen: It probably will be a wasted draft pick for 2010, or most of 2010. But I think the guy will be a star, albeit not immediately. I like the player and I like the pick.

Mark: Week one, NY Giants or Carolina Panthers? Your pick? Can the Panthers win on the road?
tom sorensen: Won't make my picks until next week, but leaning toward the mediocre Giants.

Towelboy: Deangelo Williams will be 28 next year, how many years should they resign him and at what cost?
tom sorensen: Too many variables to make the call now. How good is he this season? How good is Stewart? How good is Goodson? Money is about priorities. What do they need?

Leonard: I am confused about why the defensive line is playing so much better without Peppers when he commanded double and triple teams much of the time?
tom sorensen: Everette Brown has improved dramatically. That's a factor. Julius really is a talent, and he's tearing it up in preseason for the Bears. But the defensive tackles, the weakest part of the Panthers going into camp, have been solid, and the outside rush has been outstanding -- in practice games.

Towelboy: What are the chances Jake Delhomme continues playing as well as he has in the pre-season? Will Jake or Matt have better stats this year?
tom sorensen: I think Jake's legs probably are gone. Don't know if he can last the season. But hope he does. Moore was really good in camp and has been really bad in the three exhibitions. Have no idea what kind of season he and his offense will have.

Steve: If the Panthers want a new stadium, should the citizens be on the hook to pay for any of it?
tom sorensen: All Panthers want to do is have land when the inevitable comes. The average lifespan of a stadium is 30 years, BOA is halfway there. Should we pay? Depends on variables; how much will stadium generate for the city and for local businesses?

Jim: Tom, how short of a leash does Matt Moore have? Do you think Jimmy Clausen will be the starter at some point this season?
tom sorensen: I loved what Clausen did in camp. Picked up the offense faster than any rookie QB they've ever had. It's so early. Give Moore a chance and see what he can do and how many games the team can win. I do think Clausen will become their QB at some point, but not necessarily this season.

Jon T: If the Panthers build a new stadium in the next 15 years - what do you think the chances are they build a dome and possibly land a Super Bowl as a host city?
tom sorensen: A dome in this climate would be a waste. Only way the NFL puts a Super Bowl here is if Panthers build a new stadium, and then it's a one-time gift. No need to play this far north. Keep it in Miami and New Orleans and Phoenix and San Diego, and life will be good.

jerry: Tom, do you think we need to go get a dropped reciever from another team??? Bryant, Coles, etc.???
tom sorensen: Coles isn't Coles anymore, and Bryant is up and down. I think they have the receivers, but obviously the offense isn't working. There wasn't a free-agent WR this summer I loved. I really like Boldin, but he gets hurt so often that it's surprise when he does not.

Matt: Why haven't we seen more action from Dwayne Jarrett? Everytime the ball is thrown to him, he seems to catch it.
tom sorensen: You see him break open down the right side on Saturday? Moore overthew him by five yards. You get sick of hearing this, but there were times in Spartanburg when Jarrett was the best player on the field. Maybe we'll see that on Sundays. Or this Thursday.

Jon T: Follow up: What happens first - Charlotte hosts a Super Bowl or Charlotte gets a MLB team?
tom sorensen: Charlotte hosts a U.S. Open, I-485 is finally finished and I retire.

Toriano: Think there will be any surprise cuts from the Panthers...not today but in general
tom sorensen: I do. Some players I really like, and fans really like, could get canned. Saturday will be a tough day for Fox and Hurney and the coaches, and for the players who have to turn in their equipment and might never have the chance to wear it again.

Chris: Why not more playing time during these preseason games for Hunter Cantwell? Wasn't he number 2 on the depth chart going into to the preseason?
tom sorensen: He was No. 2 going into camp but Clausen supplanted him there. Clausen is a clear No. 2, as playing time attests. Panthers like Pike's talent, but transition from the spread to a pro style offense is rough. They can't keep four QBs, but if they put Pike on the practice squad, somebody will claim him during the 24-hour window in which he's exposed. Panthers, meanwhile, don't dislike Cantwell. They just like Clausen more.

Shawn: Tom, Do you think that Armanti Edwards will make the Panthers roster?
tom sorensen: Of course. If he is not deemed worthy as a punt returner he could be inactive early. But they wouldn't consider cutting him.

John: Tom - If the Bills were to play the Panthers this year, do you think they would win by 100 points, or more?
tom sorensen: Buffalo couldn't score 100 points if it were on the field by itself.

Chuck: Thinking about all the scandal we've seen in sports over that last few years (steroids, DUIs, gun offenses, Tiger, etc)...is it that sports are reflective of our society, or do professional athletes believe that are above the law?
tom sorensen: But think of all the athletes who do not get busted for steroids or gun offenses or Tigeresque escapades. I occasionally go to a charity function arranged by a player. Went to two put on by Thomas Davis, the Panther LB. He and his wife threw themselves into it. Was moving to be there. Some players do think they're above the law and above the constraints that govern behavior. They're young, they're popular, they have money and they're surrounded by sycophants. They'll learn, I hope. But so many others quietly do good work for their teams and their community.

Swanner: When Joe Person arrives, will you and/or Scott duct tape him to a pole, make him sing, or force him carry your bags for a while?
tom sorensen: Only morons engage in hazing. But, yeah, he'll carry my bags. Scott has done it long enough.

Bill: Is this Kasay's last year in the NFL?
tom sorensen: Tough to envision the Panthers without him. Look at the numbers. Guy can still kick. He's only 51.

andy: hi tom - with the panthers having reducing payroll, have no commitment to a coaching staff in 2011 and kicked out the jon and mark richardson, it smells like jerry is cleaning house in order to sell the franchise. thats what businesses do when they are looking to sell. thoughts?
tom sorensen: Jerry will not sell the team. This is his legacy, and nobody wants to win more than he does. I'm not just saying that. Guy wants to win. Richardson isn't cleaning house. He's just rearranging the furniture. I can tell you, unequivically, he does not plan to sell.

JF: Over or under for the Panthers this season - 7.5 wins
tom sorensen: I lean toward over but need to see who they cut, who they pick up and get a better feel for what kind of difference addition of Smith and Stewart will make. Is O as bad as it has looked? Is D as good?

Chris: What is the situation with Otah? Is he going to be OK for the season opener? Thanks.
tom sorensen: He had surgery early in camp. I think he'll be ready.

Busta Rhymes: Do you think Beason is overrated? He makes alot of tackles because there is no one else on the D capable of making the plays.
tom sorensen: Thomas Davis was capable last season and Beason still stood out. I think Beason is exceptional. Not huge but, man, what instincts. Reminds me of Dan Morgan, albeit not as fast. And that's a compliment.

mark: what's the likelihood of Fox being back with the Panthers next year?
tom sorensen: Slim. And the departure will be mutual.

andy: tom - you go to opposing nfl games and see their venues. how does the environment at BofA compare?
tom sorensen: I like BOA. But I never liked fans screaming not because the game dictates it but because they can, and I never liked guys picking fights with fans wearing another team's jerseys. I don't need drunk and obnoxious. BOA works for me.

JF: Any Hall of Famers on the Panthers roster right now?
tom sorensen: Maybe

Guest: what about the former steelers coach as our new head coach? what is going on with that?
tom sorensen: The longer Cowher stays away from coaching, the larger his legend grows. But if the Panthers follow the Pittsburgh model, they'll hire the next great coach. Noll, Cowher and now Tomlin were all in their mid-30s when the Steelers hired them.

Chuck: Tom, 30 years from now, will Charlotte be one of those sports cities like Cleveland, where the city has never had a professional sports championship, so everyone else feels sorry for us?
tom sorensen: If I feel sorry for Cleveland, it has nothing to do with their lack of championships. If anything, I'd feel sorry for the cities that lack a pro team. If neither Panthers nor Bobcats win a title in the next 30 years, I'll be surprised.

Mark from Kannapolis: So what did you think of John Clayton ranking Matt Moore # 32 in NFL starting QB's.???
tom sorensen: Didn't know he had. Based what we've seen in the preseason, he might be right. Based what we saw at the end of last season, John is wrong. ESPN is always saying something, and we're always overreacting. In related news, Michael Vick will not be a Panther, despite what ESPN said last summer. Clayton is really informed, however, I must say.

Tim: Who will last longer with the Panthers... John Kasay or John Fox?
tom sorensen: Kasay

Pete: How good would Smith be, have been, if he played for a different team?
tom sorensen: You don't think Steve had a chance to excel here? He and Jake tore it up for years, and that wasn't all because of Steve. Smith is a great player. He would have been great anywhere. He was great here. And he hasn't had to share.

Michael: What will it take to keep Fox Here?
tom sorensen: I wrote last week that things wear out -- cars, batteries, relationships. Maybe something will happen this season to save it. But don't see it happening. Sometimes it's time to move on.

Reisy: I want to purchase a Panthers jersey....do I purchase a Moore or Clausen jersey? Nobody wants the jersey of a bench player.
tom sorensen: If I were to wear a jersey, I'd find an obscure player -- like Reggie Howard, the former cornerback. That would have been a good jersey to have. Buy Tony Pike.

Posted by Observer Sports on August 31, 2010 at 02:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (15)

Panthers trim five from roster

To get to the 75-man roster limit, the Panthers made five moves Tuesday.

As expected, two of the slots came from linebacker Thomas Davis being placed on reserve-PUP and defensive end Hilee Taylor being waived-injured.

They also placed WR Wallace Wright on injured reserve and waived wide receivers Dexter Jackson and Oliver Young.

The loss of Wright is a huge blow to special teams, and creates opportunties for guys such as Charly Martin, Kenny Moore and David Gettis

They still have 22 more cuts to make Saturday to get to the 53-man regular season limit.

The Panthers are still running low at CB, with Richard Marshall (knee), Captain Munnerlyn (calf) and C.J. Wilson (concussion) on the sidelines, along with DE Tyler Brayton (knee), WR Trent Guy (hamstring), RB Tyrell Sutton (shoulder), FB RaShawn Jackson (foot) and RT Jeff Otah (knee).

Posted by Observer Sports on August 31, 2010 at 01:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

Panthers a playoff team? SI says yes

The Carolina Panthers will go 10-6, reach the playoffs as a wild-card team, then beat the New York Giants to advance to the divisional round, according to Sports Illustrated's NFL preview edition, on newsstands Wednesday.

SI's Peter King writes that Matt Moore will be the key to success, along with defensive end Everette Brown as part of a three-man committee replacing Julius Peppers, whose Bears team is not projected to make the playoffs.

For what it's worth, SI picks the Pittsburgh Steelers will beat the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl.

King also says John Fox will be the NFL's coach of the year.



Posted by Observer Sports on August 31, 2010 at 11:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (55)

Matt Moore, NFL's 32nd best QB?

ESPN's John Clayton has ranked the NFL quarterbacks, and he has not been kind to Carolina's Matt Moore. Here's his take:

32. Matt Moore, Carolina Panthers

Analysis: He has a 6-2 record as starter, but a slow start could speed the Jimmy Clausen era in Carolina.
Chance of being elite: 5 percent

But if you think that's harsh, check out who he ranked at No. 33 ...


Posted by Observer Sports on August 31, 2010 at 09:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (28)

Carolina Panthers links for Tuesday

Tuesday's Panthers links:

Join Tom Sorensen for a LIVE CHAT about the Panthers from noon-1 p.m. today! Ask your questions about the Panthers, or anything else you want to talk about. Watch for the link here starting at about 11:45 a.m.

RB Mike Goodson shows return on investment / Charlotte Observer

Notebook: Steve Smith considered playing vs. Titans / Observer

Scott Says: The good, the bad / Observer

Register for our NFL picks contest / Observer

Smith still on track to play in opener / Gaston Gazette

Roster analysis: Nine jobs up in air? / Gaston Gazette

Smith not impressed by Panthers WRs / AP

Opening opponent: Giants not phased by poor outing / ESPN

Shampoo brand insures Polamalu's hair for $1M / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Peppers worth giant contract? So far, yes / Chicago Sun Times

Former Panthers S Harris plays 'worst game ever / Chicago Tribune


Posted by Observer Sports on August 31, 2010 at 07:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

August 30, 2010

Panthers injury update

The Panthers were running a little short Monday, as a few players are nursing injuries from Saturday night.

WRs Wallace Wright (shoulder) and Trent Guy (hamstring) were held out, along with DEs Tyler Brayton (ankle) and Hilee Taylor (knee), CBs Richard Marshall (knee), C.J. Wilson (concussion)  and Captain Munnerlyn (calf), S Aaron Francisco (hamstring), FB Rashawn Jackson (foot) and RB Tyrell Sutton (shoulder), along the PUP twins, LB Thomas Davis and OT Jeff Otah.

-- The Panthers added a body Monday, a day before they have to make five moves to get to a 75-man roster.

They signed OL Tim Duckworth, who was just waived by New Orleans. He fits into the vacant spot left when waiver-claim T Kirk Barton decided not to show. The former Auburn product has been on practice squads with Denver, Philadelphia and the Saints (twice).

-- Darin Gantt

Posted by Observer Sports on August 30, 2010 at 01:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (29)

Make sure WR upgrade is one

It started yesterday, and it's going to continue for the next week.

With Sunday's news that wide receivers Laveranues Coles (Jets) and Antonio Bryant (Bengals) were released yesterday, my twitter (@daringantt) practically exploded.

"Will the Panthers sign Bryant?" "Why not Coles?" "With the team needing receiver help, which one will they sign?"

The correct answer, you better hope, is neither. The Panthers might not be averse to adding help at the receiver position (especially if Wallace Wright's shoulder turns out to be a problem), but these two aren't it.

Coles is done, a good idea five years ago, but not now.

Bryant made franchise money a year ago in Tampa and responded with 39 catches. He then signed a Mark Knopfler contract with the Bengals (Money for Nothing) and they cut him before he played a game. He's clearly not healthy, and even if he was I'm not sure you'd want to go there.

The Panthers insist their second receiver is already here. They're more confident than I am. Certainly they need to keep an eye on the waiver wire for upgrades. They just have to make sure that anyone they bring in actually represents an upgrade.

—- Darin Gantt

Posted by Observer Sports on August 30, 2010 at 07:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (31)

Carolina Panthers links for Monday

Monday's Panthers links:

Fowler: Awful truth is this offense is unacceptable / Charlotte Observer

Defense, however, is a smash hit / Observer

Stock watch: Who's up, down, holding steady / Observer

We won't know about Panthers until Sept. 12 / Gaston Gazette

Posted by Observer Sports on August 30, 2010 at 07:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

August 29, 2010

Carolina Panthers links for Sunday

Links from the Panthers' victory over the Tennessee Titans Saturday night:

Goodson, defense power Panthers to first win / Charlotte Observer

Sorensen: Offense still missing in action / Observer

Scott Says: 3 things I liked, 2 I didn't / Observer

Photo gallery: 68 images from Saturday / Observer

Notebook: Panthers mix it up on defense / Observer




Posted by Observer Sports on August 29, 2010 at 08:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (11)