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January 27, 2011

Fairley eager to hear from Panthers

Nick Fairley is headed home for Nick Fairley Day at the same school in Mobile, Ala., that hosted JaMarcus Russell Day a few years back.

Fairley, the junior defensive tackle from Auburn, hopes to join Russell as the next No. 1 pick to come out of Williamson High, an inner-city school across the railroad tracks from Ladd-Peebles Stadium, site of Saturday's Senior Bowl.

Fairley said he has yet to hear from the owners of that top pick, but is anxious to.

“I would love to go to the Panthers,” Fairley said in a phone interview Thursday. “I can't wait to hear from them.”

Fairley, who has been training in Houston, was scheduled to fly to Mobile on Thursday, after many of the NFL scouts and coaches in town for the Senior Bowl have left. Fairley, who is projected as the top pick by ESPN's Mel Kiper, said he did not have any meetings scheduled with NFL teams this weekend.

Fairley has a connection to Charlotte already. He is working with Kathleen Hessert, a Charlotte-based sports and social media consultant famous for getting Shaquille O'Neal started on Twitter. Fairley, who was in Charlotte in December for the Nagurski Award (won by Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers), said Hessert has been singing the Queen City's praises.

“Charlotte is a big city. I see that from when I was up there flying in,” Fairley said. “But it's a community-type atmosphere while you're there.”

Hessert said Fairley will be at the Super Bowl next week and plans to work out at the combine in February.

Look for much more on Fairley in Sunday's editions of the Observer.

--Joseph Person


Posted by Observer Sports on January 27, 2011 at 04:56 PM | Permalink


i say get him and shore up our defense, cause in all likely hood will still be in the hunt for Andrew luck come next year anyways...

Posted by: Just thinking | Jan 27, 2011 5:08:04 PM

In a related story, reports indicate Marty Hurney is eager to continue running the Panthers franchise into the ground.

Posted by: JB | Jan 27, 2011 5:17:53 PM

I hope going to the same high school and being picked number 1 overall are the only 2 things fairley has in common with jamarcus Russell!

Posted by: mike | Jan 27, 2011 5:55:32 PM

Breaking News! JB was driving down I-85 and got the speed limit confused with his IQ score, Too bad, so sad.

Posted by: Top Cat | Jan 27, 2011 6:18:55 PM

@Top Cat. SMFH ..........

Posted by: nasty 704 | Jan 27, 2011 7:01:11 PM

also @ top cat - go back and read what JB said you dumb mutha&*#$@#

Posted by: big daddy | Jan 27, 2011 7:26:30 PM

@big daddy. Im sure he did read what he said. That was the point. It was a very immature childish thing to say.

Posted by: C_Boss | Jan 27, 2011 8:31:36 PM

Got to love all the mature posters that respond to these articles. (not)

Posted by: Foxie | Jan 27, 2011 8:44:18 PM

@jb - thanks for the usual dumb comments..If you hate the Panthers so much, stop reading about them.

@Big Daddy- Topcat is 100% correct about JB's comment..

Posted by: Catsnmbr1Fan | Jan 27, 2011 10:23:14 PM

Carolina is not as big of a project as people think. This is all it will take: Go ahead and draft Nick Fairley with the #1 overall pick. Trade Steve Smith (who I am the biggest fan of) to New England for their first or second 1st Round pick(if they oblige). Trade that pick for Kevin Kolb (or Ryan Fitzpatrick). Sign Nnamdi Asomugha through free agency. Remember, we will only bring on two guys through trades and free agency sticking to the Carolina Panther way. We must scout tight ends with our 3rd and 4th rounders, then wide receivers. Also add depth at in the trenches with our later picks. If we do this, we will be 8-8 next season and into the playoffs the next! Reply if you disagree or do not think this is feasible)

Posted by: JamesT | Jan 27, 2011 10:37:10 PM

im all for Fairly dude is a beast!!! we are not going to have any football next year any way.(stupid CBA) then we will retain the number one and get LUCK!!! in 2012 and we keep Smith

Posted by: Tyler | Jan 28, 2011 12:23:41 AM

"Fox had a core of young players that gave him his early success, 2002, and that is what's different now..." Really!??

Jeff Mitchell, Kevin Donnalley, Brenston Buckner, Rodney Peete, Terry Cousin, Sean Gilbert, Mark Fields, Geg Lloyd, John Kasay (and his multiple injuries), Natrone Means, Wesley Walls (and his bad knees), etc., etc.

Fox and his staff had great drafts and developed the young talent that he had, and even got the most out of throw-away veterans.

Despite that, he had regular success throughout his tenure. It only got bad after this tabloid and ownership (& sons) undermined this organizations leader after local boy Bill Coward retired and moved next door to the organization (three years ago)!

They are clearly upset because Fox brought the coaches that he wanted with him and is likely to get some players to follow as well. This is just childish revenge and some hopeful damage control: Not to mention all the cheap talent they brought in that gutted this organization and the cheap coaches they just hired to try and overcome Fox’s legacy. This backward organization is getting what it deserves.

In short, Martey Hurney, the moron that was signed to an extension despite a ton of bad decisions and poor negotiation abilities (and doesn't even know the names of some of the players he signs), is a Douchbag!

Posted by: Just the Facts Ma'am | Jan 28, 2011 2:14:51 AM

Get Kevin Kolb the blank outta here. I don't see the fascination with that bum. The Panthers are clueless, Newton is right there, they need a QB very badly, but they will pass on him for some scrub DT. Congratulations to whomever gets Newton, it will make the Panthers look like morons once again.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Jan 28, 2011 7:17:35 AM

Cam Newton at QB with the number 1 pick? I'd rather have Nate Newton (aka- The Kitchen) playing QB. At least all of us now know DWG got into some of Nate's marijuana before he posted this idiotic remark. Cam Newton the #1 pick? DWG, Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side...

Posted by: Dug E Fresh | Jan 28, 2011 7:30:11 AM

My only fear with Fairley is that I never heard much about him before the BCS title game. Suh was talked about all last year as the top pick.

Posted by: Sportsdon | Jan 28, 2011 7:55:49 AM

Just the facts - what are you babbling about? Half the players you listed had come and gone before Fox ever got here.

Sportsdon - you must avoid the SEC like the plague. Fairley was probably the second-most talked about player in the SEC behind Cam Newton. Unfortunately, most of the talk was negative. Many claim he's a dirty player. He tended to body-slam instead of tackle, and he had a few late hit penalties. In the Auburn-Georgia game, he got blocked in the back by a Georgia lineman, and Fairly rolled into the QB's knee, knocking him out of the game. So everyone thinks he's the spawn of Satan, except Auburn fans.

I don't care if he plays on the line between clean and dirty. The day he's drafted, he instantly becomes the best D-tackle in Panthers history. The feeling is mutual, Mr. Fairley. Would love to have you here.

Posted by: J | Jan 28, 2011 9:30:12 AM

Well no.one knows for sure who to blame for bad drafts and who to thank for good ones. I dont think fox can get all the credit/blame here. however, we can judge him for the 5 stupid offensive plays he ran over and over which every defense knew what was comming and when. 2 off coordinators and we still run middle on every 3rd and long. Seriously, he stunk and never improved. He refused to even play 2 drafted qbs, insisting on hiring failed unemployed qbs instead. I cant wait for Rivera. He will probably make mistakes, but plz let him learn from them. This is a coaching quality we have never had.

Posted by: panthster | Jan 28, 2011 10:16:57 AM

Why would Hurney not take the time to get to know Fairley. Take him to lunch or something? It all starts with chemistry and getting to know individuals. I heard he is doing background checks and all, but why not a face to face.....he should have scheduled it! Set the meeting up in Mobile. I am sure Fairley knows all of the local good food joints!

Posted by: Jim | Jan 28, 2011 10:56:22 AM

New England is never going to trade for Smitty, he's a guy that screams for the ball - and that's not what they are about. They want guys that fill their role and don't distract Brady from the game plan of spreading it out to the open WRs. Plus getting a 1st round pick for him is a pipe-dream...
That said, i think CAR could trade him for maybe a 2nd or 3rd; and i think BAL could be a potentially landing spot as they need a legit deep-threat across from Boldin, as they move Mason to the #3 WR. Smitty would fill that void perfectly.
I could also see CAR tagging and trading DWil. Miami has already stated he's the FA RB they covet the most; and they'd probably be willing to give up a 2nd rounder for him IMO (let's face it, they aren't giving up #15 overall when they could potentially draft Ingram there). Don't get me wrong, i like DWil the best of all the CAR RBs, but he is getting older (for an RB) and can't stay healthy 16 games. In the Philly mold, it's better to get rid of a player a year too soon than a year too late...
Those two moves alone would allow CAR to take Fairly at #1 overall, then fill the CB need in the 2nd, and have 3 3rd rounders (remember, CAR should get a 3rd rd compensatory pick for JPep leaving) to fill other needs and find a few good prospects.

Ideally though, i'd still prefer to see CAR trade out of the #1 overall down to around 5-10 and get a few extra picks that way too...

Posted by: VoiceOfReason | Jan 28, 2011 11:06:47 AM

I've been watching film on Fairley and the guy is a beast for sure. But his reputation as a dirty player is apparently well deserved. He takes a lot of cheap shots and questionable hits and may not be a good fit with the Panthers. I think Da'Quan Bowers is a better choice if they weren't already stacked at DT.

Posted by: catfandave | Jan 28, 2011 11:57:42 AM

"Miami has already stated he's the FA RB they cover the most; and they'd probably be willing to give up a 2nd rounder for him IMO (let's face it, they aren't giving up #15 overall when they could potentially draft Ingram there)".

The Dolphins don't have a 2nd rounder this year. As I recall they traded 2 2nd rounders to acquire Marshall. 1 in 2010 and 1 in 2011.

Anyway whoever thinks the Panthers are getting a 1st or 2nd round pick for Smith is out of their damn minds. At best you would get a 3rd or 4th rounder in return, just like Braylon E, Deion B, and Randy M were traded for.

Posted by: oh wow | Jan 28, 2011 12:22:27 PM

@oh wow.
good call on the MIA 2nd rounder... i had forgotten about them trading it away for B Marshall.

w/ Steve Smith, i was thinking BAL may give up their late 2nd, but they'd be about the only one willing to do so that i could see. 3rd is more likely for most teams. With the Edwards, Branch and Moss comparisons, you have to remember Moss was a malcontent who OAK had given up on when traded to NE, and he wasn't performing at all in NE when he left for MIN this year. Branch is not half as talented as SSmith, and Edwards also had issues surrounding him in CLE, and was considered to have hands of stone. You could just as easily throw in the comparison with the example you just made of Marshall going for 2 2nd rounders...

Posted by: VoiceOfReason | Jan 28, 2011 1:07:49 PM

i say pick fairley at1st pick, trade for kolb or even that dude from chicago, hane, anyway bring in some free agents, get something out of williams if he leaves since we still have stewart and goodson, get something out of smith as well, i just don't want to see clausen as our starter, no more of that bs, seen that story and don't like it

Posted by: callingitlikeiseeit | Jan 28, 2011 3:16:36 PM

If we wanted to trade Dwill, we should have traded him in 2010 when he was still under contract. Franchising him at top 5 bucks makes a trade far less attractive. Why do the Panthers always wait until a player is a free agent before thinking about trading him? It's probably better to sign him to a new contract and thinking about a trade in 2012.

Posted by: SC Ken | Jan 28, 2011 4:03:27 PM

AJ Green should be the #1 pick. A beast WR for whoever the QB is next year, and one to build the offense around, while letting Smiity get dealt.

Fairley and the Clemson DT are both busts waiting to happen.

Posted by: Phil | Jan 28, 2011 4:31:12 PM

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