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May 21, 2013

Lots to look for as Panthers start OTAs

On “Schoolhouse Rock!” three is a magic number.

(The Chiefs do a very cool gameday video of former South Carolina kicker Ryan Succop, featuring the Blind Melon song, by the way.)

But it looks like five is the magic number when it comes to the Panthers' OTA practices.

Both the Observer and panthers.com put together lists of 5 issues/questions/themes facing the Panthers as they begin OTAs today.

Surprisingly, there was only one item that appeared on both lists – the competition in the Carolina secondary.

So between the two sites, you have nine things to watch (assuming OTA practices were open to the public, which they're not.)

Anyway, in keeping with the theme, here are five more:

1-The interaction between Mike Shula and Cam Newton. Yes, they've worked together for two years. But this is bigger. How big? Whether Newton continues his development under Shula or stalls will likely decide Ron Rivera's future.

2-Edmund Kugbila, speaking of big. If the fourth-round pick can pick up the offense after playing Division II football, he could challenge Geoff Hangartner at right guard. That seems like a big if.

3-First-year tight end Brandon Williams. I'm a softie for good stories, and Williams – who played basketball at a small Baptist school last winter – has one. Plus, the Panthers need another TE.

4-Morgan Lineberry. The Panthers have cycled through three kickers since cutting John Kasay. Could Lineberry, an undrafted rookie from Abilene Christian, be the fourth?

5-The return game. Newcomers Ted Ginn and Domenik Hixon are proven returners, and sixth-round pick Kenjon Barner has the speed and elusiveness to be an explosive returner, as well.

It's hard to see a spot for Armanti Edwards on this team.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on May 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM | Permalink


Kugbila was a fourth-round pick. Do you even cover this team, Joe?

Posted by: jrichards | May 21, 2013 1:04:32 PM

LOL @ jrichards

Joe's accuracy in reporting is amazing. Goes to show you it's not what you know, but who you know in this world. If I made as many mistakes at work as these guys do, I'd be replaced.

Posted by: mitch | May 21, 2013 2:31:09 PM

but armanti is great! :)

Posted by: big gulps | May 21, 2013 2:37:16 PM

Fixed. My bad on the typo/brain freeze.

Posted by: Joe Person | May 21, 2013 2:51:36 PM

Have fun guys

Posted by: No Injuries | May 21, 2013 3:51:14 PM

6- In what game will the NFLs highest paid cheerleader (Beason) go down with injury, Exhibition game 1 or 2?

Posted by: Fred | May 21, 2013 7:43:03 PM

You guys said the same about Armanti last season as well...nothing new here.

Posted by: App4ever | May 21, 2013 9:10:37 PM

He was a 4th round pick

Posted by: allen Holland | May 21, 2013 9:37:31 PM

Joe, you just can't resist taking a shot at AE can you? Not only will Armanti make this team, this will be the year he excels. Hopefully Cam has improved his ability to throw the short to med range pass with better accuracy in the off season to take full advantage of Armanti's skils! Armanti has worked his arse' off to make the transition to WR at the NFL level and I can't wait until he makes you eat your words!

Posted by: Charles | May 21, 2013 10:23:28 PM

Yo seriously , what are you ? The accuracy police? People are allowed to make mistakes . Writers too. Do you like it when your boss nitpicks your imperfections ? The righteousness from the followers on this blog is overzealous , if not nuaseating at times . Why not use that negative energy to correct the imperfections in YOU ?

Posted by: Shaun NJ | May 21, 2013 11:06:01 PM

Oh wait. I meant *nauseating .. but I bet someone will correct me on my phone's autocorrect lol

Posted by: Shaun NJ | May 21, 2013 11:10:04 PM

the ae experiment will mercifully end this season.i cant wait to see how the defensive backfield situation pans out.i also want to see gettleman work his magic and upgrade the offensive line as well as get another tight end in here.our depth is fine but on the right side we have backups being starters.im glad they seem to be getting away from the read option but you need blockers to improve the running game.

Posted by: ray | May 22, 2013 4:01:50 PM

Anyone who thinks Armanti Edwards is going to ever produce consistently at this level is delusional .

Posted by: BrianG | May 23, 2013 9:40:55 AM

For 3 years you've said Armanti won't make the team..Yes he was drafted too high for a position change gamble. But your shots border on Garciaesque. Did Fox do anything to help him get better? Did he drop any punts in the last two years? Did Adams replace him? Has anyone blocked on special teams in 3 years? Here is Armanti's place on this team. Backup WR, 3rd QB and backup PR and KR. If you will use your talent to think a bit you would see that this frees up roster spots for other more important positions like OL and DB's. It was foolish of the Panthers todraft him that high but how about giving the kid a break. All he's done is work hard and try. So why don't you?

Posted by: Big Dave | May 23, 2013 3:18:08 PM

Who had the longest play from scrimmage in the 2012 season? Armanti Edwards. Who had the longest punt return in 2012? Armanti Edwards. Who had the longest kickoff return in 2012? AE. Who had the longest reception in 2012? Armanti Edwards. Who had the best punt return average for the Panthers in 2013 (by triple)? Armanti Edwards. Who has the 3rd best punt return average in a season in NFL history? Armanti Edwards (Steve Smith is #1). Who had the most yards per touch on the whole Panthers team in 2012? Armanti Edwards. Who accomplished all these team records with zero fumbles? (Certainly, NOT Joe Adams or Captain). Armanti Edwards. The reason he'll make the team, is the RR trusts Armanti to not screw up. And now, he's starting to crack big plays. Even more to his credit, he did all this with on only about 20 touches this season and has a great attitude. Talk about making the most of his opportunities. Call me crazy, it seems to me AE should be played more. If he was played more last year and avoided some of the huge fumbles in the close games, what would our record have been?

Posted by: All Down Hill | May 23, 2013 11:37:50 PM

Clarification. On the above post, other than Armanti Edwards being 3rd in "NFL" History in punt return average for a season. All the other records are for the "PANTHERS 2012 season." If you don't believe these stats, look them up for yourself. I will gladly retract any mistakes.

Posted by: All Down Hill | May 24, 2013 8:40:24 AM

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