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November 06, 2013

Former defensive tackle Sione Fua switches to offensive line

The Panthers are trying their luck with a second defensive-lineman-turned-offensive-lineman this week.

After Nate Chandler filled in at right guard during the second half of Sunday’s win against Atlanta, defensive tackle Sione Fua was donning a new jersey and number at Wednesday’s practice, working out with the offensive lineman at guard.

Fua, a third-year player from Stanford, hasn’t played on the offensive line since high school, where he was a highly recruited player but decided his heart was in defense, he said.

Wednesday was his first real shot at playing on the offensive line that has faced its share of injuries this season.

“Probably just knowing the plays,” Fua said about the toughest part of the switch. “I’ve been in the playbook the past couple days but there are so many calls, so many intricacies to the offense, just trying to wrap my head around everything. (Center Ryan) Kalil and (left tackle Jordan) Gross and all the other guys are helping me out there so just learning the playbook has been the hardest part so far.”

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Chandler is the starting right guard for Carolina right now, showing some apprehension about Chris Scott’s (knee) availability for Sunday’s game at San Francisco. He said recently signed Geoff Hangartner will get some reps at right guard as well.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on November 6, 2013 at 04:38 PM | Permalink


scott probably out, byers on IR....wharton and chandler starting....hangartner......

glad they brought fua back and kept chandler.

Not many people even noticed chandler in the game because of how quick scott and byers went down.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 6, 2013 5:20:26 PM

It probably was a mistake to IR Kugbila. We all know he wasn't really hurt. Gotta think he'd be better than moving DL to the offense at this point.

Posted by: Authority on Everything | Nov 6, 2013 5:33:54 PM

I am going to go out on a limb and say Fua ends up being a heck of an O-Line guy. Nothing to base that on other than a gut feeling. Best of luck man!

Posted by: dennis | Nov 6, 2013 6:11:08 PM

When do we start calling Jeno James and Todd Steussie? Or do we convert Star Lutulelei to OG first?

Posted by: Knucklehead | Nov 6, 2013 7:11:19 PM

Could be a good thing. They kept Fua for some reason. It clearly wasn't because he was a good DT. Maybe when he has that split second difference by knowing the snap count he won't get beat like a red headed step child.

Posted by: David R | Nov 6, 2013 11:55:23 PM

After drafting D line this year, I believe O line is the target for next draft.

Posted by: Sports don | Nov 7, 2013 1:47:43 AM

Im starting to think I underestimated this coaching staff. Didnt think they had the vittles to see/pursue a creative/aggressive solution

Posted by: ILikeIt | Nov 7, 2013 7:08:31 AM

oh this coaching staff is great with everything except for timeout/clock management, when to go for it on 4th and when not to, when to challenge and when not to, and general big moment decision making. everything else they are great, maybe even elite.

as for next year's draft, we have to replace gross at tackle, and maaaaaybe a 2nd or 3rd on a guard or tackle (remember bell can play guard too) but it's not quite as pressing. we will have silatolu back, plus hypothetically kugbila decides he wants to be a professional football player.

we are only thin now because of like 7 injuries at the same spot. same thing with safety. we look fine next year assuming godfrey recovers. the glaring needs are tackle to replace gross and linebacker to upgrade blackburn/eventually replace davis. you could argue for corner as well, but historically it hasn't been a position of need for super bowl teams. good pass rush and safety play makes anybody look good at corner.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 7, 2013 11:03:34 AM

The coaching staff is doing exactly the right thing when it comes to 4th down. Going for it and making it, as they have so often done this season, swings the momentum in the Panthers favor and it is a huge confidence boost for the players. This is one of the main reasons the team has won 5 games so far. Taking the John Fox approach of super conservative, never go for it on 4th down, run a draw on 3rd and long didn't work for Rivera's first 2 yrs on the job. I'm glad he has finally loosened up and started to trust his players. Kudos to both Rivera and Gettlemen for taking chances.

Posted by: Panther Joe | Nov 7, 2013 12:23:41 PM

there are times when it is the right thing to do and times when it is the wrong thing to do.

for example.......up 4 early on, you take the automatic 3 points from inside the 25 and the full 1 possession lead. from mid field? you would probably go for it. up 3? up 6 or more? you would probably go for it. but up 4 or 5? it's mathematically wrong to gamble.

rivera went from "never go for it on 4th down" to "always go for it on 4th down". neither one is right. there are time and situations for both. he doesn't get that.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 8, 2013 1:27:44 PM

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