Panthers Appear Content To Be Thin At WR

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Panthers Appear Content To Be Thin At WR

Postby Loqutis » Mon May 02, 2005 12:41 pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- When the Carolina Panthers were forced to release Pro Bowl wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad, it appeared the team would have to fill a gaping hole in its receiving corps.

Instead, the Panthers appear content to play with what they have.

Carolina didn't use any of its 10 draft picks on receivers and didn't sign any free agents other than Eugune Baker, a journeyman with little game experience. In fact, the Panthers' biggest new addition at receiver is an old face: Steve Smith, who missed nearly all of last season with a broken leg.

Smith had a stellar 2003 season to help the Panthers reach the Super Bowl, and could be the guy charged with replacing the bulk of Muhammad's NFL-best 1,405 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2004.

Smith leads a group of receivers that includes second-year player Keary Colbert and veteran Ricky Proehl.

"Granted, we lost 'Moose,"' Panthers head coach John Fox said at rookie minicamp. "He was a guy that was a very productive player for us a year ago, but we gained Steve Smith, who was a very productive guy (in 2003).

"I think Keary Colbert stepped in and did a very good job. He is a guy that we think definitely fits in a starting role. As time moves forward, we will have a better idea. But I don't view that position as a weakness."

Quarterback Jake Delhomme didn't sound too worried about it either. When asked whether the Panthers were thin at receiver, Delhomme said, "No, I really don't.

"And honestly, that's not my job. Whoever is out there, we're going to play with, and I certainly don't think we are lacking in that department. But if someone else is brought in, they'll have their work cut out for them. You'll be hard-pressed to find three guys who can do what Ricky, Smitty and Keary can do."

The Panthers could also get a boost if Drew Carter continues to perform like he did during Sunday's workout. Carter was a fifth-round draft pick out of Ohio State in 2004, but missed last season with a torn left anterior cruciate ligament.

It was his third serious knee injury. Carter tore his right ACL in his final season with the Buckeyes, and missed the 2001 season with a torn left ACL.

Carter -- who made two great grabs during Sunday's practice -- could battle with Proehl for the No. 3 receiver spot.

"With Drew, it's a matter of physically getting healthy," Fox said. "I think he had an excellent surgery. He's rehabbed very well and he looked really good out here."

Among the other receivers on the roster are veteran Karl Hankton, known more for his work on special teams, and Taylor Stubblefield, an undrafted rookie from Purdue.

"We have some young guys," Delhomme said. "Drew Carter shows he has some ability. He's just a rookie, so he'll take some time. But we'll go from there, and I'm happy with what we have."
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Postby 4U2NV » Sun May 08, 2005 3:24 am

I wouldn't really call the Panthers thin at WR. Steve Smith is a solid 1 and Keary Colbert really stepped up as a rookie last year who should only get better. Proehl will make for a reliable #3. I'm glad that Carolina didn't feel that it was necessary to spend money at a position where they really don't need help at. Getting a RB was a way smarter move by them and Eric Shelton should fit in nicely.
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Postby JohnBoy » Sun May 08, 2005 4:26 pm

I also do not believe that the Panthers are thin at WR. When healthy, the WR's on this team can produce. Granted, these guys are not Owens or R. Moss but are for the most part, steady players. Last year, the Panthers got hit with the injuy bug and they appeared to be a little inconsistant. There are really no "super stars" on this team. They play a more balanced game between the WR's & the RB's and move the ball down the field a little bit at a time. If they don't have a lot of injuies this year, they should be a team to watch.
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Postby Naptown » Tue May 10, 2005 4:13 am

They're thin.

Smith is speedy, but its his first time as a TRUE, SOLO # 1.

Colbert is a career # 2 nothing more.
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Postby 4U2NV » Tue May 10, 2005 4:54 am

Naptown wrote:Colbert is a career # 2 nothing more.


What's wrong with being a number 2? There's been plenty of productive number 2s over the years.
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Postby Naptown » Tue May 10, 2005 3:57 pm

4U2NV wrote:
Naptown wrote:Colbert is a career # 2 nothing more.


What's wrong with being a number 2? There's been plenty of productive number 2s over the years.


My point being -

Productive # 2s usually could be # 1s on other teams. Colbert cannot fill a # 1 role on ANY team. Reggie Wayne could.
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Postby 4U2NV » Tue May 10, 2005 6:22 pm

Naptown wrote:
4U2NV wrote:
Naptown wrote:Colbert is a career # 2 nothing more.


What's wrong with being a number 2? There's been plenty of productive number 2s over the years.


My point being -

Productive # 2s usually could be # 1s on other teams. Colbert cannot fill a # 1 role on ANY team. Reggie Wayne could.


Ohh ok. That makes more sense, point taken.
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Postby Odieman » Wed May 18, 2005 8:55 pm

The Panthers are as thin at WR as one of those Olsen girls.

NE proved beyond a doubt that winning it all takes talented depth much more than megastar starters. The Panthers start Smith and Kolbert in a pro set which is a good start. For a 3WR set they add ancient Proehl, not very intimidating. Who's their spread speedster in a spread O? Karl Hankton? Eugene Baker? Micah Ross? I doubt most people even know who these guys are. Past a pro set, 2WR and either a TE or H-back, the Panthers have no reliable passing offense. Opposing defenses will bring their safeties up on downs 1 and 2 and stuff the run, forcing CAR to try and throw long each 3rd down, simply because CAR can't spread the field.

Lack of depth makes the Panthers VERY one dimensional and predictable. They will once again need to lean heavily on their running game to set up the big play to Smith and hope they hit on it. Not too promising for them with Davis pretty much done, Foster renting a hospital bed and only a rookie to take their place in the backfield. They will also have to lean on their D to save them which will add wear and tear to their greatest team strength.
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Postby Littlebighead » Fri May 20, 2005 8:46 pm

Naptown wrote:They're thin.

Smith is speedy, but its his first time as a TRUE, SOLO # 1.

Colbert is a career # 2 nothing more.

I disagree, within 2 seasons Colbert will be the #1 option in Carolina. The guy has tremendous potential. S.Smith comes into this season with some questions about his speed imo. When speed is your bread and butter and you have a season ending injury to your leg that makes for a pretty big and legitimate ???
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