Unleash the Kraken

 

hardy mad

Sources say that DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement based on Thursday’s decision regarding Adrian Peterson.

NFLPA STATEMENT ON OVERTURNING OF ADRIAN PETERSON’S SUSPENSION

“This is a victory for the rule of law, due process and fairness. Our collective bargaining agreement has rules for implementation of the personal conduct policy and when those rules are violated, our union always stands up to protect our players’ rights. This is yet another example why neutral arbitration is good for our players, good for the owners and good for our game.”

–DeMaurice Smith
NFLPA Executive Director

 

The Panther’s to Weigh Decisions–In the Balance

The Panthers were waiting to decide what the outcome of one of their premiere pass rushers would be, allowing the NFL to work through their own process.  Missing the presence of their franchise-tagged player for most of the season last year, who looked to receive 13.1 million for the season and who in turn, received the amount by only playing one game and recording one sack–one of the most expensive sacks in the franchise and arguably in the league’s history, seriously impacted the Panther’s defense. Now the Panthers were forced to play the waiting game, allowing the league to come back with results and development.

With the results in and decisions made on the Adrian Peterson case, the dynamic Pass Rusher known as ‘The Kraken’ will look to be reinstated instead of being suspended for 6 weeks as was previously discussed by the league, by being on the Commissioner’s exempt list.

With the verdict in the balance and the public scrutiny by the public and by the league, the Panther’s will have to make a decision with what to do about Greg Hardy. They had backed Greg Hardy it seemed all year long but being silent about most of the player’s where about’s and activities. However, the team wanted to keep focused and distractions at a minimum.

The choice will be up to Jerry Richardson and the Panthers on what to do about Greg Hardy. No team’s like player’s who bring unnecessary problems and baggage on or off the field. The NFL was looking to find out more about the files and case work regarding Greg Hardy’s trial–and were at a stand still.  With the outcome of Adrian Peterson, one can’t help but think that Greg Hardy will most likely be reinstated. Now the decision remains–Do the Panthers stick with the dynamic pass rusher who adds to the explosiveness of the defense, paired along side with the other threat of DE Charles Johnson? Or do they let him try Free-Agency hoping for the other potentials on the team to step-up their game and look to find another pass rusher in the draft?

A Review of Panthers 2014-15 Season and the Transition Moving Forward

Every year there are changes made to the team. Last year fans felt betrayed by the letting go of the long-time Panther and veteran Steve Smith. This year, DeAngelo Williams. Transitions happen. Change happens. Fans may disagree with some of the decisions, but trust is necessary if you are to back the management of the team and allow them to work through the process. For those players released there may be some built up animosity but most of them seemed to enjoy being part of the team before their number was called to leave. Staff and management have a job to do as well and their job is to improve the team going forward, with the goal of attaining the Lombardy trophy.

Keeping the players you build around.

Who are they? When asked about the QB’s in this year’s draft class and whether or not Coach Ron Rivera would stick around and watch, his answer was that the Panthers “already had their franchise QB.” Cam Newton is the Panthers franchise QB going forward. The goal is to improve his play and put the necessary players around him to succeed. Has Cam taken the steps forward that the Panthers want to see?

Let’s take a look: Cam finished with an 82.1 QBR–falling to the 26th position. Cam NewtonQuarterback Rating is comprised of four components – QBR (Comp), QBR (PassYards), QBR (TDs) and QBR (INT), which when combined give you the total Quarterback Rating. In comparison, Newton was 16th in 2013, with a QBR of 88.8.

Offense is of main concern moving forward in the draft. If Gettlemen can sure up the offensive line and draft a few “Hogmollies” at the Tackle position–this would allow for Cam to continue to develop into the QB the Panthers need him to be.

Cam has improved, though the numbers may not show it in his QBR, he continued to find ways to win. Cam loves to win. And he has the abilities and skill to do it–he finds a way. He was second in Rushing for the Panthers, Rushing a total of 103 Attempts for 539 yds. averaging 5.2 yds/att. If this doesn’t make other teams defensive coordinators stay awake at night, then looking at the tape and seeing that he also has the ability to connect with his TE Greg Olsen and new-comer WR Kelvin Benjamin for big yards, both tied for 1,088 this past season, certainly will. And the Panthers are looking to find more weapons for Cam.

Panthers will look to sure up the Offense in this years draft. And if they can have the same success in the draft as they did before, as they improved upon the defense, we can expect to see tremendous growth for the Carolina Panthers moving forward.

A Look At the 2015 Panthers unrestricted free agents

b bell

Before approaching the draft, teams make moves in order to advance the team’s vision and philosophy for the upcoming year and the years to come. When looking at the team and the team’s needs it is important to learn what the team’s vision is and the dynamics that make-up the team.

LB Thomas Davis, in his recent interview on ‘Move the Sticks’, describes what it means to be a Carolina Panther. What does “playing like a Carolina Panther mean?” Davis: “You have to give us your all. You’ve got to come in and be willing to sell out for the team. That’s how we play on defense. We try and play like that on all three phases (Offense, Defense, Special Teams.) On defense, specifically, Davis states that “we play for eachother. We look at no one like they’re bigger than the team. We play the game at a high level.”

What type of player would fit what the Carolina Panthers look for? GM David Gettlemen, before he looks at any of the college tape on the draft class, sits down with the players and finds out about their football IQ. Gettlemen looks for players who can have an immediate impact on the field for the team.

Another part of Gettlemen’s philosophy is building depth and he believes you can never have too many quality players at any position.  Gettlemen, when using draft picks, will go with the best player on the board. His philosophy has worked well, all but for the 6th pick, which maybe this time around can have better success.

 

Here’s a look at the Panthers 2015 unrestricted free agents:

QB –Joe Webb

RB– DeAngelo Williams

TE– Ed Dickson

OT–Byron Bell ; Garry Williams

DE–Greg Hardy (on Commissioner’s Exempt List)

 

DT–Colin Cole ;Dwan Edwards

OLB–Chase Blackburn

 

Free Agency begins March 10 at 4 p.m.

DT Star Lotulelei Out for Playoff Game Vs Seattle With Fracture in Foot

Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei has a fracture in his foot, and won’t be able to go in Saturday’s playoff game at Seattle, a huge blow for a team that needs to find a way to stop the run up front and also keep QB Russell Wilson in check.

“Star will not play this week,” coach Ron Rivera said in a conference call with Seattle reporters. “He broke a small bone in his foot, and he had surgery this morning to repair it. It’s one of those things that hopefully we get the opportunity to move on [in the playoffs], and if we do, he’ll get to play.”

Lotulelei, Carolina’s first-round pick in 2013, practiced Tuesday but missed Wednesday’s practice. It’s unclear how he injured his foot.

Lotulelei has been Carolina’s top defensive tackle in the past two games. He registered a career-high seven tackles and two sacks against Atlanta in Week 17 and followed that up with three tackles against the Cardinals in the wild card game.

The former first-round pick missed two games earlier this season. The Panthers went 0-2 without him but held up well against the run, surrendering just 89 rush yards per game and 3.49 yards per carry.

“Colin Cole will assume a bigger role for us,” Rivera said. “He’s been a solid and steady force for us, such a space-eater inside, holds the double-team at the point of attack and helps to allow our linebackers to run.”

The Panthers need help against the Seahawks, and it will be up to those other players to make plays for a team that is not getting much respect.

According to The Standard, the Panthers are still 12/1 to win the NFC, and 25/1 to win the Super Bowl. The team has the longest odds of any to win the big game in Glendale the first Sunday in February.

“We’re not counting him out. If we keep this thing going, he’ll be able to come back to us if we’re still playing in February,” Rivera said of Lotulelei.

Cardinals vs Panthers Friday Injury Report

ARIZONA CARDINALS
(Arizona conducted a walk-through on Friday. The Friday practice report is an estimation.)
Status Report
OUT QB Drew Stanton (knee)
QUESTIONABLE G Jonathan Cooper (wrist, knee), DT Dan Williams (foot)
PROBABLE DE Calais Campbell (hip), LB Larry Foote (knee), S Tyrann Mathieu (thumb, hip), DT Frostee Rucker (ankle), C Lyle Sendlein (back)
Practice Report
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday QB Drew Stanton (knee), DT Dan Williams (foot)
Thursday QB Drew Stanton (knee)
Friday QB Drew Stanton (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday G Jonathan Cooper (wrist, knee), DT Frostee Rucker (ankle)
Thursday G Jonathan Cooper (wrist, knee), DT Frostee Rucker (ankle), DT Dan Williams (foot)
Friday G Jonathan Cooper (wrist, knee), DT Dan Williams (foot)
FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday DE Calais Campbell (hip), LB Larry Foote (knee), S Tyrann Mathieu (thumb, hip), C Lyle Sendlein (back)
Thursday DE Calais Campbell (hip), LB Larry Foote (knee), S Tyrann Mathieu (thumb, hip), C Lyle Sendlein (back)
Friday DE Calais Campbell (hip), LB Larry Foote (knee), S Tyrann Mathieu (thumb, hip), DT Frostee Rucker (ankle), C Lyle Sendlein (back)
CAROLINA PANTHERS
Status Report
DOUBTFUL S Thomas DeCoud (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE LB A.J. Klein (ankle)
PROBABLE QB Derek Anderson (illness), DE Charles Johnson (not injury related), G Fernando Velasco (not injury related), RB DeAngelo Williams (hand)
Practice Report
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday QB Derek Anderson (illness), G Fernando Velasco (not injury related)
Thursday S Thomas DeCoud (hamstring)
Friday S Thomas DeCoud (hamstring), DE Charles Johnson (not injury related)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday S Thomas DeCoud (hamstring)
Friday LB A.J. Klein (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday LB A.J. Klein (ankle), RB DeAngelo Williams (hand)
Thursday QB Derek Anderson (illness), LB A.J. Klein (ankle), G Fernando Velasco (not injury related), RB DeAngelo Williams (hand)
Friday QB Derek Anderson (illness), G Fernando Velasco (not injury related), RB DeAngelo Williams (hand)

Cardinals at Panthers Wednesday Wild Card Injury Report

ARIZONA CARDINALS
Practice Report
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday QB Drew Stanton (knee), DT Dan Williams (foot)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday G Jonathan Cooper (wrist, knee), DT Frostee Rucker (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday DE Calais Campbell (hip), LB Larry Foote (knee), S Tyrann Mathieu (thumb, hip), C Lyle Sendlein (back)
CAROLINA PANTHERS
Practice Report
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday QB Derek Anderson (illness), G Fernando Velasco (not injury related)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday S Thomas DeCoud (hamstring)
FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday LB A.J. Klein (ankle), RB DeAngelo Williams (hand)

Browns at Panthers NFL Week 16 Capsule

BROWNS PANTHERS
SERIES LEADER 3-1
STREAKS   3 of past 4
COACHES VS. OPP. Pettine: 0-0 Rivera: 0-0
LAST WEEK L 30-0 vs. Bengals W 19-17 vs. Buccaneers
LAST GAME 11/28/10: Panthers 23 at Browns 24. Cleveland RB Peyton Hillis rushes for 131 yards & 3 TDs. Browns rookie CB Joe Haden records INT and S Abram Elam has 2 sacks.
LAST GAME AT SITE 10/8/06: Panthers 20, Browns 12. Carolina WR Keyshawn Johnson catches 5 passes for 67 yards & TD. Panthers RB DeShaun Foster rushes for 106 yards.
BROADCAST CBS (1:00 PM ET): Tom McCarthy, Adam Archuleta. SIRIUS: 140 (Cle.), 84 (Car.). XM: 228 (Car.).

STATS

PASSING Manziel (R): 15-27-143-0-2-39.6 Anderson: 65-97-701-5-0-105.2
RUSHING West (R): 153-579-3.8-3 Stewart: 138-636-4.6-3
RECEIVING Hawkins: 58-763-13.2-2 Olsen (TE): 81-960-11.9-6
OFFENSE 336.1 345.3
TAKE/GIVE +7 +1
DEFENSE 359.6 351.5
SACKS Kruger: 10 Addison, Johnson: 6.5
INTs Skrine: 4 Harper: 3
PUNTING Lanning: 44.2 Nortman: 44.5
KICKING Hartley (2013): 107 (41/41 PAT; 22/30 FG) Gano: 106 (28/28 PAT; 26/31 FG)

NOTES

BROWNS: Rookie QB JOHNNY MANZIEL will make 1st career road start. Scored 1st NFL TD in last road game (10-yard run vs. Buf. in Week 13)…Browns are only NFL team with 2 rookies with 500+ rushing yards – RBs TERRANCE WEST (579) & ISAIAH CROWELL (546). Crowell (undrafted) has 4 rush TDs in past 6 & is tied for most among NFL rookies (8). West (Round 3, No. 94 overall) leads team & ranks 2nd among AFC rookies with 579 rush yards…In past 18, WR JOSH GORDON has 107 rec. for 1,904 yards (105.7/game) & 9 TDs. In past 5 vs. NFC, has 480 rec. yards & 2 TDs, incl. 3 100-yard games…S DONTE WHITNER leads team with 92 tackles. Had FF in only meeting (11/10/13 with SF). LB PAUL KRUGER has career-high 10 sacks, incl. 4 in past 4. LB CRAIG ROBERTSON had INT last week. S JIM LEONHARD has INT in 2 of past 3…PANTHERS: QB CAM NEWTON has won 3 of past 4 vs. AFC at home. Has 103.4 rating, 6 pass TDs & 1 rush TD in those 4. Needs 188 pass yards for 4th consecutive 3,000-yard season. QB DEREK ANDERSON has played 6 games & has 105.2 rating (5 TDs, 0 INTs), incl. 2-0 record as starter…RB JONATHAN STEWART has rushed for 313 yards (104.3 per game) & TD in past 3. Rushed for 98 yards & averaged 8.2 yards per carry (12 att.) in only meeting. RB DE ANGELO WILLIAMS needs 154 rush yards to reach 7,000 for career…Among rookies, WR KELVIN BENJAMIN is 2nd with 952 rec. yards, ties for 2nd with 9 rec. TDs & ranks 3rd with 67 catches. TE GREG OLSEN has TD catch in 5 of past 7 vs. AFC. Has 8 TDs in past 11 vs. AFC. Had 10 catches for 110 yards last week, his 2nd consecutive 10-catch game. Has career-high 81 catches & 960 yards…LB LUKE KUECHLY has 39 tackles in 3 games vs. AFC this season & aims for 4th in row vs. AFC with 10+ tackles. Since entering NFL in 2012, leads league with 458 tackles. DE CHARLES JOHNSON has 11.5 sacks in past 18 vs. AFC. Has 6.5 sacks in past 10, incl. 0.5 sack & FF last week. DE MARIO ADDISON has career-high 6.5 sacks, tied with Johnson for team lead.

Browns at Panthers Wednesday Injury Report

CLEVELAND BROWNS
Practice Report
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday S Tashaun Gipson (knee), CB Joe Haden (shoulder), WR Marlon Moore (knee), T Joe Thomas (not injury related), CB K’Waun Williams (hamstring)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday TE Gary Barnidge (rib), LB Karlos Dansby (knee), CB Robert Nelson (hamstring), LB Jabaal Sheard (foot)
CAROLINA PANTHERS
Practice Report
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday S Roman Harper (thigh), LB A.J. Klein (ankle)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday QB Cam Newton (back), G Amini Silatolu (knee), RB DeAngelo Williams (hand)
FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday LB Thomas Davis (knee)
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