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Panthers Set to Surprise in 2008?

EPSN’s Hashmarks has posted their five surprise teams for 2008, and the Panthers are on the list.  Here is the commentary on Carolina and their outlook for the season:

Coach John Fox spent much of last year saying he didn’t like to make excuses and then turning right around and telling anyone who would listen how tough it is to win without your starting quarterback. That part was painfully true as David Carr flopped and Vinny Testaverde fossilized after Delhomme went down in Week 3. The bright spot was the play of undrafted rookie quarterback Matt Moore late in the season, but he remains a project.

The Panthers somehow resisted the temptation to bring in an experienced backup or even try to get a quarterback in the draft. That seems like a risky move. But keep in mind, the Panthers know the condition of Delhomme’s right elbow far better than anyone else. Their medical staff must feel abundantly confident that Delhomme can make a full recovery from Tommy John surgery and Delhomme said he thinks he can be better than he was the past couple of years.

With Fox entering the season clearly on the hot seat, a healthy Delhomme is precisely what the Panthers need. After reshuffling their offensive line, drafting running back Jonathan Stewart and signing receivers Muhsin Muhammad and D.J. Hackett, the Panthers have all the parts are in place to be a serious playoff contender.

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