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Thread: QB is now the least of the Panthers' concerns.

  1. QB is now the least of the Panthers' concerns.

    I know the more interesting story is the QB battle between Matt Moore, Jimmy Clausen, and Tony Pike, but that will not decide the Panthers fate this year. Ron Meeks has a very tough decision to make now at linebacker with the loss of Thomas Davis for a second straight year to a knee injury.

    In Meeks' system the Will linebacker is the one that makes the majority of plays. That was Thomas Davis' position. Top Will backers make big plays and big money, think of Derrick Brooks with the Buccaneers and Lance Briggs with the Bears. The Will Backer is very tough to block if the gaps are occupied correctly, and it is almost impossible to block if you have a great 3 technique defensive tackle in front of him like Brooks and Briggs had with Warren Sapp and Tommie Harris (before he hurt his knee).

    Should Meeks replace Thomas Davis with Pro Bowl Middle LBer Jon Beason? Physically Beason has the speed to play the Will backer, but that would leave Dan Conner in the middle running the defense. Jamaar Williams, who came over from the Bears in the Chris Harris trade, could play Will LBer and leave Beason in the middle.

    If you move Beason, that would mean all three linebackers would either be new, or playing new positions. James Anderson will probably be replacing Na'il Diggs at Strong Linebacker. Making that transition even tougher is the fact that Julius Peppers, Ma'ake Kemoeatu, and Damione Lewis will no longer be starting on the defensive line. That is a lot of experience that will be missed on this defense. The Panthers front seven will look like a Home Makeover project, nobody will recognize it when it is finished. My guess is that Beason will stay in the middle just to give this defense, that finished the year pretty well, a little continuity.

    John Fox is in the last year of his contract, but he has made a lot of moves that are in the best interest of this franchise, by going younger. The problem is, by the time these moves start to pay off, somebody else could be the head coach.

    Did I mention that I think Jimmy Clausen is the the QB out of this draft class that I think is the most ready to play in the NFL? Another day, another story.

  2. Panthers Focus

    Cris, I think you hit the nail on the head with this post. What do you make of what you saw from Everrett Brown this past season? His development as a pass rusher will determine the fate of the 2010 Panthers defense. While undersized, he displays skills similar to Freeney and Mathis. Ron Meeks had plenty of success with those two during his tenure with the Colts. Furthermore, the Panthers need to find a second receiver to compliment Steve Smith. While Fox has the parts to effectively run the ball, he must finally put a guy on the field that can keep the opposing defenders honest. It appears the Panthers are hopeful that third-round draft pick, Brandon LaFell, can step up to the challenge as a rookie.

  3. #3
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    I have recently read where Jamaar Williams is a good as they come but was stuck behind Lance Briggs and can easily be the Will backer. Dan Connor is a beast and if Ron Meeks moves Beason out to the Will Dan Connor will not skip a beat aty MLB. The Panthers did not address the DT tackle spot with the exception of adding Johnson from Indy. This tells me that the Front office is content with Leonard Lewis, Tank Tyler, Corey Irvin, Ed Johnson and Nick Hayden with Tyler Brayton switching from DE to DT in certain situations. The addition of Hardy and Norwood as situational pass rushers along with Brayton, Charles Johnson, Everette Brown and Hilee Taylor the DE position will soon forget who Julius Peppers was.

    As far as QB goes. The Panthers for the 1st time in their history have a depth at quarterback. Here is the new problem. Cantwell has really impressed and might fight for the #3 spot. Sadly because if the Panthers try to put Pike on the Practice Squad he will be gone. With the Eagles contemplating cutting Vick, I say trade Cantwell or Pike for a 2nd or 3rd rounder in 2011 draft.

    Go Panthers

  4. #4
       
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    I know you hated my Panther prediction for 2010, but yeah, Williams is a beast, we really liked him in Chicago, and wanted to keep him, just one of those moves that had to be made. Really liked Connor at PSU and unfortunately Panther games aren't broadcast too often up here, but I would like to see how the LB corps does this year...just thought you'd like my sincere Positive Panther Vibes!!!
    2010 Chicago Bears: NFC North Champions

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    I'm worried about Connor playing MLB in a Tampa 2 system - is he able to really cover the routes in the deep middle? I think i'd be more comfortable leaving Beason at MLB where he has a year under his belt and letting someone else fight for the WLB. I know WLB is the one that makes the plays and we will definitely miss Davis who was having a Pro Bowl season before being injured last year, but I have major concerns about Connor in a Tampa 2.

    And I'm not even sure if the LB issue is the biggest. I have some faith that - if they stay healthy - our DTs will be serviceable, but our DLine has got to be the biggest question mark and potential weak link in the chain.

    Thoughts?

  6. #6
       
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    I think you have to put Beason at MLB. Just seems like the right move. If you have this confidence in Jimmy Clausen, Cris, then should they move one of their Qb's to try and find a vet LB? Or is that too drastic?
    [B]St. Bernard born and raised! BLACK AND GOLD TO THE SUPER BOWL! WHO DAT![/B]

  7. You keep Beason at MLB. The MLB in the hybrid Tampa 2 needs to be able to run with tight ends up the seam, cover wide outs in the underneath routes, and shed blockers and make tackles at the line of scrimmage. I can't really see Dan Conner successfully doing that in his first year.

    I think you take your chances on Jamarr Williams athleticism at the Will. Hopefully that is what they do.

    I get a little worried that they have Beason on the weak side and still calling all the signals during OTAs, but I think this is Fox just testing things out in camp. Come September, I really believe we will see Beason return to MLB.

    Ultimately, I believe Beason in the middle will prevail.

  8. #8
    I still think Moore seemed very legit to me,but if they decide Clausen is their guy then Moore does have trade value at this point
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  9. #9
       
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colts01 View Post
    I still think Moore seemed very legit to me,but if they decide Clausen is their guy then Moore does have trade value at this point
    That's actually my biggest hope since we have a good stable of young QBs. If they truly feel like Cantwell and Pike have potential to be solid backups then I would love to see the Front Office decide between Moore and Clausen and trade one for a blue-chip piece from another team or a first rounder next year. Sure it's risky if one falters and the other flies, but I don't see Cantwell or Pike making it through waivers to the Practice Squad and we're obviously not going to carry 4 QBs.

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