NFC East: Carolina Panthers

Giants' defense ready for Cam Newton

September, 19, 2013
9/19/13
6:14
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants' defense faced two traditional pocket passers in the first two weeks of the season.

This coming Sunday will provide a very different challenge.

Big Blue will have to deal with arguably the most unique quarterback in the NFL, Cam Newton, when the Giants take on the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. And the Giants' coaches and players offered plenty of compliments regarding Newton on Thursday.

[+] EnlargeCarolina's Cam Newton
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images"With his combination of size, strength and speed, you'd be hard-pressed to find another guy (like him), not only a quarterback but maybe athlete," Giants safety Ryan Mundy said of Cam Newton.
"With his combination of size, strength and speed, you’d be hard-pressed to find another guy (like him), not only a quarterback but maybe athlete," safety Ryan Mundy said. "He’s definitely one of a kind."

Newton stands 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, with a strong arm, but also plenty of foot speed at his disposal. The 24-year-old is now in his third season in the NFL, and Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said Newton has shown improvement since entering the league.

"He’s definitely gained some ground," Kiwanuka said. "Everybody knows about his speed -- you know when he escapes the pocket that he can still look down the field, and he can make people miss. Our job will be to push the pocket, get people up in his face and make sure we get him down on the ground."

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said they've spent extra time preparing to face mobile quarterbacks like Newton since OTAs back in the spring. In fact, Fewell said they watched lots of college football film this offseason, looking for ideas to contain the option offense. "The college game is now coming to the NFL," Fewell said. "It was helpful."

"We’ve studied in the offseason and studied a lot of these option-type quarterbacks and we have a plan," Coughlin said. "We haven’t really been tested in that area, but we have worked in training camp on responsibilities. I’m confident we’ll have a guy in the right place, hopefully at the right time."

The Giants' defense didn't have much success against Tony Romo and Peyton Manning in Weeks 1 and 2. New York is giving up 372.5 yards per game, 20th in the NFL, and has given up 77 points, ranking them dead-last.

That said, the Panthers are 0-2 as well. Newton has been OK -- completing 37 of 61 passes (60.7 percent), with three touchdowns and one interception. But the Panthers are third-to-last in the league in passing yards, with just 354.

The Giants have faced Newton before, last September, and the results were impressive. New York pounded Carolina, 36-7, in Charlotte. Newton threw for 242 yards, but had three interceptions, and just 6 rushing yards on six attempts.

The Giants are hoping for a similar result this time around and sound confident. The results could be telling, considering they have several more games against mobile quarterbacks on the schedule.

"We’re definitely more prepared," Kiwanuka said. "I think we have the ability to recognize it more on the field and get the job done."

Rapid Reaction: Panthers 30, Eagles 22

November, 26, 2012
11/26/12
11:40
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PHILADELPHIA -- Some thoughts from the Philadelphia Eagles' (gulp) seventh loss in a row, this one to the lowly Carolina Panthers in front of a "Monday Night Football" audience.

What it means: That the Eagles are, by a legitimate measure, the worst team in the NFC. Their 3-8 record is the worst in the conference and identical to that of the Panthers, who just beat them on their home field. The only teams in the NFL with worse records are the 2-9 Jacksonville Jaguars and the 1-10 Kansas City Chiefs. This is the Eagles' first seven-game losing streak since 1994, and they are no longer capable of finishing with a better record than last year's 8-8 mark that team owner Jeffrey Lurie termed unacceptable before this season began.

The good and bad of Bryce Brown: Brown, the seventh-round rookie running back who'd been siphoning some of LeSean McCoy carries, returning kicks and getting looks at the goal line in the first 10 games of the season, stepped into the starter's role with McCoy out due to a concussion. He had a statistical first start for the ages. His 65-yard touchdown run in the second quarter announced his presence and fired up a skeptical home crowd, and he finished with 178 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. He also fumbled twice in the second half, which damaged the Eagles' momentum and helped the Panthers take the lead in the fourth quarter, so it was far from a spotless night. But as a runner, when he had the ball in his hands, Brown looks speedy and shifty and capable of handling more of a workload than he'd been given previously.

Coverage problems: The Eagles' pass defense continued its recent struggles early in the game, allowing two easy Cam Newton touchdown passes in the first quarter. And while the coverage seemed to tighten up a bit after that, it would have been difficult for it not to improve, and Carolina receivers didn't have too much trouble getting open when they had to. Newton finished the game 18-for-28 for 306 yards and two touchdown passes. He also rushed 54 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. And over the past five games, since Juan Castillo was fired as defensive coordinator and replaced by Todd Bowles, opposing quarterbacks are 94-for-125 (75.2 percent) for 1,207 yards, 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions against the Eagles.

Rookie QB: Still not much to go on with rookie Nick Foles, who made his second straight start at quarterback due to Michael Vick's concussion. He threw a nice deep ball that drew a key 51-yard pass interference call in the third quarter to set up Brown's second touchdown run, but for the most part he was handing the ball off and throwing screen passes. There were at least three passes he threw in the first half that looked like poor downfield decisions that were nearly intercepted, and it seems clear that the Eagles are not yet asking Foles to do very much.

Injuries: Wide receiver DeSean Jackson left the game in the first quarter with what the team called a sternum injury, and rookie defensive tackle Fletcher Cox left in the second quarter with a tailbone injury. Neither player returned to the game. Left tackle King Dunlap also had to leave the game in the third quarter with an unspecified injury, but he was able to return.

What's next: The Eagles will travel to Dallas and play the Cowboys on Sunday night at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys are 5-6 and trying desperately to stay in the division and wild-card races. Dallas beat the Eagles 38-23 in Philadelphia in Week 10.
PHILADELPHIA -- No surprises on the list of inactive players for the Philadelphia Eagles for tonight's "Monday Night Football" game against the Carolina Panthers. Starting quarterback Michael Vick and running back LeSean McCoy are inactive with their concussions. Rookie Nick Foles makes his second straight start at quarterback, and rookie Bryce Brown starts at running back for McCoy.

Veteran guard Jake Scott, who started last week's game against the Redskins after signing a few days earlier, gets his second straight start at right guard in place of 2011 first-round pick Danny Watkins, who is active but not starting. Once again, left guard Evan Mathis is the only preseason-projected starting offensive lineman still starting for the Eagles.

Active for the first time this year is rookie defensive end Vinny Curry, a second-round pick for whom Eagles fans have been clamoring as the Eagles' pass rush as slumped through the season. Curry gives the Eagles five active defensive ends for the game, so the issue of which guys will actually play (and how much) remains a mystery.

I'll be here all night at Lincoln Financial Field, and as you watch the game on ESPN please join our Countdown Live chat on ESPN.com.

The full list of inactive players for the game, which pits the league's No. 28 scoring offense (Carolina) against the league's No. 31 scoring offense (Philadelphia).

EAGLES

QB Michael Vick

WR Greg Salas

RB LeSean McCoy

RB Chris Polk

OL Nate Menkin

DE Phillip Hunt

WR Jason Avant

PANTHERS

QB Jimmy Clausen

WR David Gettis

S D.J. Campbell

CB James Dockery

LB Jason Williams

T Bruce Campbell

DE Antwan Applewhite

Wrap-up: Panthers 21, Redskins 13

November, 4, 2012
11/04/12
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A few thoughts on the Washington Redskins' third consecutive loss, this one to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon at FedEx field.

What it means: If you were still holding out hope that the Redskins could make a playoff run this year, now might be a good time to recalibrate your expectations. They were just outmanned and outplayed, at home, by one of the worst teams in the league. Carolina did an excellent job of bottling up Robert Griffin III by keeping the pocket very tight around him and limiting his options. This is one of many things the Redskins' defense is not able to do to its opponents with any consistency, and it effectively eliminated Washington's passing game in this one.

Second-guessing: I didn't like the call to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line down 7-3 in the second quarter, mainly because I think the Redskins' defense is so bad right now that it doesn't matter whether they make the other team go 50 yards, 80 yards or 98 yards -- they can't operate on the assumption that they're going to be able to get a stop or maintain a field-position advantage. I'd have taken the points while I had them. And if you do go for it there, you can't run that quarterback sprint out to the short side. No matter how fast Griffin is, you take away your options when you run that play to the short side. Bad decision, bad play call, bad execution.

The whistle: If indeed an official blew a whistle during DeAngelo Williams' 30-yard touchdown run and Redskins linebacker Perry Riley pulled up as a result, then the Redskins have a legitimate complaint. The play should have been blown dead. Now, there was nothing to say the Redskins couldn't have won the game anyway, or that the phantom whistle was the reason they lost. But Redskins fans were furious after that play, and it appears the fury was justified.

The bigger problem: The Redskins were called for 13 penalties for a total of 97 yards. Two of the late ones were a holding call and a false start that delayed the touchdown that cut the Carolina lead to one score in the final two minutes. The Redskins don't hold enough personnel advantages over their opponents to get away with that many critical, avoidable mistakes.

What's next: The Redskins are off next week. They return after the bye with a 1 p.m. ET home game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Nov. 18.

How you feeling? Redskins-Panthers

November, 4, 2012
11/04/12
10:15
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As the Washington Redskins prepare to host the Carolina Panthers in a 1 p.m. ET game at FedEx Field, here's one reason for Redskins fans to feel good and one reason for concern.

Feeling good: Carolina has lost five games in a row and has been inconsistent on offense as well as defense. The Redskins should be able to get their run game back on track after last week's loss to the Steelers broke a streak of 13 straight games with at least 100 yards rushing. And Carolina's offense (averaging just 18.3 points per game) is not going to put as much pressure on the Redskins' banged-up defense as have many of the teams they've faced in recent weeks. The Redskins don't get blown out often, either, and if this is a close game it will favor them. The Panthers are a league-worst 1-10 since the start of the 2011 season in games decided by seven points or less.

Cause for concern: I guess you could go with the law-of-averages idea that Cam Newton, Steve Smith and the Panthers offense are going to get it going one of these weeks. And I guess if you look at it from Carolina's perspective, a game against the league's 29th-ranked defense in a building that doesn't, statistically, offer much of a home-field advantage is a good opportunity to do just that. Newton remains a threat with his arm and his legs, and there's a feeling around the league that he and his team are bound to play better over the season's second half. If this is the week things do start to click for this team, Washington could have a tougher time than the on-paper scouting reports might make it appear.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Dallas Cowboys ended their two-game losing streak, hanging on Sunday afternoon for an ugly 19-14 victory over the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.

As Carolina tried to salvage the game with a last-second drive, quarterback Cam Newton fired a fourth-down pass to Louis Murphy. Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne hit Murphy before the ball arrived, but the referees didn't penalize him for pass interference. The crowd of 70,000 voiced its displeasure, but the Cowboys left with a much-needed victory.

What it means: The Cowboys ended a two-game losing streak and saved their season by moving to 3-3. But the win comes at a cost. Inside linebacker Sean Lee and center Phil Costa left the game with injuries. Costa might miss significant time with a right leg injury, and Lee didn't return because of a right big toe injury.

Does Jason Garrett trust the team? It's a call Garrett will be questioned about after the game. Faced with a third-and-9 at the Carolina 15 in the fourth quarter, Garrett came out of a timeout and called for a running play to Phillip Tanner, resulting in a 5-yard gain. Garrett settled for a field goal, made good from 28 yards by Dan Bailey that gave Dallas a 16-14 lead. It was interesting that Garrett didn't try to push the ball toward the end zone. On the second-down play, quarterback Tony Romo fired a pass to wide receiver Dez Bryant that was dropped in the end zone. Bryant complained to referees about holding, and there was some, but it was his fifth dropped pass of the season.

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Claiborne makes a pick: The Cowboys' secondary got its first interception of the season when Claiborne intercepted a Newton pass in the end zone. The interception was Claiborne's first of his career. The Cowboys have two interceptions this season, with Lee having the other. It was the first pick by a secondary player in the last 333 passing attempts. Orlando Scandrick was the last cornerback to pick off a pass, occurring last year at Washington.

The loss of Costa: As the Panthers were returning a Miles Austin fumble, Costa suffered a nasty right ankle injury. Costa was on the ground for several moments and needed a cart to be taken off the field. Several players, including Jay Ratliff, Felix Jones and Orlando Scandrick offered support. Garrett came out and slapped Costa in the chest and shook his hand. Costa's season has been up and down due to injury. He lasted just three plays before reinjuring his back in the season opener, but he returned after missing three games. With this latest injury, it seems Costa will be out for a significant period of time. Ryan Cook took over for Costa. If Costa is out for the season, the Cowboys might sign another center/guard.

Injuries: The Cowboys lost Costa, and Lee left the game with a right big toe injury. Bryant also missed a few snaps after getting shaken up.

What's next? The Cowboys will host the New York Giants next week. The Giants are 3-0 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Countdown Live: Cowboys-Panthers

October, 21, 2012
10/21/12
12:30
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Join our NFL experts as they break down the match up between the Dallas Cowboys and the Carolina Panthers.

Contribute your thoughts and questions beginning at noon CT. See you there.

How you feeling? Cowboys-Panthers

October, 21, 2012
10/21/12
10:55
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As the Dallas Cowboys prepare to play the Carolina Panthers at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT) today in Charlotte, here's one reason for Cowboys fans to feel good and one reason for concern.

Feeling good: If there's a team against which the Cowboys can hope to continue the success they had running the ball last week in Baltimore, it may be a Panthers team that ranks 23rd in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (127.4) and yards per attempt (4.4). Even with starting running back DeMarco Murray out, the Cowboys' beleaguered offensive line looked tough and physical in Baltimore and was able to open holes for backups Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner. I'd look for more of the same as Dallas tries to maintain balance on offense.

Cause for concern: The Cowboys' defense, so strong in the first three weeks of the season, has struggled in its past two games, especially in the secondary. If Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne aren't locking down wide receivers in one-on-one matchups, the rest of the Cowboys' defense doesn't work the way it's supposed to work. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is a difficult matchup due to his size and his rushing ability, and the Cowboys want to keep Newton contained in the pocket and force him to make quick decisions while they work to win matchups in the secondary against Steve Smith and the rest of the Carolina receivers. But we still don't know if linebacker Anthony Spencer will play, and if he doesn't the Cowboys will have to devote extra attention to the Carolina run game, which means Carr and Claiborne will have to play much better than they played last week.

How you feeling? Giants-Panthers

September, 20, 2012
9/20/12
6:30
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As the 1-1 New York Giants prepare to play the Carolina Panthers tonight in Charlotte, N.C., they should know that since 1990, 54 percent of the teams that started the season 2-1 have reached the playoffs while only 24 percent of teams starting 1-2 have done so. That's according to ESPN Stats & Information, and they're never wrong. So with that in mind, here's one reason for Giants fans to be feeling good and one reason for concern.

Feeling good: It's a four-quarter game, and that means that Giants quarterback Eli Manning is never out of it. After leading his team to 25 points in the fourth quarter Sunday and his ninth game-winning drive in the past calendar year, Manning has further burnished his credentials as the game's best clutch quarterback. He's especially potent throwing the deep ball in the fourth quarter. According to Stats & Info's "Next Level" stats, Manning has a completion percentage of 64.3, a 25.5 yards-per-attempt average, eight touchdowns and no interceptions on throws 20 or more yards downfield in fourth quarters the past two seasons. In the first three quarters of games, those numbers on such deep throws are 35.7 percent, 13.3 yards per attempt, four touchdowns and four interceptions. We'll see how much the absence of deep threat Hakeem Nicks affects these numbers if the game is close in the fourth.

Cause for concern: Part of the reason for the Giants' success in recent years has been their ability to generate pressure on quarterbacks without blitzing -- relying on their defense's front four to get after the passer. So far this year, they've sent four or fewer rushers on 69.4 percent of opponents' drop-backs, which is about where they were on that last year. But they're allowing 10.2 yards per attempt and a Total QBR of 92.3 in those situations through two games this year, wheras they allowed 7.8 yards per attempt and an opponents' Total QBR of 67.7 in 2011. Also, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is averaging 10.4 yards per attempt this year when opponents send four or fewer. Defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora simply have to play better tonight than they've played so far this season.

How you feeling? Redskins-Panthers

October, 23, 2011
10/23/11
10:30
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As you get ready for the game Sunday afternoon against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, here's one reason for Washington Redskins fans to feel good and one reason for concern:

Feeling good: The running game should come back this week. The Panthers are the second-worst team in the league at stopping the run, and the Redskins seem to have all three of their running backs healthy again. Sure, they didn't run as much as many anticipated they would against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, but a lot of that had to do with the Eagles getting out to a quick early lead. Even if the Panthers do that, Carolina turns the ball over enough that the Redskins should have plenty of possessions and plenty of opportunity to work their run game -- assuming they can patch up the injury holes on their offensive line.

Cause for concern: As good as Redskins cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are, they're not the best man-coverage guys around. Carolina will look to get top wide receiver Steve Smith in one-on-one situations against them, and when they do you can expect Carolina quarterback Cam Newton to find Smith, potentially for a big gain. If the Redskins can't cover Smith one-on-one with Hall or Wilson, they're going to need to make sure and help with a safety, or he could beat them badly.

Video: NFC East Week 7 predictions

October, 21, 2011
10/21/11
12:00
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The bag brought us luck last week, and I'm taking full credit for its 2-1 record. But this week's picks are mine and mine alone, and here they are:

Redskins 17, Panthers 13
Cowboys 24, Rams 10

Last week: 2-1
Season to date: 8-10

Observation deck: Giants-Panthers

August, 13, 2011
8/13/11
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The New York Giants could have used a feel-good preseason opener Saturday night. No, I don't think you can read much into these preseason games. You don't know which teams are game-planning and which aren't. You can make judgments on individual efforts in certain cases, and get a sense of what teams might be planning in terms of playing time and defensive and offensive alignments. But when we say a team looked good or bad in a preseason game, we are not making any predictions or judgments about the way the season will go based on that.

All of that said, after a week in which they got knocked around in free agency and faced questions about whether their offseason plan was sound or even extant, the Giants could have used a match that left them feeling good about things. Kind of like the one the Redskins had Friday.

They didn't get it.

Yeah, some good things happened in their 20-10 exhibition loss to the Carolina Panthers. Jason Pierre-Paul was the star of the first half, looking fast, athletic and hungry as he recorded two sacks. Both punters looked good, third receiver candidates Domenik Hixon and Victor Cruz had nice moments, and Michael Boley ran back an interception for a touchdown on the first series of the game. But all in all, it wasn't a good night. There were tackling issues, communication issues and special teams issues. The backup offensive line was so bad that it may have gotten kicker Lawrence Tynes hurt.

Other than the Tynes thing, none of this is cause for any reason concern. Just because they were sloppy Saturday night doesn't mean anything about the season. I'm just saying, given the way their fans were feeling in the wake of the free-agent departures of Steve Smith, they could have used a better performance.

Here's some stuff I saw:

[+] EnlargeJason Pierre-Paul
AP Photo/Chuck BurtonJason Pierre-Paul nabbed two sacks and could be a viable replacement if Osi Umenyiora continues to sit out.
1. Pierre-Paul looks like a monster. The Giants' 2010 first-rounder has been getting a lot of snaps with the starters in practice with Osi Umenyiora sitting out, and he looked fantastic Saturday night. Two sacks, pressure on almost every play, quickness off the edge, athleticism, determination -- everything you want in a pass rusher. If Umenyiora wants to continue to sit out because of his contract, the Giants have some tape they can show him of a guy who looks like a very capable replacement. If Umenyiora wants to come back, the Giants have even more depth on the offensive line and can keep Mathias Kiwanuka at linebacker. Pierre-Paul's rapid development would be a very useful thing for the Giants.

2. Other good stuff from the defensive line. We saw encouraging play from the defensive tackles, too, with Chris Canty getting into the backfield, Rocky Bernard getting a sack, rookie Marvin Austin playing well in the second half and the Giants generally producing a lot of pressure with their defensive front. As expected, they moved Kiwanuka up to the line in passing downs, and they did the same thing with Adrian Tracy when he replaced Kiwanuka in the second quarter. Tracy played well, helping generate the pressure that led to the Bernard sack as well as Alex Hall's. The Giants are looking for depth at linebacker, and Tracy could help if he plays like this.

3. The punters look good. The coverage? Not so much. Matt Dodge hit a couple of nice punts, including one that looked a little bit like a Jeff Feagles directional special. But Steve Weatherford was one of the best punters in the league the last couple of years and hits the ball farther than Dodge does. Could be tough for Dodge to win this competition. And regardless of who wins it, the coverage team will just have to do a better job. This is one area that actually does mean something in preseason, because the guys on special-teams coverage units should be playing hard and trying to win roster spots. They were miserable all night until Cruz came up with a big solo tackle on a punt return in the third quarter. A guy like Michael Coe, who has an opportunity with the Giants losing so much depth at cornerback, needs to come up bigger than he did on Armanti Edwards' long first return.

3a. Also, one punt-related question: Why in the world did Tom Coughlin call for a 56-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter when Tynes is coming off knee surgery and he's trying to get a look at two punters? Just wondering. Seemed like a weird decision. Tynes, who is also the only kicker I've seen so far this preseason who hasn't been able to kick it through the end zone on kickoffs, missed the attempt.

4. William Beatty -- some good, some bad: The new starting left tackle got manhandled a bit on the first two offensive series, looking overwhelmed and doing a lot of reaching and grabbing as he was getting beaten off the edge. But he seemed to settle in and looked much more authoritative and aggressive on the next few series. He stayed in longer than did the other starting offensive linemen, and it's no coincidence. Whether Beatty is ready to handle his new full-time job will go a long way toward determining how well the Giants handle their transition to this new offensive line assignment.

5. Brian Witherspoon was a bright spot. The Giants' starting secondary looks as though it should be very good (though there did seem to be some communication issues there early on). The question is whether they have depth behind the starters, with Prince Amukamara and Bruce Johnson hurt. Witherspoon was a star of the second half on special teams as well as at cornerback. A guy to watch as the preseason rolls along.

6. Quick hits: It was fun to watch top draft pick Cam Newton get his first game action for the Panthers. He beat Giants rookie Tyler Sash with a great throw on his first drive, but Sash and Coe made good plays to help keep him from capping that drive with a touchdown pass. ... It appears as though Hixon is the leader for that No. 3 receiver spot. He got a lot of work in the slot in the second half with Sage Rosenfels throwing to him. ... I thought Danny Ware looked all right as a third-down back catching screen passes. ... The word on Tynes was a thigh contusion, which is better than a knee injury for sure.

More on the Giants on Sunday, as you'll get my "Camp Confidential" report on them. Meantime, let me know what you thought.

The 'other' Steve Smith breaks arm

June, 21, 2010
6/21/10
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If you're like me, the headline on NFL Nation grabbed your attention: "Steve Smith breaks arm."

Of course, we quickly learned that it was the Carolina Panthers' Steve Smith who broke his arm playing flag football. Smith's agent told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the wide receiver would not miss any games, but I'd rather hear from a doctor at some point.

There's a rather obvious Giants tie-in since they'll open their new stadium against the Panthers on Sept. 12. The 31-year-old Smith had five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers' 41-9 win over the Giants last December. He has not put up big numbers against the Giants over the years, but his absence would obviously hurt the Panthers.

And this is the same arm that Smith broke six months ago, although this break is in a different spot. I would be surprised if Smith took part in any training camp sessions leading up to this season. Meanwhile, here's what the Giants' Steve Smith told the Star-Ledger last week.

Vick wants to play for Panthers

March, 2, 2010
3/02/10
3:24
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Michael Vick made a very interesting disclosure on an Atlanta radio station. He said if he could choose one team to play for, it would be the Carolina Panthers.

Vick
Vick
Hmmm, the Panthers sure could use some quarterback help. But this might be nothing more than wishful thinking by Vick. I have a very tough time seeing Carolina owner Jerry Richardson allow coach John Fox and general manager Marty Hurney to pursue Vick, even if they wanted to.

Ever since the Rae Carruth episode, Richardson has strongly been against bringing in players with character issues. Richardson also has gone ahead and booted some players off the roster after they’ve gotten into trouble.

I also have a tough time seeing Fox and Hurney even being interested. Vick certainly has some great talents, but Fox and Hurney prefer a game manager as their type of quarterback. I don’t think Vick even comes close to that profile. One other thing to keep in mind, Fox and Hurney don’t like a lot of attention.

If they were to bring in Vick, the circus instantly would be in Charlotte. That’s just not the type of thing Fox and Hurney like.

McNabb to the Panthers?

February, 16, 2010
2/16/10
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As we continue to monitor the Donovan McNabb situation in Philly, here's an interesting thought from NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas. Pat thinks there's a chance the Panthers could place the franchise tag on Julius Peppers and then trade him for McNabb. Here's what he wrote in a recent mailbag:

"Despite all the rumors about McNabb, I’m not sure the Eagles will really part ways with him. The guy’s had an incredible career, far better than a lot of Philadelphia fans give him credit for. If the Panthers tag Peppers and the Eagles made McNabb available in a trade, I think that’s something the Panthers would have to consider. But it’s sounding more and more like the Panthers just might let Peppers walk. If that happens, I don’t know that will instantly free up $20 million. I think the Panthers, like a lot of teams, are going to be conservative this year because of the labor situation. Still, somehow, I’d like to see them get a quality quarterback. I think Matt Moore is an option, but he certainly isn’t a sure thing. John Fox needs a sure thing at quarterback."

Would McNabb be excited about the prospect of playing in Charlotte, N.C., for John Fox? Well, I think he'd list the Cardinals and the Vikings ahead of the Panthers on his potential wish list. But this thing isn't even close to being resolved right now.

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