Delhomme fired up about new additions, Williams

July, 31, 2008
7/31/08
8:16
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas.

Delhomme

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Sat down with Jake Delhomme Thursday for an upcoming column on his recovery from Tommy John surgery on his elbow. We'll get into details on that in the next couple of days, but Delhomme is fine physically.

What stood out during the interview was Delhomme's mental state. He's long been one of the more positive, upbeat guys in Carolina's locker room. But that was even more pronounced than usual.

Delhomme was glowing as he talked about first-round draft picks Jeff Otah and Jonathan Stewart and running back DeAngelo Williams, who is competing with Stewart for the starting job. Otah's been working with the first-team at right tackle and Delhomme is ecstatic about what he's seen.

"They drafted right," Delhomme said. "Plain and simple, they drafted right. [Otah is] a big man and he has a little mean streak to him. He gets it. He understands it. That was huge."

Otah's addition allows the Panthers to move veteran Jordan Gross from right tackle to left tackle and former left tackle Travelle Wharton is moving inside to left guard, a position the team believes he's better suited for. The moves on the line have Delhomme believing Carolina's running game will be much improved.

"I don't want to get too carried away on [Stewart] because I've only been out there practicing with him four times so far,'' Delhomme said. "But what I've seen so far has been simply phenomenal. And I've always been a big DeAngelo fan and I think you can say this is really the first year that he's going to get a fair chance to see what he can do. I think the two of them together could be a really special backfield."

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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