Saturday, January 10, 2009
Random pregame thoughts
By Pat Yasinskas
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A few random thoughts to help get through the long wait before tonight's game between the Cardinals and Panthers.
- We've written tons about Carolina's "Double Trouble" backfield already, but here's a stat I hadn't seen before. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Panthers had the league's highest rushing average on sweeps and pitchouts this season. The Panthers averaged 5.3 yards per carry on those plays, gaining 433 yards and three touchdowns.
- Here's another stat on "Double Trouble" that's been written before, but numerous readers have asked me to write it again, so I will. DeAngelo Williams has not fumbled this season.
- Great column by friend and former co-worker Tom Sorensen in this morning's Charlotte Observer about the legacy of former Carolina linebacker and assistant coach Sam Mills. Sorensen starts off with some great anecdotes from Carolina equipment manager Jackie Miles, who first got to know Mills when they were with the Philadelphia Stars of the United States Football League. Reading that reminded me of one of the most memorable interviews I've had in this business. About a month before Mills died of cancer, I sat down with him and Miles for a talk about the USFL for a freelance story I was writing. That's a memory I'll always treasure and every time I go to Miles' restaurant in South Carolina, I go look at the framed copy of the story he has on the wall and remember Mills very fondly.
- There's been a lot of talk about the weather perhaps impacting tonight's game. You wouldn't anticipate any problems if you were in Charlotte right now. It was a beautiful, sunny morning. It has clouding up a bit now, but it's still nice and the temperature is in the upper 50s. But the forecast still doesn't look good. A steady rain is supposed to start late this afternoon or early this evening.