NFC South: Robert Anderson

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- On a day when one member of the Carolina Panthers was stating a seemingly outrageous goal, a teammate that now knows better was making sure to understate things.

Center Ryan Kalil, who took out a full-page ad in The Charlotte Observer last summer that promised a Super Bowl championship, wasn’t making any bold predictions Tuesday during the team’s minicamp.

“Umm, just get back out there and take it one day at a time,’’ Kalil said with a laugh.

Kalil’s ultimate goal is to get to the Super Bowl, but maybe he learned a lesson from last year. Or maybe he has other more-pressing goals.

Kalil is coming off Lisfranc foot surgery that cut last season short. Last week marked the first time he was cleared to participate in individual and team drills.

“I’m still rehabbing it, but I’m able to push off of it, move, block and run around, so it’s good,’’ Kalil said.

Kalil said team doctor Robert Anderson, who performed the surgery and is recognized as an expert on Lisfranc injuries, helped prepare him for a challenging recovery process.

“Dr. Anderson gave me a list of guys that had similar injuries and told me to call them,’’ Kalil said. “(San Diego center) Nick Hartwick said it doesn’t feel great for a while and that turned out to be the most accurate advice anybody gave me. It’s been a very long and tedious process. It still stays pretty sore, but I’m just trying to work my way through it. They say motion is lotion, so that’s what I’m doing.’’

Kalil said he expects to be 100 percent healthy by the start of training camp in late July.

Around the NFC South

October, 12, 2012
Let’s take a look at the Friday morning headlines from around the NFC South:


Scott Reynolds writes that middle linebacker Mason Foster is prospering in his second season. That’s a wonderful sign for a young team that’s looking for bright spots. It’s also an early indication the coaching staff and front office were right to leave Foster in the middle. There was some temptation to draft Luke Kuechly and there was at least a flirtation with veteran free-agent Curtis Lofton, who wound up in New Orleans.

Martin Fennelly writes that, despite their 1-3 record, the Bucs are much more competitive than last season. He’s right. The Bucs have been in every game and, had a couple of plays gone differently, there record could be much better. I take that as a sign that coach Greg Schiano has this team on the right path. It might take time to turn the corner. But I’m seeing the same thing from this team that I saw from the Bucs when Tony Dungy first took over and from the Panthers when John Fox took over -- gradual improvement.


Mike Triplett writes that, if the Saints are going to turn around their season (and their defense), they need free safety Malcolm Jenkins to finally play to his star potential. That’s very true. Jenkins might be the biggest mystery in the NFC South. For the past few seasons, I’ve been waiting for him to have a breakout year. Scouts and coaches around the league say he has the talent to be a big-time playmaker. I thought Jenkins might start to shine in coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s new scheme. But, so far, Jenkins really hasn’t been a factor.

Ed Werder previously reported that linebacker Jonathan Vilma has filed an appeal of his season-long suspension. As you probably expected, it's now being reported that current New Orleans defensive end Will Smith and former New Orleans players Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove also have appealed their suspensions.


Jonathan Jones has a good overview of the Lisfranc foot injury, the same injury that will sideline center Ryan Kalil the rest of the season. It’s a fairly common injury and will require surgery. But Carolina team doctor Robert Anderson is considered one of the world’s top surgeons for this type of injury.


With backup tight end Michael Palmer out with an injury the past two games, Tommy Gallarda has done a nice job filling in. He’s been used mainly as a blocker, but also is getting some opportunities as a receiver.

Defensive tackle Corey Peters, who has been on the physically unable to perform list, is eligible to start practicing next week. But I’d look for the Falcons to wait a bit on their three-week window on Peters. They have a bye next week and won’t be doing much practicing. Even then, I think it might take Peters a few weeks to get on the field. Coach Mike Smith said it’s going to take Peters some time to get into football shape.

Ryan Tannehill getting back on track

February, 14, 2012
BRADENTON, Fla. -- The boot was off Tuesday and Ryan Tannehill's right arm looked just fine.

The Texas A&M product, who is considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2012 NFL draft, said the foot injury that forced him to miss the Senior Bowl is healing fast. Tannehill said he will head to Indianapolis for the scouting combine next week and will go through medical testing and meeting with teams, but will not participate in any of the on-field drills.

Tannehill said he’ll save that for his pro-day workout in late March when he expects to be 100-percent healthy. Tannehill had been in a walking boot until recent days after having surgery to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal a little more than three weeks ago.

The surgery was performed in Charlotte by Carolina Panthers team physician Robert Anderson, one of the best-known foot specialists in the sports world.

“Dr. Anderson basically put a screw in there,’’ Tannehill said. “It’s locked down and I shouldn’t have any problems going forward.’’

Tannehill will stay out of the physical part of the combine, but he wasn’t holding back on the field Tuesday at IMG Football Academy, where he’s taking part in pre-combine training with about 30 other draft prospects.

After fellow quarterbacks Russell Wilson (Wisconsin) and Kirk Cousins (Michigan State) finished the on-field portion of their workday, Tannehill remained on the field for about 15 minutes getting one-on-one work with former Carolina quarterback Chris Weinke, who runs IMG’s football operations. Tannehill said the fracture happened during a January workout at IMG, but Anderson told him it probably was the result of a pre-existing stress fracture.

Tannehill said he plans to come directly back to Bradenton after the combine and begin doing more intense on-field work with Weinke.

“We’ll come back and push it pretty hard,’’ Tannehill said. “I’m thinking I should be getting close to 100 percent by right after the combine and we’ll really jump into the on-field stuff then to make up for the time I missed and get ready for pro day.’’

Tannehill has been mentioned as a possible first-round pick by some draft experts. Last year, Carolina’s Cam Newton and Minnesota’s Christian Ponder came to IMG to work with Weinke and both ended up starting as rookies.

"I knew that Cam and Christian worked with coach Weinke and he helped elevate them,’’ Tannehill said. “That’s what you look for in a QB coach is someone who can take you to the next level. We lost a little time because of the foot, but we’ll make up for it.’’

(Note: I'll have much more from my visit to IMG, including features on some top prospects over the coming days.)