I'm going to take a break from the norm today, and use today to remind ourselves of not one, not two, but three Panthers to wear number 16. Each one has had varying levels of success and notoriety wearing the black and blue, and I thought all of them were worth a quick mention. Each have set records, and not all of them were good. Here we go.
QB - Chris Weinke
I did say some of them weren't good. Having become the oldest ever Heisman winner at the ripe age of 28 due to an earlier pursuit of a baseball career. The Panthers drafted him in the fourth round, having taken a certain Steve Smith in the third. He got off to a good start as QB1, defeating the Vikings on the road. After that though it was a complete disaster. The side set the franchise record for consecutive losses, losing for the rest of the year to finish 1-15. The Panthers ended up losing 17 straight games in which he started at quarterback. Fortunately for him, he has somehow wound up as the quarterbacks coach for the St Louis Rams. Though he did work out Cam Newton during the 2011 NFL Lockout and It has done Cam no harm.
QB - Vinny Testaverde
Another man who tumbled all sorts of records as a Panther, though most of them not performance based. Testaverde signed in 2007, after Jake Delhomme went down with an elbow injury, and backup David Carr was suffering too. He threw a 65 yard bomb to Steve Smith on debut, meaning he had thrown a TD pass in 21 consecutive seasons. He led us to victory in that game, becoming the oldest starting QB in NFL history to do so. though he went on to break his own record later that season. He threw a touchdown pass to Dante Rosario who was almost 21 years his junior, surely a record margin? Our last game of the year was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the side who drafted Testaverde 21 years earlier. Coach John Fox sent him in to take the final knee to drop the curtain on his long career.
WR - Philly Brown
On to our current #16, one of our resident speedsters. Philly Brown signed as an undrafted free agent last season. His figures weren't spectacular but he showed some promise towards the back end of the year. He also replaced Ted Ginn Jr on the kick returns, running a punt back 79 yards to the house. Amazingly this was our first punt returned for a touchdown in 11 years. So far this season he has been on the field for plenty of snaps without getting too many targets. Though he does already have 399 yards,3 yards more than he managed all year, and 3 touchdowns, one more than last. He has polished up his route running and his base speed provides the Panthers all around attack with plenty of advantages in both passing and rushing. Whilst Brown may never become an indispensable piece in this team, it cannot be argued that he provides solid depth and is well worth his spot on the roster. I'd love to see him double his touchdown tally for the year between now and February.
By Dan Rawlinson