There is one thing the Panthers have more of than anyone else in the league! What is that you might ask? We have tremendous depth at those positions of skill that best cater to our style of play. These skills among those players are varied enough to keep the team from becoming one dimensional. Allow me to further explain.
Tier one of Carolina’s receivers include: Benjamin, Funchess and Olson. Yes, I know Olson is a TE but he is what I like to call a “TEINO” (Tight End in name only). He is capable of running all the routes of a Wide Receiver, even lining up as a Wide Receiver at times. He is not only our most reliable pass catcher but one of the most reliable in the NFL. This first tier of receivers is not expected to come off the field much, as they are our most talented group. The three receivers here share similar traits, at the same time their own specific strengths. All three possess the ability to get open in short areas, use their bodies to “box out” smaller defenders, and their height to high point the ball. With the size of this trio, none of them being smaller than 6’ 4” and 225 lbs, you can see how well they use their size to make plays. While all three share the size advantage, they each have their own skill set as well. Benjamin is freakish in height. 6’ 5” 240 lbs with 35” arms. Using his height and arm length, he is able to out reach most defenders for the ball while running. Funchess is the YAC receiver. He is big but has shown freakish athleticism for a man his size (6’4” 225 lbs). Looking at what he did in college impresses and is a glimpse of what Carolina hopes see from the rookie. “TEINO”Greg Olsen is as sure handed as they come in the NFL. He has the ability to catch everything thrown in his direction. This makes him invaluable to this Panthers offense. A VERY strong argument can be made that this trio will be the best red zone threesome in the ENTIRE NFL .
Tier 2 is made of two receivers, Corey Brown and Ted Ginn. When looking at these two receivers, Panther fans can see the past in Ted Ginn, Jr and what the future holds in Cory Brown. Both Ohio state products have the speed and shiftiness that defenses hate to deal with. And with both having experience as return men. They have the know how to start with the ball behind all 11 men and take it to pay dirt. The idea of two men on the field who have the ability to run go routes and screen plays is very nice commodity. The depth will allow for Carolina’s offense not stall in the speed game when a player is in need of rest or is injured. What Ginn brings over Corey is his veteran instincts. A little more savvy, experience acquired from being in the league for 9 seasons with 4 different teams. What Corey has is the surprise factor, we really have no clue what this young speedster is capable of, if given the chance to see regular on field action.
Tier 3 begins with our first set of running backs, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert. It’s no secret, when you mention those names you think power backs, because both are best used when running between the tackles and hitting holes with their bruising style. Both have steady hands for pass catching, the difference is that Stew can power his way to the second level of the defense and get into foot races with defensive backs and have a chance to win. As we have seen before with Tolbert, he is not someone you can try and hit without getting hurt yourself, just ask 49er Safety Eric Reed.
Fozzy and Cameron Artis-Payne (CAP for short) make up tier 4. The duo of crafty, give it your all runners the Panthers have in the back field will be vital to bring in for relief of Stew or Tolbert. Both run like it’s the last carry they will ever get. Fozzy, as we have seen, is great in a screen play!! Double that with Ginn and Corey and we have lots of ability there. CAP is one of the weirdest runners that I have ever seen. He runs side ways just to gain a little more ground. Much like a lot of the young runners today he has a crafty running ability that half the coaches in the stadium like, let’s be happy its our coaches that like him and not the other way around.
By JP Weary
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