Dawgs Eat in Carolina: Tavarres King's Impressive Debut

I guess it’s destiny for me to like Tavarres King.  He’s a Georgia Bulldog (my wife’s entire family are Georgia alum) and, most importantly, King finds some sort of cosmic significance in  the time 11:11 (this time has an important significance to me as well).  King regularly tweets:

It looks like our futures, however, will be intertwined further after King’s impressive performance tonight, where he made a convincing case to make the 53--a performance that also guarantees my continued support for his bid!

Tavarres KingKing finished with 4 catches for 50 yards, including a series of critical catches that resulted in a  important Carolina touchdown. King’s performance felt more electric than a 4 rec/50yds game, however.  King played poised football all night. His routes looked clean and his hands reliable.  A holding penalty nullified what would have been 6th catch and run for 25 yards. Another play in particular highlighting King’s impressive performance, but also overshadowed by a subsequent personal foul from frustrated Buffalo secondary, was a sharp pass snatched by King who then turned up field.  King hopped up slamming the ball at the offender, and former Carolina Panther, Kamaal McillWain. The intense result in the end was really result of King’s  intense play.

After losing Ted Ginn, Jr and aging Steve Smith, Carolina’s ability to stretch the field remains  unknown at best and unable at worst. Gettleman brought in Tiquan Underwood, who a is most known for being cut before the Super Bowl and sporting vintage flat top, to add downfield speed.  Underwood, however, has struggled in camp. He’s also done little to distract from multiple drops, a training camp NO-NO.  Underwood, in many ways, exhibits similar weaknesses that plagued Ginn, trouble getting of the jam and difficulties hauling in the longball. Underwood’s underwhelming performance only helps King’s.

Kelvin Benjamin’s circus touchdown and impressive camp performance has encouraged Panthers fans.  Last year’s dismal passing attack, however, has left many concerned about the receiver unknowns. Aside from Benjamin and Greg Olsen, Jerricho Cotchery looks to be the only guy assured a roster spot.

King didn’t play the final series, where a 31 yd Brandon Williams touchdown gave the Carolina an opportunity to take the lead.  After failing to convert for two Carolina managed to scoop up an onside kick for one last opportunity.  King again watched from the sidelines as Marcus Lucas’s bobbled pass resulted in an interception to end Carolina’s comeback attempt.

If King’s play was so impressive then, why was he watching from the sidelines in what was a critical and particularly insightful scenario for measuring a receivers game presence?

Kin’gs play must have impressed Ron Rivera and Mike Shula quite a bit to feel content sitting him in order to evaluate other players, such as Lucas or Philly Brown. Maybe King’s absence really suggests he’s a front runner among those receivers on the bubble.

Carolina has always had good luck with players from the University of Georgia, John Casey, Charles Johnson, and Thomas Davis to name a few. Watch this Georgia Dawg closely over the next couple of weeks.  If King continues to eat like he did tonight, expect to see him in Carolina’s regular season receiver rotation.

By: the Professor