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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Camp Day One

Day One started without Jon Beason, the first time a Panther missed time in training camp for contractural reasons since Bruce Nelson. Things don't look any better, either - Marty Hurney says that he may have stopped negotiations, and Beason's representatives suggest Hurney is looking to include unorthodox contract demands. Beason is unlikely to be there Saturday, and the holdout could run into next week.

Some observations culled from various reports:
  • Right guard looks gruesome right now. If the season started right now, the penciled-in starter Jeremy Bridges is on suspension from the team; his backup, D'Anthony Batiste wasn't good enough to dress last year, and 2006 starter Evan Mathis is backing up right tackle. Since Mathis hasn't been a tackle in years, and was moved to guard in college, things don't look good for him - unlikely to be able to fight for his old job, inexperienced at tackle, and possibly on his way to being cut for an experienced tackle.
  • Justin Hartwig is the starting center, something that hasn't been seen in action since last September. Hartwig doesn't want to play right guard right now, but if Kalil can handle center, Hartwig needs to go to right guard and plant himself there. In practice Friday evening, Travelle Wharton sat out, moving LG Mike Wahle to left tackle; Hartwig moved to left guard, and Kalil was with the first unit. Geoff Hangartner, last year's starting center, is the backup at LG, but has little power and isn't starting quality; Will Montgomery has more power but less experience, but can play guard and center. While Bridges serves his suspension, the two will both likely stay on staff, but if/when Bridges returns, there may have to be a choice made.
  • Stephen Jackson is getting legitimate snaps at fullback, as the 2nd fullback. Nick Goings, assumably now a fulltime RB, gives way to the team's largest true fullback in years; this enhances the chances that Jackson makes the roster. With Hoover in his eighth year, depth to develop isn't a bad idea.
  • Keary Colbert seems to be starting across from Steve Smith; a mild shock at this point, given that Colbert wasn't even active the second half of last year. Drew Carter is behind Smith on the depth chart for now, Dwayne Jarrett behind Colbert. Colbert hasn't started since 2005, and hasn't been worthwhile since 2004.
  • Kindal Moorehead has retained the 4th DT spot. No word as to whether Chad Lavalais or Stephen Williams is considered 4th; for now, Charles Johnson sits backing left end, Stanley McClover backing right end. No word on Dave Ball's place in the theoretical lineup.
  • Terrence Melton, the 205 lb. special teamer that may be as light a linebacker as anyone leaguewide, is backing Na'il Diggs at WLB, the spot Beason would be taking up if he were here. Adam Seward is still backing MLB, and James Anderson is still curiously behind Thomas Davis at SLB. Tim Shaw worked in various roles.
  • Chris Gamble is still working as a starting corner, with Richard Marshall still backing Ken Lucas.
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