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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Local Blogger Proved Incorrect; Line Play

From last night's Charlotte Observer:

Though nothing is set, Fox said he's leaning toward moving Wharton from left
tackle to left guard and adding another tackle via free agency or the draft.
Gross can play left or right tackle, depending on which spot is better for
any newcomer who arrives.Fox said Wharton gives the Panthers great
flexibility, primarily as a guard, but also as a backup left tackle in the
event of an injury at that position.Even with the changes, Fox defended the
line's ability to excel.

Last week I stated, upon signing his contract, Travelle Wharton isn't a guard. I felt that people had focused so much on OT as a draft need, that it had passed them by in the greater scheme. But, that's incorrect now, and it appears that Wharton is now a guard. Will he be able to stand up DTs and push them back? That, to this point, is my biggest concern. If we need to pull linemen (which we don't do that often in the new scheme), he can do that; if he needs to get to the 2nd level, or reach a player in backside contain, he can. He was an effective drive blocker from LT in 2005; he wasn't an effective run blocker early in 2007.

It's hard to say where he'll be in 2008; he could still be at LT, he could find himself at RT. He could find himself next to Gross at guard, or on the other side of the line. At most, Fox's statement only left uncertainty, except to state he's leaning toward Wharton inside.
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