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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Kugbila In Play, Whenever He Wants

Edmund Kugbila is a rookie guard - and he's not as highly touted as
last year's plug-in rookie counterpart, Amini Silatolu. He's barely
seen the field, thanks to a pair of leg injuries over the duration of
his time as a Panther.

And yet it seems like the RG job might end up being his to lose.

As I've documented many times, Carolina dropped underperforming G Geoff
Hangartner, and replacement Garry Williams still has to prove that he's
up to the task. ESPN's Pat Yasinskas notes that Kugbila took a lot of
first string RG snaps when healthy in the offseason.

So, stretching from just those facts, it feels like Carolina still has
to be very hopeful about Kugbila. Not in a year or two, but now.

That could be a level of uncomfortability, and in various directions.
If Williams himself isn't up to it, you're forcing a rookie who might
not be ready. If that doesn't work, you might be out of options. If
Kugbila isn't in great shape or is hurt, you don't have options at all.

Chris Scott, himself a former project whose team chose to stop waiting
on results, doesn't seem to enter into it much. The team needed a camp
body, and Scott could make the roster, but he's clearly not who I was
hoping to receive. It's essentially up to Kugbila or Williams to make
something happen there, and that's not inspiring a lot of confidence.

I hate to just continually harp on the OL or hone in further on RG. I
know the team's doing fantastic thing on the DL, and depending on who
you ask, the secondary is looking modestly competent. The receivers are
shaping up, and the backs and LBs are as expected. There's plenty of
good news. But every time I worry about weakness, it's right there. RG.
Carolina hasn't had a decent RG for most of the season since 08,
replacement player Keydrick Vincent.

That's not to say you get to 12-4 with good guard play, but it doesn't
hurt.
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