News and Updates from Pantherland

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Postby Wingman » Sat Aug 02, 2003 10:04 pm

Well, I guess it is time for me to offer my apologies to those who may have been offended by my hasty reply to comments made previously. As someone who should know better, I failed to take the high road on this occasion and I am now left to take my medicine for that. I will now step off the soap box so as to continue my part in making this site the best it can be.
The Wingman in the Cheap Seats

"If you arent doing something to help the team, you are hurting it."

"No one rises to low expectations" -McQ

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UPDATE!!! 8/4/2003

Postby GoKittens » Mon Aug 04, 2003 12:53 pm

Young continues to impress
Rookie WR-Walter Young continues to impress the coaches and the media during the Panthers training camp. With the hamstring injury to WR-Steve Smith, Young has been forced into a starting role for the preseason games and making the best of the opportunity.
"He's kind of been a surprise as far as being able to pick it up as quickly as he has and been able to do the things he's been doing," receivers coach Richard Williamson said.
Young has been impressive. He regularly has made diving catches and used his 6-foot-4 frame to leap above cornerbacks. He has worked at all four wide receiver spots, and the coaches say he has mastered the playbook as quickly as any rookie could.
Young's draft stock tumbled when he ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
"I think our personnel department did an outstanding job in selecting him," coach John Fox said.
So far, speed hasn't been an issue.
"I'm a long strider and I tend to catch up on people without them really expecting it," Young said. "I definitely can do it. I've got good speed and I just have to use it to my advantage."
"I think he probably runs faster than we give him credit for," Williamson said. "Some people can run fast without the pads and some people can run fast with the pads on; it doesn't appear to slow him down any when you strap the pads on him.

Julius Peppers 2.0. Bigger, faster, stronger?

He’s bigger. He’s stronger. And he’s got a gigantic chip on his shoulder.
That’s not good news for opposing right tackles in the NFL.
Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers, the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2002, spent three-quarters of last season proving to critics he was worthy of being the No. 2 player selected in the NFL draft.
He did that with 12 sacks in as many games.
But a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy against anabolic steroids and related substances has left a sour taste in Peppers’ mouth.
While all Peppers did was take a dietary supplement that contained a banned substance, believed to be a derivative of ephedra, he now has it in his head that others think his impressive rookie season was tainted.
He may be paranoid. Or, he may be simply looking for something to fire him up.
Either way, if the suspension serves as motivation for Peppers, nobody is about to tell him anything different.
“It doesn’t have to be said, but I know it’s out there,” Peppers said. “It’s like there was an asterisk by my numbers, like I couldn’t do that on my own. I want to get to 12 sacks, and more, this season to prove people wrong.”
Peppers used the suspension as motivation during the offseason, spending the better part of the spring in the weight room, getting physically bigger and stronger in the upper body.
How big is Peppers?
Like Bill Bixby, you wouldn’t want to make him angry. And in the early part of training camp he’s been throwing offensive lineman around like the big bully at the end of the block.
“I think Julius has definitely become more physical,” Panthers head coach John Fox said. “He is a year more mature as far as the knowledge of the defense and the techniques that he has got to know. I see a lot better Julius Peppers than I did a year ago.”
Peppers enters his second NFL season more relaxed and comfortable with the defensive scheme, but said he still feels a pressure to perform well.
“Everybody is saying, ‘You did it as a rookie but I want to see it again,’ ” Peppers said. “Nobody is putting any pressure on me that I don’t put on myself.
“Everything everyone has said, I already expect it from, you know what I mean? If you expect seven sacks in three games, then I expect nine sacks in three games. That’s how it is.”
Peppers refuses to talk about any personal goals, but it’s fairly clear that he believes he’s going to have a pretty big season lining up at left defensive end opposite Mike Rucker.
The Panthers plan to use him more at the “ghost position,” which is the football way of saying he’ll line up more outside the offensive tackle, thus giving him more of a running start toward the quarterback. It’s designed to take advantage of his superb speed and explosion off the ball.
“Instead of being right over somebody, I’m a just little wide where I can get a running start,” Peppers said. “We did it last year a lot but we’re running it a little more this year.”
And Peppers is excited about it.
Peppers also thinks he will benefit from playing together with the same defensive front four of Mike Rucker, Kris Jenkins and Brentson Buckner.
“I feel that we know each other now,” Peppers said. “Everybody knows each other and we feel comfortable with each other. I think that will really help us out.”
Believe it or not, Julius Peppers may be more of a factor his second year in the league.


notable notes
• Coach John Fox said a magnetic resonance imaging test revealed no serious injury to wide receiver Steve Smith's hamstring. Fox said Smith's type of injury usually takes one to three weeks to heal.• Offensive tackle Matt Willig signed with the Panthers and worked out with the team for the first time Friday night. Willig has 12 seasons of NFL experience, having played for San Francisco, St. Louis, Green Bay, Atlanta and the New York Jets. He provides depth after Melvin Tuten suffered a season-ending knee injury.
• With the preseason opener against Washington less than a week away, the Panthers will work out in something close to a game atmosphere.

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