Panthers 411

Position Breakdown

Panthers have competition at safety – NFC South Blog – ESPN

Panthers have competition at safety – NFC South Blog – ESPN.

The Carolina Panthers just announced a move that might not sound like much, but it has the potential to have some implications in the defensive secondary.

The Panthers have signed safety Reggie Smith, who spent the last four seasons with San Francisco. Smith primarily was a backup and special-teams player, but he did start the final seven games of the 2010 season.

Carolina still has last year’s starting safeties, Charles Godfrey and Sherrod Martin, on the roster. But Martin didn’t have a great 2011 season.

Maybe Smith will end up simply being a backup and special-teams player. But the third-round pick in 2008 appears to have some upside in the Panthers’ eyes.

“Reggie has been on our radar since the beginning of free agency and is a player we think can come in and compete at safety,” general manager Marty Hurney said. “We brought him in for a visit Tuesday and it worked out. He is another player we’ve added to increase the competition.”

Sounds like Martin will have some competition in camp. This is a no-lose situation for the Panthers. In a best-case scenario, Smith can come in, outplay Martin and win the job. Or Smith’s presence might light a fire under Martin and his play could improve.

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Position Breakdown, Trades

Assessing the Impact of Acquiring Bruce Campbell | Bleacher Report

Carolina Panthers: Assessing the Impact of Acquiring Bruce Campbell | Bleacher Report.

On Friday, the Panthers acquired offensive tackle Bruce Campbell from the Raiders for running back Mike Goodson, and it seems they have made their decision-making in the upcoming draft a little more complicated.

Before the trade went through, the Panthers were low on talent on the offensive line. Although Ryan Kalil and Jordan Gross are stars, there are holes at left guard and right tackle that must be filled, and the draft seemed like the avenue to do exactly that.

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Position Breakdown

2012 NFL Draft: How the Carolina Panthers Can Improve Their Special Teams | Bleacher Report

2012 NFL Draft: How the Carolina Panthers Can Improve Their Special Teams | Bleacher Report.

It isn’t the sexiest part of the game, but there’s no doubting the importance of a solid special-teams play in the NFL. Just ask Kyle Williams and the San Francisco 49ers.

Had Williams not fumbled two separate punt returns, perhaps we are talking about a miraculous turnaround by the Super Bowl champion Niners. But that, unfortunately, is not the case.

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Position Breakdown

Olindo Mare Needs Competition for Kicking Duties | Bleacher Report

Carolina Panthers: Olindo Mare Needs Competition for Kicking Duties | Bleacher Report.

After the Carolina Panthers released John Kasay before the 2011 season, Olindo Mare had some big shoes to fill. And after watching Mare’s performance last season, I don’t think he’s been able to fill those shoes.

For one thing, Mare hasn’t convinced me that he’s able to come through when his team needs him most.

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Position Breakdown

Inside the Panthers: Rivera: James Anderson played hurt, played well in ’11

Inside the Panthers: Rivera: James Anderson played hurt, played well in ’11.

Most of the offseason talk about the Panthers’ linebackers has been about the two that didn’t play the majority of the 2011 season.

Lost in the shuffle is the one who did — James Anderson, who turned in a record-setting year following season-ending injuries to Jon Beason and Thomas Davis.

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Position Breakdown

Carolina Panthers QB Clausen’s time might not be done yet | CharlotteObserver.com

Carolina Panthers QB Clausen’s time might not be done yet | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

The Panthers would owe No. 3 quarterback Jimmy Clausen $923,000 if he’s still on the roster next month – a hefty sum for a player who was inactive for every game last season.

But coach Ron Rivera did not close the door on a Clausen return, saying he appreciated how the former Notre Dame quarterback handled himself last year after he lost his starting job to No. 1 pick and NFL Rookie of the Year Cam Newton.

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