My thoughts on the Carolina Kittehs' draft selections? Well, I am so glad you asked.
I was somewhat critical of Julius Peppers, but I'm happy for the Panthers that they got him to play well for one more season via the "franchise" tag. I've always contended privately that I'd much prefer the sometimes-greatness-sometimes-mediocrity of having him on "my" team, than having to compete against him, anytime. And although I'd have preferred the organization got some compensation for him, I'm happy for him and sincerely hope he thrives in Chicago.
I was very critical of Jake, too, but that's not to say I dislike him. Again, I truly hope he finds renewed success in his new job. Panthers fans have plenty of reason to be thankful for having employed both these guys.
But, I am here to say that I am quite excited about this weekend's progress in the draft.
Since I resumed my strike on MLB, and my hopes for the Hurricanes having another Stanley Cup run got dashed against the rocks with their early-season ineptitude, it's a long sports void between basketball and football seasons.
Things could turn sour in Chapel Hill, and the 'Heel's schedule is the definition of tough, but the Spring Game and retention of talent, plus the infusion of more talent (already on campus), foster much optimism at this point. For the Panthers, though, I was prepared to be disappointed. However, on the contrary, I was very pleasantly surprised.
These guys (Kittehs management) don't have the best track record concerning the drafting of QB's. Like everyone else, I was pretty sure there was no chance at Claussen, and even wondered whether McCoy from Texas would be available. No knock against McCoy, but I kinda looked at him as the ugly stepsister of the girl you really wanted for your prom date. There are no words to describe the Panthers' fortune in Claussen's availability except pure dumb good luck.
I commented on the Obscurer's football blog once last year, midseason, that they needed to bench Jake, get Moore some big-stage experience, and prepare to draft the best QB currently/already playing in the state of North Carolina, Armanti Edwards. So, when I heard they'd drafted him too, I let out an audible "oh my." True, Edwards looks frail and spindly. But this guy makes Mikey Vick's talent for confounding defenses look like amateur night. Seriously, Edwards either scored or passed for 11 million touchdowns, while at Appalachian. Either one of those choices, Claussen or Edwards, constitutes the unequivocal steal of the draft.
Even not considering the other poitions drafted, there's lots to love about management's work this weekend. The QB from Cincinnatti, Pike...I woulda been just as satisfied with him as McCoy, for what that's worth. And with his selection, it almost looks like a case of throwing everything on the back porch...to see what the cat licks up. Sorry for the convoluted metaphor; it couldn't be helped.
Also from the for what it's worth department, every receiver on the roster, including the new guys are going to look more like NFL receivers with the added reliability that Moore will bring to the position. Truly, I don't really expect Claussen to do much this year besides hold a clipboard and learn. Moore will make most of those necessary passes without short-circuiting the offense with bone-headed gunslinger attempts. He'll do what's most vital in this offense: complete successful hand-offs. Edwards will catch some passes, return some kicks, but also take the lion's share of "wildcat formation" snaps and be the "just add water" solution to instant offense.
It appears that the Panthers have been listening to me, and that's certainly a good thing. Now, let's just get 'em signed.
And not for nothing, Mr. Richardson, I could use a paying gig.
Apologies to Kate for pilfering the term "Kittehs."