Williams, Stewart unveil new Web site, nickname
12/28/2008 11:23 PM
12/28/2008 11:29 PM
NEW ORLEANS -- Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams walked into the locker room without his shoes, but with a handful of records.
He also -- hopefully -- put an end to the nickname controversy by unveiling a new Web site to steer fans to the newest moniker for himself and Jonathan Stewart: "Double Trouble."
Williams gave his cleats away to some fans in the stands wearing his jersey, after using them to establish new franchise records left and right.
He finished the game with 178 yards, giving him 1,515 for the season. That surpassed Stephen Davis' old record of 1,444 (set in 2003). He also recorded his eighth 100-yard game this year, which alone would have surpassed the previous record in that category (seven, by Davis, DeShaun Foster and Tshimanga Biakabutuka).
As he's done throughout the year, Williams was quick to thank his blockers and fullback Brad Hoover for their help.
"The O-line and Brad Hoover and those guys broke the record today, they've done a great job for me all year," Williams said. "They've continued blocking for us, me and Jonathan, and the wide receivers, all in all those guys deserve this record today."
Williams cleared Davis' season record in the second quarter, and wasn't alone rewriting history. Stewart got on the other side of Fred Lane's rookie record of 809 yards just before the break, and finished with 836 on the season.
As for the nickname, Williams put it out there after the game, showing a knack for marketing akin to the pro wrestling he loves. He waited until every camera in the locker room was around him, then scrawled the address for their new nickname (nameswecanbelievein.com) on a dry erase board.
On the Web site, a long message goes through the squabble between Tennessee's Chris Johnson and LenDale White and the Panthers' pair over "Smash and Dash." At the end of the video, you hear Williams' voice saying: "We're Double Trouble, and we approve this message."
T-shirts with the likeness of Williams and Stewart will also be sold on the site, with all benefits going to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
"It's very beautiful," he told a group of reporters. "You guys are gonna love it. You guys are going to laugh like so much, fans you're going to enjoy this site as much as I did. You'll see. After I saw it I was crying, literally tears I was laughing so hard."
• SHORT-HANDED: The Panthers were bone-thin on the defensive line Sunday, playing without both starting defensive tackles Damione Lewis (shoulder) and Maake Kemoeatu (ankle).
The hope is the bye week will give both a chance to return.
Their absence left the Panthers with journeyman Darwin Walker and Nick Hayden and J'Vonne Parker, guys who were on practice squads two weeks ago.
Coach John Fox gave credit to the fill-ins, though the course of the game left them in nickel and dime situations more than their base defense. That allowed ends Tyler Brayton and Charles Johnson to rotate inside, since backup end Hilee Taylor was back after missing three weeks with a calf strain.
• SPECIAL AGAIN: The Panthers scored their first special teams touchdown of the year Sunday, when cornerback Dante Wesley picked up a fumbled kickoff return attempt by New Orleans' Skyler Green and eased in 12 yards for the score that gave them a 23-3 lead.
The play was set up when reserve linebacker Landon Johnson flew in and stripped the ball away from Green -- in what amounts to the first play he's made all year.
The only other return score of the season was cornerback Chris Gamble's fumble return in the opener at San Diego.
Also, kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd booted his league-high 30th touchback of the year.
• 2009 SCHEDULE SET: With all the results in, the Panthers know their entire schedule for next season.
In addition to division games with Atlanta, New Orleans and Tampa Bay, they'll host Philadelphia, Washington, Buffalo and Miami. They'll go to the division foes and also Dallas, the New York Giants and Jets and New England. Only two games are based on this year's standings, and that will give them a home game against Minnesota and a road trip to Arizona.
The combined 2008 records of those teams was 151-104-1 (.590 winning percentage).
Of the teams they're scheduled to play, only the Bills (7-9) had a losing record in 2008.
• EXTRA POINTS: In addition to Lewis and Kemoeatu, the Panthers deactivated the following players: Linebacker Adam Seward, safety Quinton Teal, offensive lineman Mackenzy Bernardeau, wide receivers Dwayne Jarrett and Kenny Moore and third quarterback Matt Moore.
Jarrett was a mild surprise, since he was up over a healthy D.J. Hackett the past three weeks. The two have alternated the third spot all year, and been similarly nonproductive. Jarrett has 10 catches for 119 yards, while Hackett had a relatively big game (two catches for 37 yards), giving him 13 grabs for 181 yards. Neither has scored this year. ...
The Panthers altered the secondary a bit, activating cornerback C.J. Wilson since the Saints presented more of a passing threat. That gave them a legitimate dime package, rather than having to use special-teamer Wesley on defense.
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