With a moment to reflect on what they've done, here are a few thoughts on the Panthers (for-the-moment) 53-man roster:
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-- Give them this, you can't dispute the existence of a plan. Not much use counting other rosters to see how it compares until they stabilize in a few days, but at the moment, 35 of the 53 player coming from your own drafts is fairly impressive, and has to be fairly high on the charts.
They wanted young and fast, and by gum they've got young and fast.
-- Had a lot of e-mails and twitter messages in recent days about signing a WR. Specifically, people seem to want the Panthers to bring in T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but before him the fascination was with Laveranues Coles and Antonio Bryant.
The question you have to ask yourself is this: When you sign a veteran, are you prepared to cut WR David Gettis to make room for him?
They probably aren't.
If I underestimated anything when I tried to pick the roster for them last week, it was how much they liked the sixth-round pick from Baylor.
He's big, and has good speed, and he may not play much this year if at all. But they were unwilling to expose him to waivers, so it's hard to think they'd part with him now.
-- Wonder how OT Kirk Barton's feeling right about now?
He didn't want to come here for a week when the Panthers claimed him off waivers. So instead, they signed former Saints practice squader Tim Duckworth as a temporary place-holder.
All Duckworth did was make the 53. Now, he might not last there, but all you hear guys say is that they want an opportunity, and Duckworth made the most of his.
-- I fully expect offensive line help to be on the way.
Not sure who, not sure from where, but I'm fairly sure it's coming. If RT Jeff Otah can't play at New York, and it doesn't sound like he's expected to, then their reserves are Duckworth and Garry Williams.
It's a long way from the days of Geoff Hangartner and Jeremy Bridges.
-- The 53-man roster is one thing, the really important one is the game-day 45. They have to deactivate eight guys each Sunday, including the third quarterback.
Who's going to be on that list against the Giants?
Otah, probably for one. And Tony Pike's the third QB. If RB Tyrell Sutton's shoulder's not ready, he might sit but if he's well you need him.
After that, I'd guess you scratch Gettis, DTs Nick Hayden and Andre Neblett (they generally go into games with seven DL), and either LB Eric Norwood or Nic Harris, depending on which one you want running down kicks.
Then it gets tricky.
Maybe it's WR Armanti Edwards, unless he's returning punts.
It's hard to deactivate a defensive back, since they only have eight and a few of them are a little gimpy right now. Sitting both Harris and Norwood leaves you with just Jamar Williams and Jordan Senn in reserve at LB.
This is where keeping that extra kicker really sticks them, and why Todd Carter better blast everything out of the end zone to justify his roster spot.
-- Curious to see who gets claimed off waivers today.
Would bet someone takes a flier on DT Corvey Irvin, since he was a recent third-round pick. CBs C.J. Wilson and Brian Witherspoon have enough film that they may attract some interest. WR Kenny Moore might not get claimed, and may have to make the Tuesday workout loop to find a job. Hoping he gets another shot, but we'll see. QB Hunter Cantwell's probably looking at a practice squad assignment, just sifting through the names on other rosters.
-- Of the guys they cut, you'd guess that WR Trent Guy, FB Rashawn Jackson, LB Andre Ware and CB R.J. Stanford would come back on the practice squad. Probably another CB and two OLs from somewhere else as well. Given Edwards' arm, they may not see the need to add a fourth QB, and could look for some more LB depth.
-- I've seen more talented rosters, and I've seen deeper rosters, but I don't think I've seen a more interesting roster.
Maybe this is a five-win team, maybe it's a 10-win team. I'll leave that for experts like Scott Fowler and Tom Soresen (NostraThomas) to debate later in the week.
But this bunch, as presently constructed, is ripe with possibilities.
That includes the possibility that a lot of these guys might not be ready to play at the NFL level.
—— Darin Gantt