CHARLOTTE -- Whether the Carolina Panthers' offensive line is any better next year remains to be seen.
They will, however, be philosophically consistent.
The Panthers added another big body to the mix Friday, signing 330-pound journeyman Milford Brown.
The 28-year-old Brown has started 43 of his 48 games with Houston, Arizona and St. Louis the last six seasons. Last year with the Rams, he started at left guard, right guard and right tackle.
With the Panthers, he'll join a crowded and massive group in the middle, as the team attempts to add heft to its running game. Tired of watching the middle of their line blown out last year, they released left guard Mike Wahle and center Justin Hartwig, with the plan to replace them with stronger blockers in Travelle Wharton and Ryan Kalil. Since Kalil's looking like the runt of the litter at 295 pounds, they're surrounding him with bigger bodies.
They signed 325-pound Keydrick Vincent early in free agency, and picked up 350-pound Toniu Fonoti earlier this week. Throw in big-legged holdovers such as Wharton and Jeremy Bridges, and their line is certainly taking on a different profile than in the past. Under previous line coach Mike Maser, the Panthers had an odd mix of big guys and smaller, more athletic blockers. The recent moves make it clear they're coming back into square with their decree to be more physical, particularly up the middle.
It also means Evan Mathis is purely a tackle if he makes the team at all. They moved him there last year after two years at guard, but he only played in one game last season.