Monday, September 14, 2015, 10:19am
For the Panthers (1-0) to be a serious contender for a third straight NFC South title, the offense must find its identity like the defense has.
Not all opponents will be as inept offensively as Jacksonville. Coach Ron Rivera realizes that.
“I’m not satisfied because we made too many mistakes,” Rivera said.
Most of the mistakes were on offense. There was a dropped pass by wide-open Ted Ginn Jr. on Carolina’s second drive. It was far from a perfect pass. Ginn had to turn his body around as he ran down the right side.
The ball hit him in both hands inside the 5-yard line, killing a shot at Carolina taking a 10-0 lead.
On the first drive, tight end Greg Olsen was called for offensive pass interference on second-and-goal from the 4. Instead of a touchdown, the Panthers wound up with a 43-yard field goal after a sack and incomplete pass. Rookie Devin Funchess had just one catch for nine yards so perhaps the team looks to get him more involved.
When Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL, most people looked to second-round pick Devin Funchess as the likeliest replacement for Benjamin in the lineup because the rookie’s size gave him a similar presence on the field.
Any Benjamin impersonations will come in a reserve role against the Jaguars in Week One, however. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Monday that the team will start Ted Ginn and Corey Brown at wideout to kick off the season while Funchess, who had a hamstring injury this summer, is the third man in the mix.
Even with Funchess missing time this summer, seeing Brown’s name in the lineup is a bit of a surprise on a couple of fronts. He struggled with drops in preseason games and practices, which seemed to push him closer to the waiver wire than the first team. It's hard to believe the team won't turn to Funchess at some point sooner than later. Right now, it may just be a case that he's behind in his reps and learning the offense.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 11:47am
In a move that’s considered at least somewhat of a surprise given the lack of proven and available players in the Panthers receiving corps, the Black and Blue Review is reporting that the team is waiving Jarrett Boykin.
The move indicates the Panthers will rely on veterans Jerricho Cotchery and Ted Ginn Jr. and rookie Devin Funchess as the lead receivers. Top receiver Kelvin Benjamin is out for the season after tearing his ACL in an August practice.
David Newton: It's not so much whether Newton is capable. He didn't win the Heisman Trophy at Auburn or win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year at Carolina for a lack of talent. The question is this: Does Newton have the talent around him to become an MVP? Aaron Rodgers didn't win the award last season without having a solid offensive line, top receivers and a running game that takes the pressure off him. Newton needs the same.
The good news, the story points out, is Cam Newton seems to have a talent pool around him now. Wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, Corey Brown and Ted Ginn Jr., along with tight end Greg Olsen, give him plenty of capable targets. Jonathan Stewart showed again at the end of last season that, when healthy, he's a top five back. Now, the offensive line is going to be the key. Newton will also have to become a more consistent passer. While the odds may be against him for MVP, he's capable of a solid fantasy season. Newton cracks our top-10 QBs heading into camps, coming in eighth with an ADP of about the seventh round. He's another of the long list of fantasy QBs who will be around during that stage of your draft if you're set on waiting on the position.
Monday, February 23, 2015, 5:15pm
Ted Ginn, who signed a three-year free-agent contract in 2014, was released by the Cardinals Monday after a disappointing year both as return man and wide receiver. The Cards will absorb $1.5 million in dead salary cap money, although they will save $2.5M in cap space that would have been spent if Ginn stayed.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 1:34pm
WR John Brown's emergence can mean wonders for the Cardinals. A receiving corps that includes Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Ted Ginn Jr. gets even more dangerous with a shifty player like Brown on the field.
One has to wonder if Brown's shiftiness will help offset any kind of snap limitations RB Andre Ellington needs as he tries to heal an injured foot. Brown is certainly a name to watch on your wire. The Cardinal staff and players have been raving about him since spring.
Popular opinion? It won't be long.
He says he's ready to move on. Having the opportunity to work with Carolina wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl, one of the best technicians in the game during his 17 years as a player, should be a plus.
Proehl helped turn around Ted Ginn Jr's career last season. Ginn, now at Arizona, went from two catches with San Francisco in 2012 to 36 for 556 yards and five touchdowns at Carolina last season.
Ginn was the #58 WR in standard formats last season, so if Hill can fill and expand on that role, he could work his way into fantasy relevancy again. Sometimes a player just needs a change of scenery and a fresh start.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 8:25pm
Panthers coach Ron Rivera indicated Monday the team didn't plan to sign Hill immediately.
But the Panthers must think Hill, who struggled with dropped passes throughout his two years in New York, could give them a deep threat they've lacked since Ted Ginn Jr. signed with Arizona during the offseason.
Saturday, August 23, 2014, 6:05pm
Cardinals beat writer John Weinfuss: (John Brown) won’t be the Cardinals third receiver, that’ll be Ted Ginn. I think John Brown has earned the fourth receiver spot, however. And to use him, the Cardinals will have to go to a lot of four- or five-receiver sets. When he’s on the field, expect him to be used as a slot receiver going across the middle or out wide to take the top off the defense.
Cardinals WR John Brown is the real deal. He still hasn’t gone against a live defense for an entire game but from what we’ve seen out of Brown, he’s as fast with pads on than without them. The Cardinals are trying to temper their expectations of Brown, but it’s tough. He’s lived up to the hype.
Brown could work his way into the WR3 role if he can outplay Ted Ginn, which shouldn't be too hard.
Thursday, August 14, 2014, 11:40am
Cardinals HC Bruce Arians has long preached that he can't teach speed. But he can sign it. The Cardinals saw that speed was a major deficiency in their offense in 2013, and they set out this offseason to change it. Add Ted Ginn and John Brown, and they now have two of the faster receivers in the league. That means more deep throws over the top and more opportunities to spread out the defense and allow Larry Fitzgerald to work inside. Ginn is poised for a breakout year as a receiver, and Brown, a rookie out of Division II Pittsburg State, has been turning heads all camp.
Ginn and Brown are fighting for the same role in Arians' offense, so we're not so sure Ginn is poised for a breakout season. The rookie has been great in camp.
Sunday, August 10, 2014, 9:51am
Brown saw action in 16 games last season and recorded 140 yards in 11 receptions. Coming out of his rookie season, the receiver said his game improved considerably.
"It's a lot better," he said. "I feel like we're finally starting to get some kind of rhythm going with the quarterbacks. That's one thing we work on in training camp."
Not having to worry about replacing Floyd and Ginn long-term, Brown's performance Saturday made it that much harder for Arians to trim his receiving pool.
Friday, August 1, 2014, 11:13am
All the hype about Cardinals WR John Brown is looking legitimate so far. He’s been fast off the line and quick once he catches the ball. It’s obvious his time in San Diego with Carson Palmer paid off as the two have a burgeoning connection. While Brown looked just as fast in pads as he did out of them, it will be hard to tell if he’s a true standout until he goes across the middle when a safety or linebacker is actually trying to take his head off. If he can take an NFL hit and bounce back and still be fast, then he might be a star in the making.
Ted Ginn is in the mix as well, so it will be interesting to see how quickly and how much Brown can get on the field.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 12:00pm
As Calais Campbell walked past wide receiver John Brown and a surrounding interview contingent on Monday, the veteran defensive end vocalized an idea becoming more believable by the day. “Future star right there,” Campbell said.
Brown was an unknown before the Cardinals drafted him in the third round in May, but has thus far wowed the organization with his progress. The Pittsburg State product picked up significant buzz with his offseason production and played well on the first two days of training camp.
Monday was the first day of full pads, and coach Bruce Arians was interested to know how he would handle the change.“Can he play that fast? Can he get off the jam?” Arians said. “It’ll be more physical.”
Brown did his part to give answers, highlighting the practice with an 82-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Drew Stanton in 11-on-11 action. The defensive players refrained from laying big hits during the session, so it wasn’t quite the real thing, but it was yet another standout showing in a long string of them.
The Panthers are better at receiver than they were a year ago. Nothing against Steve L Smith, but at 35 he was no better than a No. 2 receiver and at the end of his career. Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon really weren't big losses when you look at it closely. Hixon wouldn't have been a loss at all were it not for the game-winning touchdown against New Orleans. The key here will be chemistry, but first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin looks like a red zone beast at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. Free agent signees Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant are solid possession receivers, and more dependable than the players they replaced. Who steps up as the fourth receiver will be the biggest question, whether it's free agent Tiquan Underwood or one of the young receivers. The Panthers plan to run a lot more two tight-end sets makes that less critical.
We project Cotchery and Benjamin to start but believe that Greg Olsen will once again lead the team in catches. Benjamin has upside, but Cotchery is a dirt cheap WR5/WR6 option available in the final rounds.
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