Former AAU hoops star Ryan Delaire had surprising impact in his first NFL game
Delaire’s college coach says Delaire, a voracious learner, destined for success
With team on bye week, Delaire headed back to D.C. – in a 2005 Camry
Source:: Charlotte Observer Carolina Panthers
For the second week in a row, North Carolina escaped against an inferior opponent at home. It took three rare plays to beat San Diego State 31-27. A Brian Walker interception at the goal line and subsequent 100-yard return for a touchdown and a Marquise Williams to Mack Hollins 91-yard pass play for a TD the two scores that saved them, along with an interception in the end zone with 14 seconds left.
The interception return was just the third 100-yard interception return in school history while the 91-yard pass play was the longest by the Tar Heels in Kenan Stadium history and the third longest for the Heels anywhere. That’s what it took to defeat San Diego. Exciting, yes but impressive, no.
The big plays saved Coach Larry Fedora a grilling about throwing a pass inside the five yard line on third down and few inches for a first down. The pass completion lost a yard or two and the Heels had to settle for a field goal.
NC State, for the second week in a row, were not impressive against an inferior opponent at home despite scoring 46 points. The Pack gave up 34 points and 504 yards to Old Dominion.
The defense did not really pressure Old Dominion in the backfield or even at the line, and the tackling was atrocious. On a positive note, the running game looks good as Pack runners rushed for 242 yards and scored five TDs (four of them on the ground). Shadrach Thornton got three of those scores while Matt Dayes had a rushing TD and a receiving TD.
The improvement wasn’t lost on Coach Dave Doeren. “Our run game is averaging six yards per carry, no turnovers and one penalty throughout the game,” he said. “On offense, we averaged 6.6 yards on first down on offense. We were 3-for-3 in short yardage.”
Oh, Washington Redskins, here we go again. Untimely turnovers, poor special teams and a supposedly mobile quarterback who keeps getting sacked before getting rid of the ball.
As for the turnovers, all are untimely, but two unforced fumbles inside the 10-yard line are hard to overcome. That’s a minimum of six points and a maximum of 14 points off the board in a 17-6 loss.
The six points makes one who didn’t watch the game assume the Skins could only muster two field goals. But, no, it was due to a blocked extra point. At a time when the league is considering getting rid of extra points because they are supposedly automatic, the JJ Watt middle-of-the-line block changed the momentum of the game.
Up 6-0, the Redskins fell apart with a blocked punt that resulted in a touchdown while Robert Griffin III couldn’t or wouldn’t throw the ball down field. He even held onto the ball so long that he was sacked three times. The guy who is supposed to be so mobile looked anything but. In fact, he intentionally grounded the ball once and rarely looked to throw more than a few yards down the field. When he did throw long, it looked like Hail Mary plays rather than passes that had a good chance of completion.
By the way, did you notice how the in-studio Fox Sports team did everything they could to use the word Washington instead of Redskins. Host Curt Menefee even tossed it to previews of two games by saying “the Bills at the Bears” and “Washington at the Texans.” Not Washington at Houston. He gave three team names and one city name within a minute’s time.
The Carolina Panthers actually looked pretty good in a season opener for a change (they haven’t won one in five years) and they did it with a second-string quarterback. Derek Anderson, though, is a veteran and he threw a pair of touchdown passes to lead the Panthers over Tampa Bay 17-14.
The Panthers did wilt a bit down the stretch and let the Bucs back in the game but it had been a dominating performance for most of the game.
Cam Newton, out with a rib injury, is said to be ready to play next weekend. To get an opening win without Newton in a game in which they were the underdogs, the Panthers did quite well.
Before the game, many thought the offensive line would be a weakness. But coaches trotted out several linemen throughout the game, keeping players fresh, and it worked. You’d think it would disrupt continuity but the line was juggled so much in the preseason, for a number of reasons, maybe they’re used to it.
Two years ago, ESPN uniform guru Paul Lukas ranked NFL uniforms from best to worst. At that time, the Carolina Panthers were third from the bottom. In a new ranking, the Panthers have the fourth worse uniform.
The Cincinnati Bengals have the worst uniforms in both the 2012 and 2014 ranking. The new ranking, which appeared in the Washington Times, have the Bengals followed by the Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Bucs, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and 10th is the Cleveland Browns.
In 2013, Athlon Sports ranked the Panthers the fifth worst uniform in the NFL. The Panthers have adjusted their uniforms a bit over the past two years but it doesn’t seem to have made much difference in the eyes of the NFL fashionistas.
In the previous ranking, Lukas wrote this about the Panthers’ uniforms: “Ah, the 1990s — Nirvana, Monica Lewinsky, and the Panthers’ uniforms. The tapered stripes on the pants and helmet looked silly back then and are hopelessly dated now, and the shoulder loops on the jersey look too crimped when rendered with today’s skin-tight tailoring cuts. They’ve given their logo a subtle upgrade this season, but that’s like bailing water with a Dixie cup while the ship is sinking. Let’s turn Nike’s design team loose on this franchise — the results can’t help but be an improvement.”
Here is a slideshow of the 10 ugliest nfl uniforms – http://www.washingtontimes.com/multimedia/collection/10-ugliest-nfl-uniforms/?page=1
Benjamin was certainly not the best player on the board and most experts had another receiver – Marqise Lee of UCLA – ahead of him on the draft board. Most prognosticators had Benjamin, who only played two seasons with the Seminoles, as a second round caliber pick.
That being said, Benjamin has tight end size (6-5, 240) and wide receiver skills, and he led the ACC in touchdown receptions. He is known for catching the game winner in the BCS Championship game last season.
His talent continues to grow and he should be a No. 1 receiver at some point.
There must be a New Orleans Saints fan deciding what games we see in the Triangle area or either someone overplays the Carolina Panthers division because there is no excuse that the Packers-Bears game wasn’t shown instead of the Saints-Buccaneers.
When questioned about their choices a few weeks ago, WRAL/WRAZ officials responded by saying, “we air games with potential playoff implications over games of regional interest.” Oh really? A few weeks ago, the station aired the Saints-Rams game even though the Saints were already in the playoffs and the Rams were already out. Meanwhile, we missed a Green Bay last-minute 37-36 victory over the Cowboys. Both those teams were still in contention for the playoffs going into this final week of the regular season.
This week we are subjected to the Saints-Buccaneers game which means nothing as the Saints are in the playoffs and the Bucs are way out. Granted, had the Panthers lost to the Falcons, the Saints would be playing for the division title. But much more important as far as playoff implications is a game where the winner wins the division and the loser is out of the playoffs. That’s the case with the Packers at Bears game, which someone thought wasn’t as important to us as the Saints-Bucs game.
By the way, the Saints crushed the Bucs as expected 42-17 while the Packers eliminated the Bears and won the division title with a last-seconds 33-28 victory. The beat goes on.
Mike McCormack, who played an instrumental role in the expansion process for the Carolina Panthers and later became the team’s first president, died early Friday morning at the age of 83.
McCormack was an advisor for Jerry Richardson’s efforts to bring the National Football League to the Carolinas during the six-year process to obtain a franchise, which culminated with the awarding of the team on Oct. 26, 1993.
McCormack served as the organization’s first president and held that post for Carolina’s first two seasons (1995-96) before retiring. On Sept. 21, 1997, he became the first inductee into the Carolina Panthers Hall of Honor.
“It is safe to say that we would probably not have a team in the Carolinas if it were not for Mike McCormack,” Richardson said. “He had the contacts in the National Football League and was universally respected by everyone associated with professional football. He was a wonderful man, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Ann, and the entire McCormack family.”
McCormack, a native of Chicago who lived in Palm Desert, Calif., at the time of his death, made his name in the NFL long before joining the Panthers as a consultant in 1989.
He both played and coached in the league and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984 following a standout career (1951-62) with the Cleveland Browns that included six Pro Bowl appearances. Teaming with quarterback Otto Graham, McCormack helped the Browns win NFL championships in 1954 and 1955. He later blocked for running back Jim Brown.
Legendary Browns coach Paul Brown gave McCormack’s Hall of Fame induction speech, calling him “the finest offensive lineman I have ever coached.” Before the 1994 season, USA Today agreed, featuring McCormack in its 75th anniversary all-NFL team as one of the three finest tackles in league history.
McCormack began his coaching career as an assistant in 1965 with the Washington Redskins, learning under coaching legends Vince Lombardi and George Allen. McCormack went on to hold head coaching positions with the Philadelphia Eagles (1973-75), Baltimore Colts (1980-81) and Seattle Seahawks (1982) before serving as Seahawks president and general manager until 1988.
Richardson hired McCormack in 1989, two years into his campaign to bring the NFL to the Carolinas, and McCormack proved a trusted and valuable advisor. Upon his retirement following the 1996 season, a historic season in which the Panthers advanced to the NFC Championship in just their second year of competition, McCormack had spent nearly a half-century in the NFL as a player, coach and administrator.
– News release
Plus, Kasay, who was born in Athens, Ga., played college ball for Georgia and had some of his best games against the Falcons, including a pair of last-minute game winning field goals.
Even though Kasay started his career with Seattle and ended his playing days with New Orleans, he is Mr. Carolina Panther. Kasay, now 43, became one of the first two unrestricted free agents to sign with the then new Panthers franchise in 1995, and he played for the Panthers until 2010.
Kasay, who holds virtually all the Panther kicking records, also has played in a team-record 221 games and is the all-time points leader for the Panthers. Perhaps most impressively, he made 11 game-winning field goals for the Panthers.
He also holds several NFL records including being the only player to convert four field goals from 46 yards away or more in a single game. He is second all-time for field goals made from 50+ yards (42).
He had a big leg and he has a big heart, earning the love and respect from his teammates. It was appropriate for the Panthers to sign him again recently so he could retire as a Panther. It will be appropriate for the Panthers to retire his number – on Nov. 3 of this year.
Alabama safety Robert Lester – a three-year starter and three-time national champion – is among those that have agreed to join the Panthers.
South Carolina linebacker Damario Jeffery and East Carolina guard Robert Jones are two local products that also have come to agreements with the Panthers.
The Panthers’ rookies will take part in a rookie minicamp May 10-12. These agreements with undrafted free agents will not become official until each player signs his contract upon reporting to minicamp.
UNDRAFTED ROOKIE FREE AGENTS
Pos Name Ht Wt Age College Hometown
QB Colby Cameron 6-2 210 23 Louisiana Tech Newbury Park, Calif.
TE Taylor Cook 6-7 255 23 Rice Altair, Texas
WR Trey Diller 6-1 197 23 Sam Houston State The Woodlands, Texas
DE Wes Horton 6-5 264 23 Southern California Sherman Oaks, Calif.
LB Damario Jeffery 6-3 241 22 South Carolina Columbia, S.C.
OG Robert Jones 6-3 313 23 East Carolina Tucker, Ga.
DB Robert Lester 6-1 211 24 Alabama Foley, Ala.
K Morgan Lineberry 6-1 195 22 Abilene Christian Dallas, Texas
OG Tori Mobley 6-3 290 23 Jacksonville State Columbus, Ga.
DE Craig Roh 6-4 271 22 Michigan Scottsdale, Ariz.
DT Casey Walker 6-1 336 23 Oklahoma Garland, Texas
DB Melvin White 6-1 203 22 Louisiana-Lafayette Freeport, Texas
FB Mike Zordich 6-1 236 23 Penn State Youngstown, Ohio
Last season, undrafted free agent defensive tackle Nate chandler played in 10 games. Running back Tauren Poole spent the entire year on injured reserve and wide receiver Jared Green spent the season on the practice squad.
In addition to the 13 college free agents, the Panthers signed free agent Brandon Williams – a 6-4, 250-pound tight end who played collegiately at Oregon and Joliet Junior College. With Williams in the fold, the Panthers currently have 86 players on the roster.
– Panthers staff