When the Panthers kick off training camp later this month, they'll do so with enough players to field three complete offensive and defensive units.
By the time the preseason concludes, the roster will barely contain enough players to field two complete units.
The Panthers will enter camp with an unprecedented 90 players on their roster, 10 more than last season thanks to a recent NFL rule change. One out of every three players won't end up on either the active roster or the practice squad.
Over the next couple of weeks, Panthers.com will take a position-by-position look at each and every player vying for a roster spot.
We'll start today at the place that it all begins in the NFL: the quarterback position.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft is firmly entrenched as the Panthers' No. 1 quarterback after sweeping the major rookie-of-the-year awards. … Passed for a rookie record 4,051 yards and ran for 706 yards to become the first quarterback in NFL history – rookie or otherwise – to eclipse 4,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in the same season. … His 14 rushing touchdowns in 2011 are the most ever for a quarterback in a season, and his 35 total touchdowns are the most ever for a rookie. … His 432 passing yards in Week 1 and 422 passing yards in Week 2 are the highest yardage games among rookies in NFL history.
Signed as a free agent early in training camp last season and went on to earn the backup job. … Saw action late in two games in which the outcome already was decided but didn't attempt a pass. … Invaluable to the team's young quarterbacks for his knowledge of offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski's intricate system. … A sixth-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2005, spent most of his career with the Cleveland Browns and made the Pro Bowl in 2007 under Chudzinski's guidance.
Second-round draft pick in 2010 started 10 games as a rookie but was inactive for all 16 games in 2011. … Thrust into a difficult situation when he made starting debut in Week 3 of rookie season and struggled along with the rest of the offense, finishing the year with three touchdown passes and nine interceptions. … Finished career at Notre Dame ranking first or second in 32 passing categories despite forgoing his senior season to enter the NFL.