When people discover that I write about their favorite team for Panthers.com, questions are sure to follow.
Can you get me Cam's autograph?
Do you have any tickets?
What's Cam really like?
Do you have any tickets?
Now that you've discovered that I write about your favorite team for Panthers.com, it's time for you to ask the questions.
Nothing against the above examples, but I would appreciate a little more variety.
We've recently launched "Ask Bryan," an interactive feature that allows fans to ask me burning questions about the team. Each week, I'll select the best of the bunch and let you know what I think on the website. Kindly look to your right for a handy form that allows you to submit questions quickly and easily.
Now, you may ask, who is this "Ask Bryan" fella, and why do I want to ask him a question?
Here's a little background. This is my third season covering the team for Panthers.com, but my knowledge of the franchise dates back to the beginning.
On Sept. 17, 1995, I had a coveted seat in the Clemson Memorial Stadium press box when the Panthers played their first home game as an NFL franchise.
I braved the cold in January of 1997 when the fledgling franchise played in the NFC Championship Game in Green Bay, and six years later I covered a classic Super Bowl that the Panthers barely lost.
I'm a career sportswriter, having known nothing else since my sophomore year in college. I love football, love the Panthers, and would love the opportunity to answer your questions.
While I wait for my virtual mailbag to sag, I'm not the only one in Panthers blue being asked to answer questions. Several players and position groups entered training camp facing questions of their own.
As camp approaches the home stretch, here's a look at some who have answered the questions and some that are still working on their answers.
- Jon Beason: The linebacker/tackling machine set out to prove the Achilles injury that wiped out his 2011 season was a thing of the past, and he's done so in the affirmative. Beason looks like his old self, and though his first test against live competition still lies ahead, it looks like he never left the practice field.
- Luke Kuechly: Some questioned the Panthers' decision to select a linebacker with the No. 9 overall pick given the talent they already have at the spot, but no one can question what Kuechly has brought so far. Best known for his ability to stuff ballcarriers coming out of Boston College, Kuechly has displayed exceptional pass coverage skills at camp.
- Brandon LaFell: According to a recent poll question on Panthers.com, fans were most interested in who would earn the No. 2 wide receiver spot opposite Steve Smith. The definitive answer is LaFell, who has played like a starter from the first day of camp at a position that's as competitive as any on the roster.
- Thomas Davis: No one will ever question Davis' heart, but his unprecedented attempt to return from a third torn ACL in the same knee has been slowed by a strained calf. The knee itself, however, has made remarkable progress, so it's just a matter of time before he gets a chance to show his stuff.
- Gary Barnidge: The Panthers had a dynamic duo at tight end last season with Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey. While Olsen has sparkled in camp with Shockey no longer on the roster, Barnidge is still working to carve his niche. Coming off a leg injury that sidelined him in 2011, Barnidge has looked good at times but is still trying to establish himself.
- The cornerbacks: Chris Gamble is the undisputed leader of the group, but the No. 2 spot is still up for grabs. Returning starter Captain Munnerlyn has enjoyed a good camp, but challengers Brandon Hogan and Josh Norman have been sidelined for a week with nagging injuries. All four players who have gotten extra reps as a result – Darius Butler, Nate Ness, Josh Thomas and R.J. Stanford – have flashed, leaving the depth chart still in flux.