Website submission from Alex in Asheville: Hey Bill, how high should our hopes be for C.J. Anderson this year?
You guys likely know by now that I rarely get too high or too low about additions, preferring instead to let things play out until we see some game action. Novel concept, I know. But to me, the Anderson signing was the best move the Panthers made this offseason.
You could argue back with someone like defensive tackle Dontari Poe, who was the bigger signing – literally. But Anderson has an opportunity to be more important.
Let me say this, the analogy I’ve heard more than once inside the building has likened the Anderson addition to the Stephen Davis signing 15 years ago.
Davis, a Spartanburg native who spent his first seven seasons in Washington, was a cap casualty that spring. Then he signed with Carolina, rushed for 1,444 yards, scored eight touchdowns, finished top three in MVP voting and helped lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl.
Anderson isn’t the bruiser Davis was, which is fine. I think the Panthers are finally ready to eschew parts of their traditional ground-and-pound style to join most of the NFL in running out of more spread formations. But Anderson, who was released by the Broncos in a money-saving move, can run between the tackles and catch the ball out of the backfield.
It's easier to find useful running backs now than it was in Davis’ day, but if the Panthers end up getting to where they want to go this season, a big reason will be because they filled a position of need in May with a bargain who’s made a Pro Bowl and who’s coming off a 1,000-yard season.
Now that I’ve gotten the positivity out of my system …
Chris Manhertz is the favorite, but the left foot injury he suffered in minicamp will likely keep him sidelined for at least the start of training camp. The other tight ends on the roster not named Greg Olsen are Ian Thomas, Jason Vander Laan and Evan Baylis.
Coaches were pleased by what they saw of Thomas this spring, and they’re hopeful the fourth-round pick will contribute as a rookie. But it sure doesn’t seem like Norv Turner has enough firepower at TE2 to make it a legit threat just yet.
Website submission from Richard in Fayetteville: Hey Bill, do you believe that the Panthers may pick a player like Adonis Alexander in the supplemental draft this year?
Addressed this in last week’s Grill Bill, but am still getting questions and likely still will until the July 11 draft. And the answer’s going to be the same. Don’t expect them to add any of the supplemental options.
Samuel progressed as well as they could have hoped.
He likely could have participated in team drills during OTAs and minicamp, but the plan was always to take it slow. I expect they'll take the training wheels off once they get to camp, even if that includes some precautions like occasional days off.
As I wrote this week, the jury’s still out on Samuel’s hands, so it’s good to see the converted running back being proactive with his personal JUGS machine. If he’s healthy and his hands are at least somewhat dependable, Samuel certainly has the ability to eventually emerge as a WR3.
Website submission from Nicolas in Rock Hill, SC: Is the cornerback Corn Elder going to play this year?
Like Samuel, we’ll learn a lot more about Elder once they get to Spartanburg.
The good news is Elder showed no ill effects this spring from the knee injury that kept him out his entire rookie season. They gave him a fair amount of looks at outside corner, but his best chance to get on the field is at nickel. Between Elder, Kevon Seymour, Captain Munnerlyn and even Donte Jackson, I’m really interested to see how things unfold in the slot.
A little behind-the-scenes: One of the reasons Kuechly was hesitant to open the box was he thought it may have been a prank – like maybe Ryan Kalil had put a surprise in there.
But your point is well taken since we’re talking about a guy who kept his NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in a box somewhere.
And now, the lightning round …
Website submission from Danny in Raleigh, NC: Aloha Bill, I wanted to get your opinion on who the fastest Panther player is? My guess would be Donte Jackson. I wish we could get a race of the fast players one day.
I’m rolling with Damiere Byrd, who’d clearly pick himself over Jackson:
Here’s the part where I’d like to make a joke about adding Julio Jones first, but you never know about certain sensitivities out there.
Nothing new. Should be all wrapped up in the next week or so.
Email from Preston: Yoga, grilling, soccer and craft beer: If you could only keep two for the rest of your life, which two would you select?
Hate the give up the other two, but let me keep the beer and yoga.
I'm only saying fusilli so I can reference this:
Kuechly and Colin Jones because they’re avid outdoorsmen. And Vernon Butler because I saw him post some hunting stuff to Instagram one time.
Top 10 most useless lists only made to make fans upset about the love not being shown to their favorite NFL teams or players which those fans will then share on Twitter, message boards, etc.
A few to get you started: Cribb’s Kitchen, Wade's, The Crepe Factory, Fuddruckers and Capri's in Boiling Springs.
Email from Pat: I know this is not the typical question you get, but I didn't know how to get my request to someone. I have always enjoyed printing off the roster so I can follow it through the game. On the old format, there was a print button. With this new format, there is no print button and I can only get it to print one page. I hope they will change this back to the other way so I can continue to print the roster.
Ask, and you shall receive – thanks to our resident web sleuth, Will Bryan.
Will’s also responsible for this new quiz. Enjoy: