Archive for the ‘Muhsin Muhammad’ category

Moose Back to Panthers

February 28, 2008

Muhsin Muhammad and Steve Smith

The Carolina Panthers released the disappointing David Carr on Wednesday and picked up Muhsin Muhammad, who was released from the Chicago Bears last week. He rejoins the time after spending nine seasons with the Panthers after they drafted him in 1996. He spent three seasons with the Bears after a monster season in Carolina in 2004. The Panthers released him because of a salary-cap move and have never been able to get another receiver to complement Steve Smith at wide receiver. Both receivers were Jake Delhomme’s top two targets in the 2003 season when the Panthers had their only trip to the Superbowl. They lost 29 – 32 to the New England Patriots, but Moose recorded the longest play from scrimmage in a Superbowl with an 85-yard TD reception in that game.

I wish Moose all the luck in the world and I’m sure he’s happy that he’ll have a chance to finish up his career with the team he started with, but the guy is getting old. He had a chance to be the Bear’s #1 receiving threat and brought a lot of wisdom and leadership to the receiving corps. However, he dropped too many passes and Bernard Berrian was much more of a #1 than Moose was. I wish he would have been able to recreate his 2004 season with us just once, but, dare I ask, is Jake Delhomme a better quarterback than Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton? If you think back to their 2003 and 2004 seasons, they had a monster passing tandem in Steve Smith and Muhammad. They also had a solid running game and defense. I’m sure that Steve Smith is happy to have another passing threat in the line-up so that some pressure is taken off him upfield. Then Keary Colbert, Drew Carter and Dwayne Jarrett can fight for the #3 spot. It’ll be interesting to see how they do next year, depending on how well Delhomme comes back after surgery.

I think the Bears need to take note here. Solid running game. Defense who establishes themselves. Decent quarterback throwing to a deep threat and a reliable slot/route/#2 receiver. O Line protecting the QB and making holes for the running backs. Hmmm….the Panthers may have had something there. Throw in the fact that we should have a better RB in Cedric Benson than anyone the Panthers have. And with Greg Olson and Desmond Clark at TE, we should have a reliable option in the short-passing game. If Berrian comes back and Hester develops, we know that both of them have the ability to get open down field. Mix that with a healthy defense and we should fair better in 2008.

I know what you’re saying. Wishful thinking, huh?


February 18, 2008

“Moose” Muhammad

The Chicago Bears released veteran wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad today and signed Alex Brown to 2-year contract extension. Bernard Berrian is probably going to go to another team because he’ll ask for more money than the Bears are willing to give him. And the talk has already begun about Marty Booker wanting to re-sign with his old team.

Let’s break this down. In his last season with the Panthers, Moose had 93 catches for 1,405 and 16 TD’s. His best season with the Bears came in 2006 when he had 863 yards and 5 TD’s. It’s sad to say it, but everyone knows he peaked back in 2004. And even before that season, the most TD’s he had in a season was 8. I don’t want to discredit his accomplishments, both on and off the field, but just because we like the guy doesn’t mean you keep signing him when he can’t pull his weight.

Now let’s go to Berrian. His best season was this past one, where he registered 71 catchs for 951 yards and 5 TD’s. He had 6 TD’s in 2006, but was plagued with an injury in 2005 and only contributed slightly in 2004. I know the Bears haven’t exactly had their QB situation figured out, but we had a monster first half of the season last year and he only had 6 TD’s and 775 yards. Good enough to be a #2 receiver, but nowhere near what we would need out of a #1. Devin Hester had 6 TD’s on 6 plays for Christ’s sake.

Now on to Mr. Marty Booker. Why is everyone wanting to re-sign this guy? Granted he went down to the Dolphins who have a horrendous team and a much worse-off QB situation, but he’s been in the league for 9 years. His best season was in 2001 when he had 100 catches for 1,071 yards and 8 TD’s. That was 6 seasons ago and I doubt he’s going to come back and have Rex/Orton/Question Mark throw him more than 2 or 3 TD’s and gain 500+ yards. I’d rather give Rashied Davis and Hester a lot more time and let Bradley move into the #2 slot, depending on who they sign. He had 14 catches for 282 yards and 3 TD’s in 2006 as a #3 or 4 slot. He can definitely contribute just as much as Moose did the past couple years.

I’ve heard alot of Chad Johnson’s name being thrown around, but I really don’t think that will ever play out. And we know from Jerry Angelo that they we’re going to see either Orton or Grossman at this point, so I say they take some shots at receivers that play like Wes Welker. We need someone who can play the slot and get open for short drop passes. We definitely have a decent if not great TE corp with Greg Olsen and Desmond Clark. Clark is obviously aging, but Olsen proved very efficient down the stretch and will flourish in 2008 if they use him properly. As for our deep threat, there’s no one else I’d rather see develop into that person than Devin Hester. He should be able to learn the routes and blow by anyone next season, but they have to work with him strictly as a wide receiver. We’ll see if that happens.

As for wide receivers that are available, Chad Johnson is out there and there’s also been whisper about Jabar Gaffney. Gaffney was on one of the most prolific teams in NFL history behind Tom Brady, so let’s not just on that bandwagon just yet. There have to be people that fit into our offensive gameplan and that will obviously depend on whether we fix the O Line and boost our running game. No one will respect Rex or Kyle, especially since both exist in the pockey 95% of the time, so unless our running game is up and running, you will see a repeat of 2007. Michael Turner would be an interesting addition. Cedric Benson has really been a bust in my opinion. How can you be one of the most prolific running backs to come out of the Texas football system and be this horrible in the pro’s? Its like Rashaan Salaam winning the Heisman and then falling off the earth after four or five seasons. Some people just weren’t meant to succeed at this level.

All in all, I hope we sign Michael Turner, develop Hester and move up Bradley and Davis, incorporate Olsen much, much more, and fix the O-Line. Oh yeah and get a new QB once Rex implodes again. I like the guy, but he is definitely not the solution. And hopefully our defense can carry us to 8 wins next season.