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?