Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My top 5 Panthers of 2008

I believe Steve Smith should be the Panthers' MVP for 2008, and my argument is mostly contained in this column.

I would guess, however, that DeAngelo Williams would win a vote among Panther fans if there was a scientific one. Less baggage. Younger. And incredible stats.

It's a good debate, so have at it. But in the meantime, here would be my top 5 candidates for Panther MVP, in order, for 2008:

1. STEVE SMITH. If you keep the debate on the field, where it should stay when deciding something like this, he's been incredibly clutch so many times this season.

2. DeANGELO WILLIAMS. A stunning breakout year for the NFL's leader with 20 TDs.

3. JULIUS PEPPERS. A career high in sacks for Peppers, who is going to get an unfathomable amount of money before too long when his contract is extended.

4. JAKE DELHOMME. Not his best year statistically, but his intangibles (he's a winner with great leadership skills) made a huge difference.

5. JON BEASON. If you think the Panthers' defense has been bad lately despite this Pro Bowl middle linebacker, believe me, you don't ever want to see it without him on the field.

16 comments:

Karl said...

I think you've got to consider, or least give an honorable mention to, Rhys Lloyd. His booming kickoffs and (record?) number of touchbacks have helped the Panthers keep opposing offenses pinned deep in their own territory, an important thing considering how sieve-like our special teams coverage often is.

South Carolina Regulators said...

Hard to argue with those picks Scott. Still I feel it necessary to extend the list and give a shout out to Kasey(Future Hall of Famer), Gamble(more tackles than any other corner-back in the NFL), the offensive line(where it all starts for Smith,Williams, and Jake), and of course my favorites for unsung heroes - the triplets of smash-mouth "HITS" - Harris, Davis, and Johnson.

Dan Dove said...

I think Wharton needs to be in the mix, as well. He played extremely well at guard and tackle this year. The game is won and lost on the lines and Wharton was our best offensive lineman - sorry, Gross. His hustle in Green Bay was the difference in a win and a loss.

Jennifer said...

Agree with those picks, but I would definitely have Kasay a very very close 5 1/2.

Hes had a remarkable year and should have been a probowler in my opinion, then again Williams shouldnt even have been an after thought in those votes...

Lets bring this home fellas.

If anyone deserves a Super Bowl its Mr. Richardson....

Ps... I give my vote to the entire "TEAM" we started off with Drama, so lets end it with Drama and show these nonbelievers what the Panthers are all about...

J said...

Hard to argue with those picks or those listed by the readers...

If I had to limit it to 5:

Williams
Smith
Peppers
"Beast"on
Oline...all of them as a unit.

Closely followed by Moose, Jake, Gamble, Harris, Lewis, #4 aka Johnny Money and please do not forget Hoover, dude has been blocking everything this season.

Karl said...

FYI: Lloyd kicked 30 touchbacks this season. The record is 32, by Olindo Mare.

704Champ said...

Beason should be ranked higher than 5th. He has been our best defensive player for the past 2 seasons, despite Peppers' increased sack numbers this year.

dcrabb said...

Scott....what makes you so certain that Peppers' contract will be extended by us with an "unfathomable" amount of money? I'm not so certain that will happen. Reasons? OK
1)him showing up to play in a contract year probably doesn't sit well with Mr. Richardson.
2)Yeah....14 1/2 sacks this year....need I remind you that 10 of his first 11 sacks this year were against inferior KC, Oakland, Detroit and Green Bay. Where was he against good competition?
3)Last year Mr. Richardson made the public call for JP to become a leader when Minter retired, and he declined. Now Beason and Harris are the leaders for the D. It's hard to consider doling out 16-18 million for someone who's not a leader and doesn't show up EVERY Sunday.
Don't get me too wrong....he has some value for this team, but not at the crazy money I've heard. Some say he will get that money somewhere if not here. I say fine...let some other fool team bust their cap paying that much money for him to show up on select Sundays. If we were to pay him that much, what happens when it comes time to re-up Beason? Harris? Davis?

Bobby said...

I honestly think Jake should give half of his selection to Smith. Jake's chuck-it and pray style of throwing the long ball will get Smith killed or an INT during the playoffs. Before you freak out about this post just think how many passes didn't have a chance of catching smith in stride, and #89 had to come back for the reception. Jake is fun to watch but he is no Drew Brees.

Michael Bacon said...

Dr. Z (may he recover well) used to say that many players who looked like they were having "down" years or games were actually fighting injuries the team wasn't talking about. I still suspect that Beason hasn't been 100% the last two weeks, and that it's had a huge impact on our defense. I hope he gets well during the bye.

Danman said...

Each of your choices are valid, and I don't disagree. I just think that without Jake none of this (12-4, playoff bye) happens. I really believe this team has that "it" factor this year and I really like their chances. TEAM is the KEY.

shubbard65 said...

It's Steve smith everytime!! He is the one player every coach in the league has to plan for. He is the difference maker. If he touched the ball a few more times during the second half of each game, maybe, just maybe we wouldn't have had so many squeakers, and maybe we'd have homefield advantage.

NC Conch said...

2008 can aptly be titled the Year of the Stiff-arm. The top two (and Stewart could be thrown in as a 2a) of the list got so much through the use of the stiff-arm. Very few players use this tool effectively anymore. These guys are not big like a Brown or Czonka, but the get down-field where many players just put their head down and sometimes just drop to the ground.

This game is all about attitude. This team embodies the right attitude!

David said...

David Carr would have looked great with that offensive unit...I love Jake, but God is he inconsistent...and he is going to get Steve Smith killed..

The most valuable player is the original Panther....John Kasay...

Michael said...

Funny...Delhomme will "get Smith killed?" In more than four full seasons worth of games as Delhomme's primary receiver, he still seems to keep on going just fine.

gregg said...

oh yeah.... lets reward mr smith for his fine play. that might just be the dumbest thing ive heard yet. the only thing he deserves as an award would be "best sucker punch" on a team mate! i really want my child to grow up just like him. i actually couldnt believe this when i read it. and keep it on the field??

at least the giants had the decency to remove mr plaxico from the lineup.....

hey.... give him the keys to the city while youre at it.

are you really serious???