Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Carolina Panthers All Career-Year Team

By John Turney

Okay, the drill here is to pick the best individual seasons in the history of each franchise, which we will begin today with the Carolina Panthers. By "Career-year" we mean the best performances at each position, with the following rule: Only one season per player per position. For example, here, we cannot pick Julius Peppers's best two seasons and use both defensive end slots. 

Let the debates begin: 
Kalil could have had either 2013 or 2015, we went with 2013 because he didn't miss a game and had just one holding call, but 2015 did have the Super Bowl appearance, so there is that. Curtis Whitley gets Second-team for 1995 when he was selected to Dr. Z's All-Pro team. What did he see? Probably was Proscout, Inc., saw. They were often Z's source for his esoteric picks and they are well respected.

Frank Garcia had several good seasons but we went with 1999 due to the good protection of Beuerlein when he was among the best passers in the NFL and gets an honorable mention.

Only two guards for the Panthers have been Pro Bowlers. After that, we went with Vincent for being a starter on the 2008 team that helped DeAngelo Williams rush for 18 touchdowns. Jordan Gross is the only All-Pro in franchise history at tackle, after that, it's solid play from others, but not stellar.

Wesley Walls's touchdown total puts him up on Olsen's great season in 2015. Mike Tolbert had a slight edge over Howard Griffith who was a great lead blocker wherever he played and who was an unsung player in the 1996 Panthers playoff run.

For wide receivers, both numbers and honors dictated the selections, as well as for the slot receiver. 

Williams's 18 TDs in 2008 sealed that and Stephen Davis was key to the Panthers Super Bowl run in 2003. 

Quarterback? Hmmm, who could it be? Cam Newton's 2015 season was among the best in NFL history, he will be one of very few that were All-Pro, MVP, and won a Super Bowl if he completes his mission next Sunday in Santa Clara. Beuerlein's numbers propel him past Delhomme and others.
Peppers has most of the best seasons, we went with 2004. Greg Hardy, yes, that Greg Hardy, was excellent on the field in 2013. Short was a PFJ All-Pro this year and Kris Jenkins was a force in the early 2000s.
Julius Peppers
Kragen still has the most tackles in a single season by a Panther defensive tackle. He was a nose in a 3-4 and Lotulelei is a nose in a 4-3.
Sam Mills
A pretty great tradition of linebackers gives this spot a lot of stellar seasons. Keuchly, Mills, Beason, Greene, Davis (4 picks 5.5 sacks in his career year), Lathan and 'Spoon. Keuchly was a Defensive Player of the year in 2013, Kevin Greene was the NEA Defensive Player of the Year in 1996 and led NFL in sacks, and Lathon was on his heels.

Mark Fields is an honorable mention for his 2002 season when he had 101 tackles and 7.5 sacks, 7 passes defensed, one pick and 10 run/pass stuffs.

Decent corner seasons, too, with Josh Norman in the DPOY conversation until late in the season in 2015. Eric Davis was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1997 but his 1997 season was better, he had the same number of interceptions and gave up four fewer touchdowns. 

Had to really look to fill out the roster of safeties. Chris Harris had 97 tackles and forced 8 fumbles in 2007, a rare achievement with his forced fumbles total. He and Charles Godfrey (with his five picks in 2010) get honorable mention.

Kasay was a big part of Panthers 1996 team that advanced to the NFC Championship game. Michael Bates was a great coverage player and a good kick returner.

Steve Smith's averages as a kick- and punt returner in the chosen seasons were not at the top in team annals but his touchdown production was and that matters most to us.
Agree? Disagree? Post comments and make your case and tell us where we screwed up.

No comments:

Post a Comment