Will Grier Jersey

I will admit, I was not sure how to feel about the Carolina Panthers selecting Will Grier in this draft. After all, Cam Newton still has a lot of football left in him. However, judging by Grier’s comments, this pick is making more and more sense.

For now, it appears that the organization will stash him away as a depth piece. Grier seems okay with that, and I am surprised. Granted, once the season begins he may change his tune. However, he seems to just want to get better, and it appears as though him and Newton are getting along nicely. Grier is certainly an interesting pick because he does have a lot of talent. He has tremendous upside, and a strong arm, much like his positional counterpart.

With Grier , Newton, and Kyle Allen all in the quarterback room come the fall, it should make for an interesting time. Obviously, this isn’t a situation where the backup is going to come in and take the starting quarterback’s job. However, it will certainly provide some friendly competition during training camp.

I would consider Kyle Allen to be on the outside looking in when it comes to the backup quarterback spot. Although he has a proven track record, Grier is definitely starter material. Of course, the National Football League is a lot different than the college game, so I could be completely wrong about the status of Allen.

One thing that is certain is that there is no animosity between Grier and Newton. As a matter of fact, the veteran has been very helpful to the upstart rookie. In his press conference on Sunday morning, Grier said that him and Newton have respect for each other. It’s exciting that they are building camaraderie already.

I love what I am hearing. Grier sounds like a quarterback that just wants to do whatever it takes to help the team. It would be easy to be a little bit upset about being a backup to a quarterback who does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. However, it appears that the former West Virginia Mountaineer just wants to take it all in stride. I give him credit, and the thought of him and Cam Newton becoming close is an exciting one. Grier can learn a lot from Newton and I hope he does.

Greg Little Jersey

When Greg Little was mauling opposing linemen in Allen, everyone knew it was only a matter of time before he was going to be in the pros.

Coming out of high school, the massive offensive tackle was considered the top prospect in the state’s class of 2016, according to 247Sports.com. Little led the parade of linemen with local ties who were selected on Day 2 of the NFL Draft.

Little, Oklahoma guard Cody Ford and Texas A&M’s Erik McCoy were drafted within 10 picks of each other in the second round.

The Panthers traded up for Little, who was taken with the 37th overall pick. In a conference call with reporters after he was selected, the first-team All-SEC lineman from Ole Miss said he’s ready to show why Carolina moved up to take him off the board.

“I want to show people that I’m the best left tackle in this draft, and I’m going to be here for a long time,” Little told reporters. “I’m a true franchise left tackle.”

The Panthers weren’t the only ones to make moves to get the lineman they wanted.

Buffalo moved up to the 38th overall spot to snag Ford. Ford started 21 of 29 games for the Sooners, including all 14 during Oklahoma’s run to the College Football Playoff last season. Ford was a first-team All-Big 12 selection by the conference’s coaches.

Brian Burns Jersey

Brian Burns has yet to suit in a Carolina Panthers practice uniform, let alone play his first NFL game. Still, the 16th overall pick of the 2019 draft already knows exactly which NFL quarterback he wants to sack most.

Burns, of course, was talking about Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback who won his sixth Lombardi Trophy last season at the age of 41. Unfortunately for Burns, though, he won’t get the chance to sack Brady as a rookie unless his team meets the Patriots in the Super Bowl. New England isn’t included on Carolina’s 2019 regular-season schedule.

Still, the Florida State product will have plenty of other opportunities to sack other marquee signal-callers, including Jared Goff, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and division-rivals Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. If his collegiate production is any indication, expect Burns to take advantage. He had 52 tackles, 15 and-a-half tackles for loss, and 10 sacks in 2018, leading the Seminoles’ defense in the last two categories en route to First-Team All-ACC honors.

Brian Burns, at a lean 6-foot-5, 249 pounds, still needs to add some thickness to his frame to better hold up against the run, but should emerge as a valuable situational pass-rusher at the very least as a rookie due to his speed, length, and quickness. He expressed no concerns about adding weight at his press conference, claiming he’d packed on 20 pounds throughout the pre-draft process.

Wes Horton Jersey

Architecture is sometimes called “an old man’s profession” where designers, by unwritten rule, must spend years toiling for others in preparation for opening their own independent studio.

Architects Michael Horton and Westleigh Harper bucked that trend, collaborating on separate projects while employed at local firms, then striking out on their own when barely out of their 30s. Today, the duo are principals of Horton Harper Architects, an award-winning contemporary studio known for an eclectic portfolio of custom residential, multifamily and mixed-use ventures.

Headquartered in the Caxton Building downtown, the practice has six employees and a 30% year-over-year growth rate since its 2011 launch. Specializing in urban residential design, Horton Harper sketches out townhomes and single-family residences for a growing list of builders and homeowners.

A drive through Tremont and Ohio City reveals more than 100 units carrying the studio’s stamp, including a series of cube-shaped townhomes in Cleveland’s emerging Duck Island neighborhood. New Horton Harper designs are also appearing in Chagrin Falls, Beachwood and Shaker Heights, coinciding with out-of-state endeavors such as a 100-unit apartment complex in Green Bay, Wis.

Considering the burgeoning scale and variety of their recent work, the partners voice no regrets about taking a slightly skewed professional path.

“We didn’t stay at firms until age 40 or develop relationships with big clients to take them with us,” said Harper, a Mentor native and Kent State University graduate. “We decided early on this was something we wanted to do in our own way. Luckily, the economy grew around the same time we were trying to take that step.”

Mario Addison Jersey

Today concludes a week that has to rank in the top two for the most garbage coming out of people’s mouths.

I am talking about the days leading up to the NFL Draft (the other would be the week leading up to November elections). You just can’t trust what people say is the truth.

Sure, there are some people who have been telling the truth this week, but they are scattered here and there amongst the bull-slingers so that it is hard to know the difference.

The Cardinals are trading Josh Rosen. No they’re not; they are taking Nick Bosa.

Despite having an aging Eli Manning at quarterback, the Giants aren’t interested in a QB at #6. Or maybe they are. Or maybe they are planning a trade with the Cards for Rosen.

Who knows?

There is always a weak team that is willing to trade back to acquire more draft picks because it has so many holes to fill. There is always a team willing to give up a lot to trade up because it thinks it is one key difference-maker from being a Super Bowl contender.

Who will be making trades with whom? It’s a guessing game all the way up until just a few minutes before the draft starts when all the phone calls going around might leak out to the media.

The Carolina Panthers tied for 13th place with three other teams with a 7-9 record, but wound up the worst of the lot because of a stronger strength of schedule. That leaves them at 16th instead.

The Panthers aren’t one of those teams with only a hole or two left to fill. They legitimately have four starting jobs that need filling.

As I said earlier this year, since Jordan Gross retired in 2013, the Panthers have tried 10 different guys to replace him at left tackle. The team has hoped in recent drafts that a good one would drop to them, but that hasn’t been the case because left tackles are so valuable.

Another very valuable role is outside pass rusher, and the team is in dire need of help with only Mario Addison (29.5 sacks the past three years) as someone who can get double-digit sacks. Bruce Irvin was added in free agency, but he is now 31 and even in his best year he only had eight sacks.

The spot that personally has driven me batty for years is free safety. Not to sound like a broken record, but coach Ron Rivera has a habit of bringing in some aging vet to get a year or two out of him on the cheap rather than invest a high draft pick.

However, if you want to get more sacks, how about doing a better job with coverage? James Bradbury and Donte Jackson can cover at cornerback, and Eric Reid showed he can put a lick on a receiver at strong safety. A young, speedy safety who can cover a lot of ground allows the corners to play tight at the line with safety help over the top.

Curtis Samuel Jersey

The lowdown: A chess piece for Urban Meyer’s and Ryan Day’s offense, Campbell broke out as a junior in a hybrid role. Campbell was effective returning kickoffs, taking handoffs and catching the football. That role became more streamlined in 2018 as he spent more time as a wide receiver, but watching him proves to be an interesting study. Despite eventually running a 4.31 40-yard dash at the combine, Campbell was not used extensively as a vertical receiver in that offense.

Campbell instead was used in the slot, in motion and even in the backfield as an underneath option more often, running horizontal routes and screens, where his burst, open-field vision and acceleration were extremely hard to defend. Watch him dart through a talented Michigan defense on this short catch, turning it into a long gain, which should give you an idea of how he was utilized (2:18 mark):
It’s hard not to compare Campbell, style-wise, to former Ohio State weapon Curtis Samuel, who played the same position for the Buckeyes, or even a slightly less explosive and physical version of Percy Harvin, who was the original inspiration for the role Campbell played in Meyer’s system.

Campbell has worked hard on his hands (drops plagued him early in his career) and route running under the tutelage of former NFL receiver Brian Hartline and has an upward trajectory in these departments. If Campbell can continue working on his ability to win downfield – not just with his speed but with his ball-tracking ability – he could be a special weapon in an NFL offense.

Fun fact: Campbell was a little-known recruit who wasn’t blazing the recruiting trails when he took the field to help his high school try to win a state title as a junior. At halftime, Campbell was having a big game and he caught wind of some breaking news from former Ohio State cornerback Doran Grant: Urban Meyer was a fan of his game. After halftime, an energized Campbell scored his third TD of the game and his team won the state title. Shortly thereafter, he committed to the Buckeyes.

Daryl Williams Jersey

MURFREESBORO – The annual Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce Banquet was held here on Thursday, Apr. 11 with former US Ambassador James P. Cain as the featured keynote speaker.

Cain served as the ambassador to Denmark from July 2005 to January 2009. Before his diplomatic service began, Cain worked in several other capacities including a 20-year stint with international law firm Kilpatrick Stockton in the firm’s Raleigh office and as President and Chief Operating Officer of the NHL Carolina Hurricanes from 2000 to 2003. He received his undergraduate and law degree from Wake Forest University. After his work as an ambassador came to a close, Cain has focused on devoting his energy to economic development projects in North Carolina.

Cain is married to Helen Revelle Cain, a Murfreesboro native, and the couple has two daughters.
The former ambassador opened his speech by sharing a few humorous stories about his time in Denmark before getting to the heart of his message.

He talked about his efforts to share messages about the American spirit with the people of Denmark. Those messages focused on three different things: the importance of diversity and inclusion, the critical role of entrepreneurship and innovation, and the power of private philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.

In his efforts to promote those points, Cain started a sports outreach program to immigrants living in Denmark, and he also helped sponsor gala events to raise money for charity, something that was uncommon in the country at the time. He said those initiatives have continued even though he and his family left Denmark 10 years ago.

Michael Palardy Jersey

Who is the punter for the Carolina Panthers? The answer is Michael Palardy, an answer that should be obvious if you look at the handy roster that the team keeps posted on Panthers.com or if you bothered to read our 2018 special teams review this morning.

We felt the need to answer this very important question for two reasons: primarily because Google seems confused on the subject and secondarily because it is the offseason and when else are we going to talk about punters?

Palardy, for the record, has been punting for the Panthers since 2016. He took over for an injured Andy Lee (who does appear among the above suggestions) that season and then beat Lee out for the job in a 2017 training camp battle. He is under contract for the next three seasons following the contract extension he signed last year.

The suggested punters for the Panthers, per Google, include Lee, whom Palardy beat out for the job, Mike Scifres, who retired after not playing a snap for the Panthers, Jordan Gay, who similarly never played a regular season snap in a Panthers’ uniform, Brad Nortman, who is also no longer in the NFL, and Jason Baker, who retired in 2012 after seven seasons with the Panthers and 12 in the NFL. Palardy, once again, is none of those people. Palardy, to be clear, is still in the NFL and still under contract to provide punt related services to the Carolina Panthers in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

If you’d like to know more about Palardy you can dig into researching his statistics (he is a pretty average punter) here. You can also take a look at a breakdown of his contract (he is paid like a pretty average punter) here. If you want even more than that then I must direct you to this photo shoot with the rest of the Panthers special teamers in celebration of his contract extension. It really should tell you everything you need to know.

Da’Norris Searcy Jersey

The Houston Texans free agency period has not been the most exciting but they’ve signed guys that could provide a valuable impact to the team. There haven’t truly been any household names the team has signed but sometimes it’s not about that, it’s all about finding the right players that fit with the team’s mantra.

Besides, who knows what kind of money Jadeveon Clowney‘s contract will command? I understand that they have to be cautious with their spending, whether or not they decide to move forward with his $17 million franchise tag or hopefully achieve some savings for 2019 if a long-term pact is reached.

But since free agency opened some two weeks ago the team has signed seven guys to the roster. They are: Tashaun Gipson, Bradley Roby, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, A.J. McCarron, Matt Kalil and Darren Fells.

All of these men wield a ton of potential — some more than others — and if the cards are played right, they will flourish in their role with the Houston Texans.

The Houston Texans have been taking visits by various players and one interesting visit to note was when they brought offensive tackle Ryan Schraeder in for evaluation.

The 6-foot-7, 300-pound Schraeder had been drawing interest from both the Houston Texans and the Minnesota Vikings so there was some slight competition for his services. However, Schraeder left Houston without a deal and the Houston Texans decided to ink Kalil to a one-year deal.

Jarius Wright Jersey

The Carolina Panthers added depth and experience to the wide receiver position.

The Panthers announced on Friday the signing of Chris Hogan to a one-year deal.

“It took a little longer than originally expected, but I’m super excited about coming to Carolina,” Hogan said via the team website. “This is an opportunity to prove myself again as a player.”

Hogan spent the past three seasons with the New England Patriots and now joins a crowded wide receiver position in Carolina.

D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel project as the starters, with Hogan, Torrey Smith, Jarius Wright, Rashad Ross, Mose Frazier, Andre Levrone and DeAndrew White also currently on the Panthers’ offseason roster.

With his arrival in Carolina, Hogan will also go from hauling in passes from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to catching balls from Panthers signal-caller Cam Newton.

“Tom was great. He demanded a lot and was an ultimate competitor,” Hogan said. “From what I hear and just from watching Cam, he’s the ultimate competitor as well. Really excited about the opportunity to play with him.”

Hogan originally entered the league in 2011 as an undrafted free agent out of Monmouth with the San Francisco 49ers. He had practice squad stints with the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins before spending four seasons with the Buffalo Bills (2012-15).

On his career, the 31-year-old Hogan has appeared in 88 games with 34 starts, totaling 194 catches for 2,610 yards and 18 touchdowns.