The Carolina Panthers' "Dream Team"
If there was no salary cap in the NFL, and the Panthers could take any player from any roster as an upgrade to positions that are weak or failing, I would envision these athletes to make up the Panthers dream team.
If there are any players on the Panthers whom I believe would be on the dream team, I will post them as well.
Ben Roethlisberger is the Hulk at quarterback.
This guy is probably one of the toughest, if not the toughest to bring down. His size and strength allows him to evade would-be tacklers, he's mobile in and out of the pocket, and on the rare occasion he is brought down, he has an uncanny ability to chuck the ball off to the waiting hands of a receiver.
He is a defining character of toughness and durability.
All it seemingly took for DeAngelo Williams to have an MVP-caliber season, was a farewell chat with former Panthers quarterback, Vinny Testaverde.
Whatever was said in that conversation had a great impact on Williams the person, Williams the player, and the Panthers.
Jacob Hester had a very productive season in 2008 for the Chargers.
I followed his college career at LSU as well, and he's becoming as big of a name in the NFL as he was at LSU.
During the '08 season, Hester had 19 carries for 95 yards, his longest carry of 28 yards, and a touchdown. He also had 12 receptions for 91 yards, his longest catch for 16 yards, and a touchdown.
Not bad numbers for only missing three games.
Bo Scaife had a very good season in the AFC South.
There are a lot of good tight ends with some impressive numbers to choose from, but I took into consideration the strength of schedule and strength of conference.
Any team that has to face the Colts twice a year and Jacksonville (when they're playing on target), will have middle-of-the-road numbers; nothing too flashy.
Scaife had 58 receptions for 561 yards; 9.7 yards average, and two touchdowns.
Add to this that the quarterback was Kerry Collins, who relied heavily on the Titans' running game, I would say Scaife had a great season.
Steve Smith plays with the heart of a champion.
He has skills, he has toughness, he's tenacious, and he's only 5'9", 185 pounds.
Smitty will go for the catch wherever you put the ball. He's short in stature, but when it seems like the ball is too high, like a Panther, he leaps for it and 99.9 percent of the time comes down with the catch.
Can't really ask for a better group of cats than the ones we have already.
The Panthers offensive line is dominating, creates gaps for the running game, and does a good job of protecting the quarterback.
Jon Beason had a great '08 season, and as far as MLB's go, with 138 tackles and three interceptions, he is definitely coming into his own and creating a name for himself.
Ed Reed has great hands, good ball awareness, good size and leaping ability, and plays against the Steelers twice a year.
Reed also had some good stats for a safety in the '08 season with 41 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and nine interceptions.
I still say Asante Samuel is one of the premier corners in the league. I know the Raiders have that Nnamdi-whatever guy.
I like Samuel's elusive speed, and ability to make a play seemingly out of nowhere.
My other pick would have been Ricky Manning Jr., from the '03 Panthers team.
I know Kasay has had his share of "oops" kicks and kickoffs, but Ihave to give the man respect, as he is the only remaining original Panther from the inaugural season.
He has pulled the Panthers through a lot of game winning situations.
Shane Lechler would have to be the punter on this team.
He had 90 punts in '08, with a punt average of 48.8 yards, his longest punt of 70 yards, and 33 punts inside the 20 yard line.
Bill Belichick, a student under Bill Parcells, has the credentials I like.
He's a defensive coach, has three Super Bowl titles, and is short and to the point with the media, usually with responses that are very vague but humorous.
Who Would You Pick?
I'm interested in your opinion and who you like or would change on this list.