Rush and Crush. Slash and Gash. Boom and Zoom. Slam and Wham. Razzle and Dazzle. The Bruise Brothers. D-Lo and the Daily Show.
These were among the suggestions given as a new moniker for the Carolina Panthers dynamic duo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart after the Titans RB combo of Lendale White and Chris Johnson accused the Panther pair of stealing their “Smash and Dash” title.
The outspoken White raised quite a ruckus last year when he discovered that, after a spectacular performance in Week 15, the Panthers’ pair had dubbed themselves with the title that the USC product claims belonged to him and his Tennessee running mate.
White was quoted as saying, “You don't make that up halfway through the season. Why ...wait till Week 15 to bring it out? That is fraud. That is very phony. That is not the truth."
To avoid further conflict and supposed copyright infringement, Williams and Stewart unveiled a new name for themselves. They launched a new website, www.nameswecanbelievein.com, to promote the title they wish to be known by from here on out: “Double Trouble.”
Williams and Stewart certainly lived up to their new name in 2008 by delivering arguably the best one-two rushing punch in the NFL. The two-headed monster that lurked in the Panthers’ backfield terrorized opposing defenses and caused defensive coordinators to have nightmares all year long.
To dub the youthful Panthers’ pair as the best will surely illicit passionate argument around NFL nation.
The feature back who gets all the carries has quickly become an endangered species as many teams have chosen a running back by committee approach. Most teams desire to have at least two dangerous backs to carry the bacon for them.
The Falcons (Michael Turner/Jerious Norwood), Vikings (Adrian Peterson/Chester Taylor), Dolphins (Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams), and the aforementioned Titans are among the teams that may lay claim to best RB tandem.
Let the numbers, however, speak for themselves. Williams, the Cats’ first round pick in 2006, and Stewart, a dynamic rookie, combined for 2,351 yards and 28 touchdowns on 457 attempts, a 5.1 yards/carry average. The rushing mark was the best in the NFL since 1984.
With their combination of youth and talent, with a team committed to the run, and with a talented offensive line leading the way, Williams and Stewart should truly be Double Trouble for opposing teams for years to come.