Beloved Panthers Vet Mushin Muhammad Calls It Quits
He played 14 NFL seasons, 11 for the Panthers and three for the Bears. During that time he caught 860 passes for 11,438 yards and 62 touchdowns. For the Panthers Muhammad had 860 receptions, 9,255 yards, and 50 touchdowns.
I apologize if I miss some of the highlights from his first five years or so, but I was only a kid at that point, and I can only remember back to about 2003.
"Moose", as Panthers fans lovingly called him, endeared himself by making the plays that no one else could. It seemed anytime the Panthers were faced with an ugly 3rd-and-10, Moose was there making a tough catch in traffic defended by two linebackers. He would probably take a hard hit, but he would get the Panthers a first down, get up, and walk back to the huddle. And we fans would breathe a sigh of relief.
Muhammad was also one of the key parts to the Panthers' highly successful running game in 2008 and 2009. Most of the long runs can be credited to Moose, a master of run blocking on the edge. Remember how DeAngelo Williams had 15 20-yard runs and five 40-yard runs in 2008? Moose was the guy blocking for him on the outside on those runs.
In 2004 the Panthers virtually had no offense except for Muhammad. Star WR Steve Smith broke his leg in the first game of the season and missed 15 games. The running game was a joke.
But Muhammad stepped up and had his best season with 93 catches, 1,405 yards, and 16 TDs. He also averaged 87.8 yards per game, easily his career best. Muhammad was deservingly named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro first team in 2004.
Muhamamd also played a pivotal role in the Panthers' only Super Bowl appearance, catching an 85-yard pass from Jake Delhomme in Super Bowl XXXVIII. The reception broke the Super Bowl record for longest reception. The play immediately followed the first turnover of the game by the Patriots and swung momentum to the Panthers.
Although Muhammad didn't win many accolades, he had a rock-solid career and will be forever loved by Panthers fans.
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