Jonathan Stewart Is Carolina's New Shining Star

NC NighthawkAnalyst ISeptember 15, 2008

From an article in The Charlotte Observer about Panthers rookie Jonathan Stewart:

On the field, Stewart is impeccable. After running one time for one yard in the first half, he runs 13 times for 76 in the second. He scores two touchdowns. He has no room on the second touchdown, a one-yard run that pushes Carolina to its first lead. If he hits the hole fast, he also will hit Chicago middle linebacker Brian Urlacher.

So Stewart waits, which is so difficult so close to the goal line, especially for a rookie. And then there is room and then, with fewer than four minutes remaining, there’s the touchdown. The Panthers win 20-17.

Stewart, whom Carolina selected with its first pick in the 2008 draft, officially is Charlotte’s newest star, if an athlete as humble as he is qualifies.

Williams praises the offensive line, the defense, the crowd at Bank of America Stadium and still has time to make fun of a television guy wearing an East Carolina cap, calling him bandwagon, as well as the retro suit and fedora worn by Carolina cornerback Ken Lucas.

Against San Diego last week, Williams rushed for 86 yards on 18 carries, Stewart 53 on 10. This week, Williams is limited to 31 on 11 carries. In the first half, Chicago allows Carolina nothing. The Panthers finish the half with 47 total yards and one field goal.

In the second half, they gain 169 total yards and score 17 points as they wore the Bears down.

Despite Stewart’s performance and potential, the Panthers can’t feature him at the expense of Williams. The difference in their style is more than 25 pounds.

Williams, 5-9, is quicker, hits the holes faster, is more adept at picking up the blitz, had a superb camp and preseason and almost always beats the first defender. After he beats the first defender Sunday, he has to beat three to 10 more.

Stewart, 5-10, is a testament to power and speed. On his second run of the second half, his what-do-we-have-here run, he goes up the middle for 24 yards. He breaks three tackles and drags for several yards the two defenders that finally manage to hang on.

Stewart runs low to the ground. He looks as if he’s not supposed to be fast. And then he’s gone.  So far, so are the Panthers.

Source: The Charlotte Observer

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