On behalf of everyone at Steelcitysports.com and the Panther Report, I'd personally like to welcome the N.T.A.C. They have been a tremendous asset to our site and our message boards. While they may not share the same views as a lot of others, they are passionate Pitt fans and that is always welcomed here. If everyone had the same ideals and beliefs, this site would be very bland and boring. Obviously, a lot of Panther fans have had more than their share of that as they have found a new source for their information here at the Panther Report. We won't get into verbal insults through computer monitors and keyboards with fans that have been blacklisted and can no longer respond or defend themselves. Let's move onto bigger and better things.
Larry Fitzgerald signed a huge contract with the Arizona Cardinals that could pay him in excess of $60 million dollars. The contract includes close to $20 million in guaranteed money, which is very rare in the NFL. To top it off, Arizona's star and #1 receiver Anquan Boldin suffered a severe knee injury this week likely meaning Larry could start out as the #1 or #2 WR for the Cardinals. Since the University is actively seeking donors, Larry would be the first on my list to call.
Rod Rutherford had a tremendous mini camp with the Carolina Panthers and has drawn the praise of head coach John Fox. Jake DelHomme and Rodney Peete appear to be solidly entrenched as the top two guys. Rod will have to compete with Veteran Chris Weinke and former Mt. Union QB Rob Adamson for the third spot. If he's unsuccessful, Rod will most likely end up on the practice squad.
Kris Wilson has been the talk of the town in Kansas City. Dick Vermeil has openly stated that Wilson will have an impact as a rookie. He is being called an F-Back, learning the TE, FB, and WR positions. On-lookers at Chiefs training camp are in awe of Wilson, who rarely drops a pass.
Shawntae Spencer is competing for the starting nickel spot with the San Francisco 49ers. Dennis Erickson calls him raw, but very fast and athletic.
Andy Lee seemed to win the starting punter job with the 49ers the first day he stepped on the field.
Brandon Miree is going to have a rough time making the Denver Broncos roster if Monday night's Hall Of Fame game against Washington is any indication. Six different backs got carries for Denver, and that's not counting veteran Garrison Hearst and highly touted rookie Tatum Bell. Unfortunately, Miree wasn't one of the six. If Brandon doesn't make it with Denver, there are plenty of teams who need RB help, such as Miami and Arizona.
Khiawatha Downey, the former Pittsburgh and IUP offensive lineman, was released by San Francisco this week.
Is it safe to say that most Panther fans are praying that Princell Brockenbrough can miraculously come back and not miss the season? The loss of Terrell Allen was difficult enough, now the Panthers may face the prospect of playing without two of their top three receivers. Last year, we had Larry Fitzgerald, Princell, and Greg Lee. This year, we may see Lee, Joe Stephens, and Joe DelSardo. Wide receiver "U" may lose some of its luster unless one of these guys or an incoming freshmen can step up early.
Craig Bokor should be eligible according to him and a few of his Hopewell teammates. Camp starts today, so that will be a good indictor.
Word is even if Rashad Jennings isn't in camp for the start, he may make it yet. There are several alternative avenues for players to pursue to meet the NCAA standards and Rashad could be at Pitt soon.
By now, I'm sure everyone knows that Barrington Edwards has chosen North Carolina and Pittsburgh finished second again. This one intrigues me. He says he is interested in Pitt, but by the sounds of it, his mind was made up before his Tuesday visit to Oakland. Not to mention the fact that he visited here two years ago. Such is life in the strange and crazy world of recruiting.
The Panthers may get a few visitors before the end of August including WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, LB Louis Woodland, and WR Nyan Boateng.
Word is from Flood City, most commonly known as Johnstown, Pa, that RB LaRod Stephens is up to almost 175 pounds and has not lost any speed. I know I'll take some flak for this, but as I was watching the Hall Of Fame Induction ceremonies, they played clips of Barry Sanders and I could not help but to compare the two styles. I'm not saying Stephens is Barry Sanders, but the movements are so similar. For those Panther fans with any doubts, head on out to Johnstown this fall and check him out. You'll be in for a treat.
Rumors were rampant this week about Pitt recruit Mike Davis possibly being expelled from Xaverian. After an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the rumors appear to be factual. Reports have linked Davis to various other programs this summer but there was nothing concrete. It will be interesting to see how Dixon and staff handle this situation.
The Panthers will be getting a visit from Brewster Academy big man Jeff Adrien. The 4-star power forward will be in town Monday and Tuesday. There has been a lot of speculation that Uconn is the team to beat for the New Hampshire standout.
Philadelphia center Vernon Goodridge told TheInsiders.com analyst Mike Sullivan that he will likely visit Pittsburgh in early September. Getting Goodridge and Adrien would be a major coup for the Panthers.
Thanks again Panther fans for your continued support, and be sure to stay tuned to the Panther Report for the most informative and best coverage of Pittsburgh Panther sports and recruiting on the internet.
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