Panthers In The NFL

With training camps set to open across the nation this week, Panther Digest will take a brief look at the former Pitt players on NFL rosters and attempt to keep everyone updated throughout the year.

Four Panthers are in their initial years after signing this past spring. Offensive tackle Jeff Otah was a first-round pick by the Carolina Panthers, while offensive guard Mike McGlynn was selected in the fourth round by the Philadelphia Eagles. Former Pittsburgh cornerback Kennard Cox is with the Buffalo Bills, tight end Darrell Strong is with the Oakland Raiders. And defensive end-outside linebacker Joe Clermond signed with the Bears.

In their second seasons in the NFL are cornerback Darrelle Revis with the New York Jets, quarterback Tyler Palko with the New Orleans Saints, H.B. Blades with the Washington Redskins and Clint Session with the Indianapolis Colts.

Wideout Larry Fitzgerald and linebacker Gerald Hayes are NFL stars with the Arizona Cardinals, while punter Andy Lee and cornerback Shawntae Spencer have been mainstays with the San Francisco 49ers. Offensive lineman Rob Petitti joined Palko in New Orleans last year, and cornerback Hank Poteat connected with Revis and the Jets. However, Petitti is now on the Rams camp roster.

Cornerback Torrie Cox and wideout Antonio Bryant, former Pitt teammates, are in camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a season of off-field problems. And offensive guard Charles Spencer is attempting to comeback from a serious knee injury with the Houston Texans. And wideout Greg Lee recently signed for the league minimum with the Detroit Lions, and he'll try to make their roster. But tight end-fullback Kris Wilson, cut by Kansas City this year, had a tryout with the Bucs and apparently did not make their training camp roster. Instead, he is trying to catch on with Philly.

Tight end Darnell Dinkins went from Baltimore to Cleveland, so he'll still get to play against his hometown Steelers twice a year, while fullback Lousaka Polite moved from Dallas to Chicago to play for the Bears. Running back Nick Goings was last seen with the Carolina Panthers, but he is not on their camp roster. And the same can be said for cornerback Josh Lay and the St. Louis Rams.

Defensive end Claude Harriott was on the Detroit practice squad last season, but he did not make the cut this year. Fullback Brandon Miree was let go by the Green Bay Packers last year, and he does not appear to be on an NFL camp roster yet. The same for running back Kevan Barlow, who was cut by the Steelers last summer. Barlow's personal Web site is not updated.

And finally, the longest-tenured former Pitt player in the NFL, offensive guard Ruben Brown, was not offered a contract by the Chicago Bears after he became an unrestricted free agent earlier this year. He started 45 games in four years with the Bears and was selected to nine Pro Bowls in 13 NFL seasons, including eight in nine years with the Buffalo Bills from 1995-2003.

Brown, who turned 36 in February, played most of the 2007 season with a painful shoulder injury that limited his effectiveness and ultimately landed him on injured reserve Nov. 8, 2007. He could retire if he doesn't make a roster.

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