Carolina Panthers’ Head Coach Ron Rivera said after practice on Monday that the team would be going with Philly Brown and Ted Ginn Jr. as their starting wide receivers. This is certainly not what fans expected to see Week 1 of the season.
The team though really didn’t have any choice with Kelvin Benjamin out for the year with an ACL tear and Devin Funchess missing practice time with a hamstring injury this preseason. The only other options were recently acquired Kevin Norwood and veteran Jerricho Cotchery but the coaching staff elected to go with speed.
They certainly will have that on Sunday with Brown and Ginn. The biggest concern though is whether or not Brown is going to be able to keep the Jaguars defense honest. The second year player out of Ohio State has had a rough preseason that was at its lowest against the New England Patriots when he only caught one of seven targets and had a couple of drops. He did bounce back and catch the only pass thrown to him in the final preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Now that the team has smaller wide receivers on the outside (both stand 5’11”) it also begs the question how this will affect Cam Newton. The front office has tried to find taller targets for the Panthers’ quarterback because his passes tend to sail on him.This is going to be a big difference from Benjamin and Funchess who are both about six inches taller than Ginn and Brown.
While Brown and Ginn have been listed as the starters, Rivera did say that was as of “right now”. This is most likely due to the fact that they are the most talented and have the most experience in this system. Depending on how the rest of the week progresses it would not be surprising to see Funchess, who Rivera said was pushing the two starters, or Norwood have a significant role by the end of the Jaguars game.
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