COLUMN: New Beginning of Panther Football

Charlotte, N.C.-  Welcome to a New Beginning of Panther Football. What Panther fans had to go through last year, should become a distant memory within the next few weeks. Though the team is still waiting to feel that winning feeling again, last felt in the opening game of the 2001 season, the Panthers appear much improved and much more confident under first year head coach John Fox. The Panthers looked ok, in their opening exhibition game, and a little better in the second, and dismal against the defending champs, but hey it's the preseason, people are fighting for jobs, and your starters have probably played less than a whole game to this point.

Looking inside the team to try and find out what is going on right now, one thing is glaring. Injuries. The loss of Foster for up to four weeks hurts the ground game, which looked like it was going to be pretty formidable with Smith and Foster as the Dynamic Duo. The loss of return man/RB Michael Bates, has angered a ton of Panther faithful, due to the "nature" of the incident.

It is also getting dreadfully close to roster cut day for the guys still on the bubble. At the time of this article it is still a few hours away, but some cuts have already been made in preparation for this afternoons final purge. So far the Panthers have released DE Lonnie Ford (R) USC, S Billy Dee Greenwood (R) UNC, G Scott Kierman (1) Syracuse, DT Emarlos Leroy (2) Georgia, LB Aries Monroe (R) Alabama, WR Mareno Philyaw (2) Troy State, C Kenny Sandlin (R) Arkansas, TE Trent Sansbury (R) Furman, WR Jason Waters (1) Tennessee…..RB Michael Bates has been placed on Injured Reserve, and most likely is out for the year.

I will be getting back to you for game previews, game recaps, and updates throughout the season. Sit back, Relax, and Enjoy a great season of Panther football.

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