The Carolina Panthers are next in our tour of team-by-team mailbags.
Rob in Houston writes: Do you think the Panthers can actually win a game coming off of the bye week? I'm worried we may not actually win a game all season. On the plus side, if there is actually a draft next year, we may get the #1 pick.
Pat Yasinskas: Coming off the bye, the Panthers have the 49ers on the horizon. Nothing’s a given for Carolina this year, but San Francisco also has lots of problems. That’s a game the Panthers could win. On the bright side, there definitely will be a draft in 2011. We don’t know if there will be a season, but the draft will take place and the Panthers certainly have a shot at No. 1.
Grant in Washington, D.C., writes: The Panthers pick up a wide receiver off the waiver wire and there's no news about it in the blog? What gives? I know the Cats are terrible this year (I get terribly depressed every time I read what you write about them, yet a keep coming back for more) and they're headed into a bye week, but isn't Devin Thomas coming into the division worth noting?
Pat Yasinskas: We don’t do individual items on every transaction here. We have certain guidelines from above and one of them is to limit posts to guys with reasonable significance. A wide receiver claimed off waivers doesn’t quite meet that criteria. I’ve been waiting to address the Thomas move in a round-up post or somewhere where I can briefly make a quick reference to him. So, here’s that opportunity. Devin Thomas is a guy who busted out in Washington, kind of the same way Dwayne Jarrett did in Carolina. He’s been added to a very weak wide receiver corps. He may or may not take advantage of the situation. We’ll see if he’s any factor at all. If he is, then, we'll do something more extensive on Thomas.
Will in Gastonia, N.C., writes: I just saw where Shawne Merriman will be released soon by the Chargers. Do you think there's any chance the Panthers will pick him up to bolster the linebacker corps a bit?
Pat Yasinskas: Not a chance. Seriously, if you’ve seen one pattern from the Panthers over the past year or so, it’s that they aren’t looking to bring in older players. Besides, their linebackers have been one of their few bright spots.
JM in Charlotte writes: Feels like history is repeating itself. Last season, Carolina saw that it was hurting on the D line and scrambled to find an answer all year long. This year, it seems like they're doing the same thing for WR. Am I wrong in thinking that these are moves that should have been made during the preseason when all of the red flags starting appearing on offense?
Pat Yasinskas: You make a good comparison by pointing back to the defensive tackle situation last year. Yes, the receiver position is somewhat similar this year. But the Panthers did at least use three draft picks on receivers -- Brandon LaFell, Armanti Edwards and David Gettis. Still, they had to know there was a pretty good chance Jarrett wasn’t going to pan out. I would have liked to have seen them add a legitimate No. 2 receiver as a free agent. But, for whatever reason, the Panthers weren’t playing the free-agent game this year.