Mortensen: 2001 archive

Seifert sends message to fumbling Biakabutuka

Sept. 27
Tim Biakabutuka now knows how Carolina Panthers coach George Seifert feels about fumbles. Biakabutuka ran exclusively Wednesday with the scout team -- Richard Huntley and Nick Goings split carries with the first unit -- as the Panthers prepared for Sunday's game with the Vikings.

Biakabutuka lost fumbles in each of the two regular-season games against the Vikings and Falcons after dropping two in preseason. Goings, a rookie, is the leading rusher with 143 yards on 40 carries. Huntley, a free-agent signee from the Steelers, has yet to play after nursing a hamstring injury all preseason. Interestingly, the Steelers often fretted that Huntley had trouble holding onto the ball.

Biakabutuka has carried just 10 times. He does hold the promise of a game-breaking run, which would take even more pressure off rookie quarterback Chris Weinke.

Then again, Weinke has handled the pressure well in his first two starts. He has been particularly effective on third down, including a 12-of-14 performance for 176 yards against the Falcons. The Heisman Trophy winner from Florida State also has received strong reviews from personnel scouts around the league for his composure, accuracy and surprising (to some) mobility.

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