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Cheap Authentic Nike Custom Carolina Panthers Jerseys 2019

After a six-year long process of trying to successfully join the NFL and bring professional football to the Carolinas, the Carolina Panthers were officially accepted as the league’s 29th franchise on October 26, 1993. After originally being born as a thought in former NFL flanker/halfback-turned restauranteur Jerry Richardson’s head while out on a drive, the Panthers becoming a real NFL team representing both North and South Carolina was remarkable in and of itself.

But after earning one of the league’s two expansion franchises for the 1995 season, there was still much to do: Specifically, build the team that would actually compete in Panthers uniforms. And what the Carolina Panthers ended up building was something far beyond what anyone could have expected.

With the Carolina Panthers now entering their 25th Anniversary season in 2019, the original 1995 Panthers still stand out not only as the very first team in franchise history, but also as the most successful expansion team in the history of the National Football League. In the mid-1990s, expansion franchises were not only expected to take their lumps in their first several seasons, but take them very hard: No expansion franchise had ever won more than three games in a season, and the NFL was only two decades removed from seeing the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose the first 26 games in their history from 1976 to 1977.

But in their very first season, the Panthers would prove themselves to be a relevant force in the NFL, posting a 7-9 record thanks to some very smart decision-making, a head coach with the defensive pedigree to build a unit that could punch above its weight, and an offense led by a young and promising signal caller. And in doing so, they would take the very first steps in establishing the identity of what is now known as Carolina’s distinct brand of football.

Here is the story of the 1995 Carolina Panthers: The very first team in the history of the franchise.

Several historical details for this piece have been taken from books by Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer on Panthers history: “Year of the Cat” and “Tales from the Carolina Panthers Sideline”. Credit is given where appropriate.

FINDING THE COACH

(Photo: Rick Stewart, Getty)
In advance of the 1995 season, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson had already made two well-advised hires to head up his expansion franchise. His team president, Mike McCormack, was a Pro Football Hall of Famer with experience as a player, coach, and general manager alike. His GM, future Hall of Famer Bill Polian, had been the general manager of the Buffalo Bills from 1986 to 1992, and was instrumental in putting together the Bills teams that went to four-straight Super Bowls in the early 1990s. Now, the most-pressing matter at hand for the Panthers was to find their very first head coach.

The Panthers’ first choice for the head coaching job was Joe Gibbs, who had won three Super Bowls as head coach of the Washington Redskins and had found quick success as a car owner in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, winning the Daytona 500 with driver Dale Jarrett in just the second year of competition for Joe Gibbs Racing. But Gibbs had no interest in returning to coaching, leaving the Panthers to look elsewhere. Following the 1994 season, two candidates emerged: Rich Kotite, who had been fired as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles following a devastating single-season collapse, and Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dom Capers. (Year of the Cat, p. 37)

Under Capers, the Steelers had fielded the second-best defense in the NFL in 1994, and led the league in sacks with a total of 55. Concerned that a team at the collegiate level would act to hire Capers for a head coaching position, the Panthers contacted the Steelers in the interest of arranging an interview with Capers, and received permission to do so.

However, a major issue emerged for the young franchise: Under NFL rules at the time, it was forbidden for teams to interview coaching candidates in-season, and the Steelers had a first-round playoff Bye and were en route to an eventual appearance in the AFC Championship Game. Despite the Steelers consenting to the interview, the Panthers had violated the NFL’s anti-tampering rules, and were stripped of a second and sixth-round pick in the 1995 Draft while also being fined $150,000.

“We were wrong in what we did. There’s no doubt about it. We admit that. I guess there’s no excuse for it,” said McCormack after the fact. “And we were taken to the woodshed for it.”

Despite the fallout, the Panthers had their man in Capers, who became an NFL head coach for the very first time. Capers’ staff for the inaugural season featured experienced offensive coordinator Joe Pendry, and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who had been the linebackers coach of the New Orleans Saints and their vaunted “Dome Patrol” from 1986 to 1994.
BUILDING THE ROSTER

(Photo: George Rose, Getty)
Moreso than building their coaching staff, it was absolutely critical for the fledgling Panthers to assemble a competitive roster. And to their benefit, the NFL had availed certain advantages to the Panthers (And their expansion mates in the Jacksonville Jaguars) that expansion franchises of the past had not had.

The NFL’s previous expansion, which occurred in 1976 and before the free agency era, had seen the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks be able to construct their teams only with rookie players and castoffs that no one else wanted. The results were, quite bluntly, not a good look for the league: The Seahawks won just two games in 1976, while the Buccaneers did not win a single game until the end of the 1977 season and became a national punchline for their historic levels of ineptitude.

For the Panthers and Jaguars, however, things would be quite different: Not only did they have the advantage of free agency, but the two teams also had an expansion Draft (Where they could select “unprotected” players from existing franchises), an extra pick in each round of the Draft, and an unlimited salary cap. In free agency, the Panthers would make several of their most important acquisitions: The free agent class was headlined by All-Pro linebacker Sam Mills, and also featured linebacker Lamar Lathon and kicker John Kasay. Among the other free agents that the Panthers signed were defensive end Mike Fox, linebacker Darrion Conner, wide receiver Don Beebe, and safety Brett Maxie.

Meanwhile, in the Expansion Draft, the Panthers would find several other contributors: Namely fullbacks Howard Griffith & Bob Christian, wide receiver Mark Carrier, and center Curtis Whitley.

Though none would figure into the Panthers’ future plans, the Expansion Draft and early roster-building period also brought them some names who would achieve fame and notoriety elsewhere: Quarterback Doug Pederson, taken 44th-overall in the expansion draft, would go on to become a Super Bowl-winning head coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. Bill Goldberg, a defensive tackle taken towards the end of the Draft, would become a WWE Hall of Famer. And on the Panthers’ first regular season practice squad was a little-known tight end who would go on to become a big baller: LaVar Ball.

Cheap Nike Elite Carolina Panthers Greg Little Jerseys 2019

CHARLOTTE – The Panthers selected the left tackle they coveted with the 37th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, choosing Greg Little from Ole Miss in the second round.

Carolina moved up 10 spots from No. 47 in a trade with the Seahawks. The Panthers sent the 47th pick and the 77th pick (their first of two third-rounders) to Seattle. Carolina is still set to pick again at No. 100 later Friday.

Little, a first team All-SEC selection in 2018, started every game at left tackle for the Rebels each of the past two seasons. He came to Ole Miss as the No.1 ranked offensive lineman in the country and started five games at left tackle as a true freshman.

The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder with 35 ¼” arms has all the physical tools and the necessary athleticism to succeed at the next level. The 21-year-old from Allen, Texas, described himself as a “quick-twitch big guy” at the scouting combine.

Little, widely praised for his abilities in pass protection, allowed one sack, two quarterback hits and nine quarterback hurries over 465 pass-blocking snaps last season according to Pro Football Focus.

Cheap Authentic NFL Panthers Black Sam Mills Jersey

You ask, we answer. The latest installment of our Panthers mailbag includes questions from our readers via Twitter and my email. Topics include Colin Kaepernick, Joe Webb and Carolina’s curiously empty Hall of Honor.

Since the Panthers were in the market for a backup quarterback, as they were once they released Joe Webb, shouldn’t they sign Colin Kaepernick instead of an untested rookie like Brad Kaaya? Wouldn’t Kaepernick be a far more effective backup to Cam Newton than Kaaya?

This is an interesting question, and the answer has some layers. The first is this: Carolina made a somewhat questionable call over the weekend that Derek Anderson should once again be their backup quarterback (see next question). They think Anderson can do the job despite his very unimpressive preseason.

This meant the Panthers weren’t in the market for a second-string quarterback. They wanted a third-stringer – a young player they could train in the system.

They weren’t thinking at all about this year with Kaaya, the former University of Miami quarterback. They were thinking a year or two down the road, with the idea that if Kaaya develops he could ascend and replace Anderson, who is 34 years old, as the primary backup.

The backup to the “Kaaya as backup” plan is Garrett Gilbert, incidentally. Carolina has decided to put two quarterbacks in its pipeline – interim general manager Marty Hurney thinks you should always be developing at least one.
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Brad Kaaya shakes hands with Miami head coach Mark Richt after a game in 2016. The Panthers signed Kaaya off of waivers on Saturday — he had been a sixth-round draft choice of the Detroit Lions earlier this year.
Al Diaz Miami Herald
Gilbert is on the practice squad and Kaaya is on the active roster, but neither is going to play in 2017 unless there is a serious emergency. They are both practice players – and cheap ones, which Kaepernick would not have been – for now.

As for the Kaepernick issue itself: I think there’s no doubt that some NFL teams have second thoughts about signing him and/or have avoided it entirely. The social awareness protest he started last season by kneeling during the national anthem rankled many, including some NFL owners.

However, in this case I do believe the Panthers’ decision regarding a non-pursuit of Kaepernick came down to football reasons, not social ones.

If Newton or Anderson gets hurt, though, and the Panthers don’t at least kick the tires on Kaepernick? Then that would be negligent, and that would be a whole different story.

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The Carolina Panthers chose Derek Anderson (3) to back up Cam Newton (1) in 2017, even though Joe Webb (14) had outplayed Anderson in the preseason.
Jeff Siner [email protected]
Why was Joe Webb released instead of Anderson? Webb had a better preseason. He could have been Newton’s backup instead.

I totally understand this argument. Webb did play better than Anderson.

But from the Panthers’ point of view, they put a lot of stock in Anderson playing decently as Newton’s backup over the past several year, believed Webb (at age 30) no longer fits the profile of a developmental quarterback and think they can survive on special teams without him.

Anderson can’t run, but he’s an accurate passer if given enough time. In this case, Anderson was kept because of having a longer track record for Carolina than Webb (who quickly signed with Buffalo). I will tell you that the move to release Webb was not a popular one in Carolina’s locker room.

Who was the Panthers’ best all-time special teamer?

I’ll give you two. John Kasay, who may remain the team’s all-time leading scorer for 50 years, was the best kicker or punter of any type the team has employed.

And Michael Bates, who made multiple Pro Bowls for Carolina as both a kick returner and a coverage guy, was the best non-kicker.
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In this 1996 file photo, Panthers’ special-teamers Michael Bates (standing) and John Kasay posed for The Observer.
File photo Charlotte Observer
Why have the Panthers never had back-to-back winning seasons?

It’s quite an oddity, isn’t it? This is about to be Carolina’s 23rd NFL season — I’ve covered them all, which is mostly a blessing but sometimes a curse. And the team has never, ever finished with a winning record two years in a row.

The short answer is that through most of the Panthers’ history, they have usually been average or just below. They made the playoffs only four times in their first 18 years. They were usually a 7-9 team waiting to happen. That’s a bad spot to be. You’re not awful enough to draft a difference-maker like Cam Newton in the draft but you’re not good enough to make the postseason.

Carolina actually kept the stat alive while making the playoffs three straight times from 2013-15 because in the middle year of those three years, Carolina went 7-8-1 and still won the NFC South.

The earliest Carolina can put this stat to bed would be at the end of 2018, since the Panthers went 6-10 last year.

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Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith (89) — shown in 2008 after a win — both deserve a spot in the team’s Hall of Honor, which is a ludicrously small hall at the moment.
Jeff Siner [email protected]
Why is the Panthers’ Hall of Honor so empty and who will go in it next?

The Panthers’ ludicrously empty Hall of Honor includes only one man who ever played an actual snap for the team – linebacker Sam Mills. That will change. The Panthers quietly plan to induct several more players by or before the 2019 season — which will be Carolina’s 25th in the NFL.

The Panthers do have a “You Must Be Retired For At Least Five Years” rule to make their Hall, however – a rule that was not in place when Mills (before cancer, before the “Keep Pounding” speech) went into the Hall.

I wrote a whole column on this issue in January, but I will shorten it here by saying that I believe these 10 players should all get in at some point: Steve Smith, Jake Delhomme, Julius Peppers, Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Greg Olsen, Ryan Kalil, Muhsin Muhammad and John Kasay.