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GumboBC 06-03-2004 10:59 PM

Jake in trouble behind new O-line?
Maser molding O-Line
June 3, 2004

By Brett Borden

Panthers offensive line coach Mike Maser has plenty of work to do this off-season and he knows it. When training camp begins in late July, only one starter, center Jeff Mitchell, will return to his 2003 position. That is because three starting offensive linemen from last year are no longer with the team, one has changed positions, and last season's top reserve is recovering from an injury.

Mike Maser must reconstruct almost an entire offensive line this off-season. (AP Photo)

* Guard Kevin Donnalley retired
* Guard Jeno James signed as an unrestricted free agent with Miami
* Tackle Todd Steussie was released and signed with Tampa Bay
* Tackle Jordan Gross has moved from right to left tackle.
* Offensive lineman Bruce Nelson, who is expected to compete at guard, is recovering from hip surgery.

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lumm0x 06-03-2004 11:34 PM

Jake in trouble behind new O-line?
I don\'t think Jake has the most to worry about. The biggest losses are the guards. Stephen Davis will feel the heat more so. This is not fact, but I remember a commentator last season stating that more than 80% of Davis\'s rushes greater than 5 yards were behind Jones, whether it was a left side direct rush or his pulling to the right. Jones was the road grader of that O-line and Donnelly made a career as a good run blocker. Interior pressure will be key in attacking the Panthers next season. The loss of \"False Start\" Steussie is minor.

rusta 06-04-2004 09:06 AM

Jake in trouble behind new O-line?
I disagree with you lum, while davis is going to suffer, jake is really gonna suffer

davis was jake\'s biggest safety net, jake rarely was put in must throw situations and was put in few long ball situations as compared to most QB\'s, without that line the panthers run game is hurtin bad

that run game is what won them games last year, now all that is on jake with less protection than he had last year

i expect jake to throw more picks than TD\'s this year and the panthers to finish last in the division

lumm0x 06-04-2004 09:13 AM

Jake in trouble behind new O-line?
Rusta- I agree with that. My point was that I didn\'t think the primary concern was in pass protection and apparently I didn\'t word it that well. I agree that because of the reduced run blocking effectiveness, it will create problems for Delhomme in down and distance and give defenses the ability to alter coverages more suited to defending the pass. No question more pressure will be put on Delhomme\'s passing attacking to become more of the offense than he needed when they ran the ball at will.

That was my point- the run game will suffer more than pass protection.

rusta 06-04-2004 09:16 AM

Jake in trouble behind new O-line?

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