Local News

The Panthers' Other Line

Posted June 19, 1998

— Much has been written during the off-season about the Carolina Panthers new acquisitions in the defensive line. The offensive line will also see changes, and the pressure is mounting as the Cats' retooled offense tries to produce more yards. The story of the Panthers "other line" is actually a stable one.

There has not been a lot of news about the offensive line during training camp, and that is good news.

In years past there has been position swaps and contract dilemmas, but right now the five o-line starters know exactly where they will start training camp.

"You like to work with the same guys over and over again, and start to get in the rhythm with those guys," offensive lineman Frank Garcia said. "Other guys that are penciled in as two's and three's right now are going to be competing for spots as well. I think that is the difference from this year to years in the past, is that we have a little bit more depth this year."

Lineman Matt Campbell is one of the new faces on the line after he spent three years at the league minimum. The Panther's increased his contract with a three year $8 million deal.

"Everything has worked out for me," Cambell said. "I've got a great opportunity and everything unfolded for me. I would like to think that my hard work and what I've done is paying off."

So the main question now is who will back up the fab-five.

"I think we will be going to training camp to play the pre-season games, so our depth will come from some new people," Panther's line coach Jim McNally said.

The running gag around the camp is that it is a good thing that the Panther's defense will be improved because they might be on the field 40 minutes per game, which is a slap in the face for the entire offensive line. Only time will tell if they can prove the doubters wrong.


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