Jonathan Stewart: “Open arms” to Panthers drafting a running back

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The Panthers and running back Jonathan Stewart agreed to a one-year contract extension this week, but that didn’t do much to quiet the notion that the Panthers will be adding a running back in the draft this year.

Stewart is 30 and entering his 10th season with the team, so the team needs to think about a future without Stewart on top of the need to have a complementary back to help the team put together the kind of running game that coach Ron Rivera felt was lacking last season. Given those realities, it wouldn’t matter much if Stewart was opposed to the team moving in that direction but the veteran is on board with a youthful infusion to the backfield.

“I mean, it’s a good thing,” Stewart said, via the team’s website. “You always want fresh legs. Fresh legs mean a lot, especially in the fourth quarter. Having somebody potentially come in here … there are a lot of good running backs in this draft class, a lot of talent. Definitely open arms to get somebody in here that wants to win and understands that. We’re better as a fist than we are as an open hand.”

Running back isn’t the only area that Carolina is expected to address at some point in the draft. Stewart pointed out that “the main thing we have to do better is protect” quarterback Cam Newton. A better running game would help accomplish that and boosting the performance on the offensive line should remain a priority for the team heading into the 2017 season.

9 responses to “Jonathan Stewart: “Open arms” to Panthers drafting a running back

  1. The line was the biggest reason for the Super Bowl loss as well as the poor offensive season last year. Give the other teams along the way a lot of credit for using the lack of skill/talent on the line to their advantage. Get better there though and this team should get moving again.

  2. Well if they draft Fournette it’s not going to be for fresh legs in the fourth quarter. Also, when you look at Cam Newton’s performance through the years, he plays much better when he’s not under pressure. That has only happened when the defense was outstanding, and Carolina’s offense could dictate whatever they wanted to do. It has nothing to do with their offensive personnel. But when they get behind, and the opposing defense knows Cam is going to throw it, he’s a completely different QB than when the defense is off guard. You can say the same thing about most QBs, especially young QBs. Carolina will be much better off adding a defensive stud to the mix. This draft is loaded with defensive studs, so no need to stop at one. A good GM should be able to add 3 or 4 defensive studs this year, and Gettleman is one of the best. Even if they do go for Fournette in the first round, they can still get 2 or 3 good defensive players later.

  3. It’s more than fresh legs in the 4th quarter. The heir apparent isn’t visible yet. Stewart’s successor may be in this draft or may be on another roster but he needs to be identified soon. Stewart is, and has been, a great warrior. Groom the next Stewart.

  4. I like humility but The dude just got paid more to stay with Carolina than he would have received anywhere else. What do you expect him to say? Lol

  5. I like Jonathan Stewart a lot, but it scares me there is no depth behind him at this point as a power RB. Panthers is not built for a Cook or McCaffrey type RB. We are built to grind it out and wear a defense down in the 4thquarter and it’s time to draft bigger stronger power RB’s to do just that.

    Fans are not paying attention to the NFC south Rivals and what they have been doing to add to the rosters.

    Falcons for Example: DT Hageman 6’6 315 lbs. NT Dontrai Poe 6’3 346 lbs. LB Vic Beasley 6’3 246and they are looking at TJ Watt 6’4 252 is he a DE or LB. Doesn’t mater he is fast side line to side line.

    So where does Cook or McCaffrey fit in the Panthers offense or a RB like Marlon Mack 5’11 213 lbs. I’ll tell you IR. He can’t stop Vic Beasley we face 2 times a year and you think you are going to run a smaller RB with Fresh legs through the Falcons defensive front. They have 1st year DT Chris Mayes G. 6’4 323 lbs. . DE Martin Ifedi 6’3 275 lbs. DE Adrian Clayborn 6’3 280 lbs.

    That’s just the Falcons. So you tell me a patched O-line and a scat back is the answer to take on a Defense like the Falcons.

    Saints signed Ted Ginn a deep threat from the Panthers so they pick 11th and draft WR John Ross to pair with Ginn. What do the Panthers have as DB’s that can keep up?

    Bucs signed WR Desean Jackson to pair with WR Mike Evans and the yare looking at 2 TE’s in David Njoku and Adam Shaheen 6’7 278 lbs. who can play WR at X.Y and Z.

    Panthers have KB, Funchess Bersin who has played more than a couple of snaps. Greg Olsen . Then can Keyarris Garrett and Damiere Byrd step up after adding Russell Shepard and Charles Johnson? To much focus has been spent on the defense for 5 years, Every RB has been a non factor.

    Panthers HC Ron Rivera, GM Dave Gettleman have to nail the draft. Then OC Mike Shula has to pick up the slack and game plan for Cam’s Shoulder and keep him up right.

    IMO this season the Panthers come apart at seams. Waited to long to address the offense and will spend to much attention to defense again. To bolster a new DC. Signing a college RB coach to coach a young WR group makes sense to me who played for Shula at Alabama.

    What good did it do to promote O-line coach John Matsko to run game Coordinator if you aren’t going to fix the problems on offense. We did go 6-10.

  6. We do need another RB but Fournette is not the answer. Stewart is a plodding, injury-prone runner. So is Fournette. We MUST take a tackle with the 8th pick and get a running back in later rounds.

  7. I agree with jgedgar70 above. Delvin Cook would be a good fit in that he has power, speed, and shiftiness. His style reminds me of a young Deangelo Williams. Fournette is a good 2nd choice if Cook isn’t available. Cook also has good pass blocking skills and receiving skills out of the backfield which would benefit protection for Newton.

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