Hall of Famer vouches for Panthers tackle Nate Chandler


The Panthers might be trusting the blind side of their quarterback to a guy who was chasing quarterbacks two years ago.

And at least one Hall of Fame offensive lineman is ready to vouch for the experiment.

Panthers tackle Nate Chandler has spent the last two summers working with Jackie Slater on his conversion from defense, and Slater thinks his student has a bright future.

There’s no doubt in my mind he’s a top left tackle,” former Rams great Jackie Slater, said, via David Newton of ESPN.com.

Chandler actually started eight games last year (six at right guard, two at right tackle), but they’re letting him compete with Byron Bell for the job of replacing retired Jordan Gross.

“The thing that many underestimate is the tenacity of this individual,” Slater said. “He superseded things that were meat and potatoes and went straight to some of the cutting-edge things it takes to be a dominant football player. . . .

“If you’re going to replace a guy like Jordan Gross, you’ve got to replace him with a guy who at the very least is on par with him athletically. He’s got to have that comfortable athleticism to deal with the animals that are playing [opposite him].”

The Panthers signed him to a three-year extension this offseason, basically buying his restricted free agent year and then some for an $800,000 signing bonus. If he turns out as good as Slater thinks, it will be a tremendous bargain.

7 responses to “Hall of Famer vouches for Panthers tackle Nate Chandler

  1. Really hope so. As a Panthers fan, our OT situation scares the hell out of me. Much more so than any WR and secondary concerns. Our WRs and secondary weren’t much last year and we still managed to be pretty darn good. Losing Gross to retirement though is big shoes to fill. We haven’t had to worry about LT for the past decade.

  2. That’s good news. I hope Jackie is right and Chandler turns out to be a diamond. I wish he was our full time OL coach. I’m not sold on Masko’s ability to develop linemen.

    I will give him credit for being better than I expected last year. The other guy I would like to hear from, is Ricky Proel. I’d like to get an in depth interview on the WR corps.

    That group concerns me.

  3. Masko is very well respected around the league and has done a pretty decent job of patching together a patchwork OL with the pieces he’s had to work with. We just haven’t given him much talent to develop.

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