Panthers hoping to find a left tackle among in-house guys

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The Panthers clean slate at wide receiver has gotten more attention, but the bigger issue this year will be who ends up starting at tackle, and whether that person can keep Cam Newton upright.

But Panthers coach Ron Rivera is confident he’s going to find an answer among what is on hand.

Via the Charlotte Observer, Rivera said he expects to find a left tackle among existing options Byron Bell, Nate Chandler and Garry Williams.


“We think those three guys give us an opportunity to find a starter out of that group,” Rivera said. “But it most certainly is going to be a competitive position. It will be one we will watch for obvious reasons.”

Bell has started at right tackle the last three years, but wasn’t particularly good at it. Chandler is a converted defensive tackle, who they signed to a cheap contract extension betting on his upside. Williams keeps getting hurt every time they give him a chance to win the job.

In short, they’re going to miss the retired Jordan Gross, regardless who ends up starting there. The top tackles were gone long before they picked in the first round. They inquired about free agent Anthony Collins before he signed with the Buccaneers, but they were otherwise limited in what they could do to fix the line.

Now they’ll go to camp, and wait, and hope.


11 responses to “Panthers hoping to find a left tackle among in-house guys

  1. It’s sad that the front runner is a defensive tackle… It’s also sad that Byron Bell still has a job. He is a revolving door and hands down one of the worst OL I’ve ever seen. Die hard Panther fan hoping that Cam lives through the season

  2. Prayers for Cam. Good thing he’s big as lineman but still. How do you not have any plan for left tackle?

  3. The elephant in the room, is that Gross wanted to play another year, but he had taken a pay cut last year, along with every multi-year player; who had been asked by Gettleman.

    He was flat, run off by Gettleman along with 1/2 the players who contributed to the 12-4 winners of the NFCS. Gross WANTED TO STAY ONE MORE YEAR.

    Now without a replacement for Gross, here we are. Gettleman gets praised for his cap management, now he must take equal blame for running critical players like Gross.

  4. Gross chose to retire … And Hall of Famer Jackie Slater, who has been working out with Nate Chandler, has endorsed him as the real deal. I think a guy like Slater knows more than some of the chumps commenting in here.

  5. The best of these three is Chandler and he is a longshot due to the offensive line not being his natural position. Bell is a “turnstile” and will continue to be “mauled” by the like of Mario Williams in last years Buffalo game. Williams is a walking MASH unit who will not make it through the season. Kugbila is a huge bust who will not play a down for the second straight year but as we all know in Carolina “Gettleman has a plan”?????? Give me a break!

  6. “Gettleman has a plan”?????? Give me a break!

    There certainly is nothing on GMan’s resume that indicates he should be able to evaluate “pro talent” – is there?

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