Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, July 29, 2004 12:41 pm

Panthers update

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 12:41 pm

Steve Beuerlein, who QB’d the Carolina Panthers from 1996 to 2000 and holds all the team’s career passing records, re-signed with the Panthers Wednesday and then immediately retired.

I loved Beuerlein. He was no one’s idea of a flashy QB, but he got the job done — he went to the Pro Bowl after the ’99 season — and he was incredibly tough, taking huge numbers of sacks behind the worst O-line in the league in ’98 and still coming back for more. I was sorry that George Seifert let him go after 2000, and as miserable as the 1-15 2001 season was, I derived a bit of pleasure from seeing just how badly Seifert’s faith in Jeff Lewis had come a cropper.

My favorite Beuerlein moment was the team’s 1996 home win against San Francisco. It wasn’t flashy; it was a thorough, and thoroughly professional, trouncing. The final — 23-7 — was much closer than the game really was, and the atmosphere of celebration after the final gun gave Charlotte its first taste of what NFL success might feel like.

On a personal level, my fantasy-league team picked him up early in the 1998 season, along with Panther WR Rocket Ismail, and they were a dynamite combination for us. (The Buffalo game, in which we also had Bills WR Eric Moulds, was a jackpot.)

I had been afraid that the harsh feelings from his getting cut after 2000 might sour Beuerlein on the organization. I’m delighted that that wasn’t the case. The man was and remains a class act. And when the Panthers get around to setting up some statues to accompany those of Jerry Richardson and Sam Mills, I hope, and expect, that the next one up will be of Beuerlein.

The bad news is that 1st-round pick Chris Gamble still isn’t signed, and his agent, Carl Poston, has a reputation for holding players out of camp in hopes of a better deal. Panther fans will recall Poston, not fondly, as the guy who needlessly held Tshimanga Biakabutuka out of camp for 27 days in ’96. Just me, but if I were a front-office guy, I wouldn’t even draft anyone represented by Carl or Kevin Poston. Life, and training camp, are too freakin’ short.

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