ENEMY LINES An opposing scout's view
This offense is underrated. It might not be a great offense for a fantasy league, but it's great for winning games.... What I like most about Jake Delhomme is that he makes plays late in the game. You can't teach that, and you don't know who's good at it until they do it.... The strengths of the line are center Jeff Mitchell and left tackle Jordan Gross. Mitchell is an intelligent, technically sound player.... The passing game isn't very complicated, and rookie receiver Keary Colbert fits what they want--he's tough, he'll block, and he'll make catches on third down.... They're a little deeper at linebacker with Mark Fields back, and they've brought in [free agents] Jessie Armstead and Brandon Short. Dan Morgan is very fast and instinctive, but he's had a hard time staying healthy.... They've got three new guys in the secondary: Ricky Manning is small, but he can cover better than last year's starters; Chris Gamble has a lot of natural ability; and Artrell Hawkins is a serviceable corner. Mike Minter gives them a lot of leadership back there. They want smart defensive backs who won't gamble, because they're going to beat you with their front four.
"It might not be a great offense for a fantasy league, but it's great for winning games."
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP with 2003 statistics
2003 RECORD: 11-5
NFL RANK (rush/pass/total):
COACH: John Fox; third season with Carolina (18-14 in NFL)