pictured: Jeff King
The Panthers start 7 white players on offense but overall there are only 17 whites on the roster, the lowest since John Fox became head coach. As recently as 2005 Carolina had 23 white players.
Starting QB Jake Delhomme did not have his best season in 2006 and as a result is one of the most scrutinized quarterbacks heading into '07. David Carr was brought in during the offseason to start if Delhomme falters. Though not the best pure passer, Delhomme has a knack for big plays and comebacks along with strong leadership abilities.
Carr, a former first overall draft pick, spent most of his time with the expansion Texans on his back, as Houston was never able to provide Carr with minimal pass protection and despite his mobility he was constantly sacked.
Rookie Matt Moore from Oregon State is the third string quarterback.
Four whites are starting on the offensive line. However, rookie Ryan Kalil from USC assumed right guard after Jeremy Bridges (black) was suspended for the first two games of the season. Kalil played well in the opener but it remains to be seen if he will keep the job when Bridges returns. The other three white starters are all topnotch — RT Jordan Gross, C Justin Hartwig, and LG Mike Wahle.
O-line backups are Geoff Hangartner and Evan Mathis.
Jeff King, a second year man out of Virginia Tech, is starting at tight end and looks like he'll surprise a lot of people with his receiving skills.
Brad Hoover returns as the blocking fullback. Hoover has great strength and solid running skills but has been used as a runner only in emergencies, during which he has always done a very good job. But for his entire 8 year career, Hoover has a total of just 868 rushing yards. Even sadder is that over those same eight season, Mike Alstott is the only white back who has gained more yards than Hoover.
On defense the Panthers have four white linebackers (with one being a long snapper) but not a single white defensive lineman or back.
Dan Morgan is back from his persistent concussion problems after many thought his career was over and is starting. When healthy Morgan ranks among the best middle linebackers in the NFL.
Rookie LB Tim Shaw out of Penn State has running back speed. In fact he was a state sprinting champion and record setting running back while in high school in Michigan, but Joe Paterno moved him to the more "racially correct" position of linebacker after recruiting him as a running back. He's currently third string at MLB behind Morgan and second stringer Adam Seward, a fifth round draft pick out of UNLV in '05 who has yet to play much other than as a special teamer.
Jason Kyle, the fourth LB, serves as Carolina's long snapper.
NUMBER OF WHITE STARTERS: 8 (may drop to 7 after Bridges' two game suspension is over)
APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF WHITE PLAYERS ON 53 MAN ROSTER: 17