Panthers' Wharton makes smooth transition to guard Print
Written by Admin   
Wednesday, 03 December 2008 10:43
NFL Headline News

 CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Travelle Wharton cleared a hole for Jonathan Stewart on Sunday and chugged downfield as the Carolina Panthers running back streaked toward a certain touchdown at Green Bay.
``I wanted to be the first one down there to watch him celebrate,'' the 6-foot-4, 312-pound Wharton said Wednesday. ``And if I did see guys get up on him, I wanted to be able to give a lick.''
But before Stewart could revel in his long TD run, his thigh cramped up shy of the end zone. That allowed the Packers' Charles Woodson to catch up and strip the ball.
Enter the Panthers' left guard, who had rumbled 43 yards from his block that allowed Stewart to break free.
``Seeing the ball come out, I saw somebody dive for it and it was still right there,'' Wharton said. ``So I just jumped on it and was trying to hold on tight. I got bombarded by a bunch of tacklers and I was just holding on.''
ton later made another crushing block on one of DeAngelo Williams' four 1-yard TD runs in Carolina's 35-31 win.
``I thought the hustle play he made on the fumble recovery was huge, but that wasn't the only thing he did,'' coach John Fox said. ``He hustled and blocked very well all day - both in pass (protection) and in the run game. I think it was one of his better games in his tenure.''
Wharton's signature game of his five-year career came just over nine months after the Panthers surprised many by giving him a six-year, $36 million deal that included $12 million in guaranteed money - then moved him from the more glamorous tackle spot to guard.
Wharton seemed almost embarrassed to talk about the Green Bay game Wednesday as the Panthers (9-3) returned to the field for a light workout ahead of Monday night's NFC South showdown with Tampa Bay (9-3). And Wharton's team-first attitude has helped him quickly adapt to his changing roles.
Wharton played left tackle in college at South Carolina, but the Panthers made him a guard after selecting him in the third round of the 2004 draft.
Wharton moved back to left tackle in 2005. After missing all but one game in 2006 because of left knee surgery, Wharton returned to start all 16 games at left tackle last season.
uncertain, because he and right tackle Jordan Gross were free agents.
But before the Panthers even addressed Gross' situation, they signed Wharton to a giant deal. They then placed the franchise tag on Gross, guaranteeing his return. Two months later, the Panthers drafted Jeff Otah in the first round.
That began a series of moves that left new starters at all five positions on the line. Otah replaced Gross at right tackle, Gross replaced Wharton at left tackle, and Wharton became the left guard, next to new center Ryan Kalil and right guard Keydrick Vincent.
``I think he fit well at tackle. I think just for our football team, that was the position we needed him at,'' Fox said of Wharton. ``I think it was very unselfish on his part to be fine with that move, and I think he's getting better every week.''
The Panthers have overcome a series of injuries on the line - including Wharton's two-game absence due a sprained knee - to improve dramatically. Williams is 45 yards shy of becoming only the third back in the team's 14 seasons to rush for 1,000 yards. Delhomme has been sacked only 18 times.
``We worked so hard this offseason,'' said Wharton, who started one game at left tackle because Gross was out with a concussion. ``Everybody's been paying attention and staying focused in the meeting room, just understanding what each other's jobs are and what we're supposed to do.''
eau Field guaranteed only the fourth winning season in team history. And the Panthers can thank their big left guard, even if he did catch some grief in the film room for how long it took him to run those 43 yards before his key fumble recovery.
``They're going to have their jokes, but it's a good thing,'' Wharton said. ``We got the ball, it wasn't a turnover, and we were able to score.''
 

NFL Team Pages

Top NFL Public Bets

#1 453 Dallas Cowboys 87%
#2 467 Indianapolis Colts 82%
#3 460 New Orleans Saints 78%
#4 462 Cincinnati Bengals 75%
#5 302 Atlanta Falcons 75%
#6 457 Houston Texans 74%
#7 463 Baltimore Ravens 74%
#8 471 San Francisco 49ers 73%
#9 479 Chicago Bears 67%
#10 478 Carolina Panthers 66%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NFL Futures

NFL TEAM CONFERENCE ODDS CURRENT
DENVER BRONCOS 8/5
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 12/5
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 4/1
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 11/2
GREEN BAY PACKERS 7/1
CINCINNATI BENGALS 7/1
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 8/1
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 9/1
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 10/1
CAROLINA PANTHERS 12/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com