Panthers’ WR Muhsin Muhammad retires

The Carolina Panthers’ official website is reporting that receiver Muhsin Muhammad has announced his retirement. He’ll finish his career as the Panthers’ all-time leader in receptions with 696 and receiving yards at 9,255.

“Coaching Muhsin has been a pleasure,” said head coach John Fox. “He is the ultimate competitor, and you always knew he would give you everything he had. We shared some great moments, and his contributions were invaluable to the success we enjoyed. His receiving numbers reflect what kind of receiver he was, but he was also one of the best blocking wide outs to ever play in the NFL.”

“The first word that come comes to mind when you think about Muhsin is toughness,” said general manager Marty Hurney. “His competitiveness was contagious in our locker room. He was a dependable playmaker and a leader who brought very much to our team.”

I always felt that Muhammad was one of those players that never got his full due. He was a crafty receiver that always found ways to get past an opponent’s secondary, even during his final years when he had lost a step. He was the perfect complement to Steve Smith throughout the years (minus the three seasons Muhammad spent in Chicago obviously), and vice versa.

In other Carolina-related news, linebacker Thomas Davis is likely done for the year after he re-tore his right ACL during a recent OTA session. He tore the same ACL last November, but had been recovering ahead of schedule and was even recently timed at 4.47 in the forty-yard dash, which is excellent for a linebacker.

With Davis likely headed for IR, Jon Beason could slide over to the weak-side position with James Anderson starting on the strong-side. Panthers’ defensive coordinator Ron Meeks likes the action to flow towards the weak-side ‘backer, so Beason will get a ton of work this season. Either way, losing Davis was a huge blow to Carolina’s defense.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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Top 10 active NFL receiving yardage leaders

The NFL has become a pass-first league, and with that, wide receivers and tight ends have become more important than ever—not just in west coast style offenses but in all offensive systems. Here we take a look at the current active leaders in receiving yards. Being that most of the guys on this list are nearing the twilight of their respective careers, you shouldn’t use this as part of your fantasy football research. Instead, just read and enjoy…..

1. Isaac Bruce, free agent (15,208)—He doesn’t have the flash or the mouth that some of these other guys have, but it didn’t hurt that Bruce played on those great Kurt Warner/Mike Martz Rams’ teams about a decade ago. And he still has skills, so someone is bound to sign the guy.

2. Terrell Owens, free agent (14,951)—This guy DOES have the mouth but the skills to back it up. I’m kind of surprised he is team-less right now, but that should also change soon.

3. Randy Moss, New England Patriots (14,465)—That season he and Tom Brady put together in 2007 was absolutely ridiculous (1423 yards, NFL record 23 TD catches). And Moss is only 32!

4. Torry Holt, New England Patriots (13,382)—Sure, he’s getting up there in age and fell off a lot numbers-wise in Jacksonville, but he’s still got something left. It should be especially interesting to see Holt and Moss playing in the same offense.

5. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons (11,807)—Arguably the greatest tight end to ever play the game. Gonzo has four seasons with over 1000 yards, almost unheard of for a TE.

6. Muhsin Muhammad, Carolina Panthers (11,438)—Like Bruce and Holt, Muhsin Muhammad has quietly put up numbers for years, and his 2004 season for the Panthers remains his best (1405 yards, 16 scores).

7. Derrick Mason, Baltimore Ravens (11,089)—All Derrick Mason has ever done in his career with Tennessee and Baltimore is get open. He’s topped 1000 yards three straight seasons on the run-first Ravens, and is the epitome of toughness and durability despite being just 5-10, 190.

8. Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers (10,947)—He’s consistently one of the game’s Top ten receivers, but how will he fare with Big Ben out for a few games to start the 2010 season?

9. Joey Galloway, Washington Redskins (10,777)—Galloway resurrected his fine career with Tampa from 2005 to 2007, and is really in the twilight of his career after struggling in Tampa and New England the last two seasons, respectively. Now he’s trying to latch on with the new-look Redskins.

10. Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals (9952)—One of the game’s most animated players is also one of its best receivers year in and year out. And it’s always good to be able to back up the talk.

Source: Pro Football Reference

Fantasy Fallout, Week 7: WRs

In the NO/CAR game, Muhsin Muhammad (3-43) and Lance Moore (3-10) came back to Earth a little bit. It’s tough to count on either of them, especially Moore who failed to produce even though the Saints were trailing most of the game…Bernard Berrian (6-81-1) is turning into a must-start with Gus Frerotte under center. Berran is now averaging 5.0-96-0.6 since Frerotte took over in Week 3…Devin Hester (2-22) left the game with a quad injury and was unable to return…Both Housh (8-58) and Ocho Cinco (8-52-1) were targeted often by Ryan Fitzpatrick, and it looks like Carson Palmer may be out a while…The Chiefs are a mess, but Dwayne Bowe (7-86) still put up good numbers in PPR leagues…Derrick Mason (6-87-1) continues to be Joe Flacco’s favorite target and is a WR2/WR3 in PPR leagues…Terrell Owens (2-31) looks like he’s going to suffer while Tony Romo is out…Jerricho Cotchery’s dismal outing (1-0) throws his must-start status into flux. It might have had more to do with Oakland’s fine CB Nnamdi Asomugha than anything the Jets were doing.

Panthers dominate Falcons to capture NFC South lead

Panthers-FalconsWhy did Muhsin Muhammad leave Carolina for Chicago a few years ago? Oh yeah, money. Well he’s back in Carolina now and the Panthers couldn’t be more thrilled. Muhammad torched the Falcons for eight receptions, 147 yards and a touchdown as the Panthers rolled to a 24-9 victory.

The Panthers lost both of their offensive tackles during the game, but Atlanta still couldn’t get any pass rush. Jake Delhomme (20 of 29, 294 yards, 2 TDs) had all day to throw and while the running game wasn’t dominant by any means, it was good enough to keep Carolina balanced offensively. And the job the defense did against the Falcons’ rushing attack, which led the NFL coming into the game, was impressive. The Panthers’ front seven has been outstanding against top backs LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson and Michael Turner so far this year.

As for the Falcons, they’re just a different team on the road than they are at home. And while that might be the case for most teams, it’s incredibly accurate for Atlanta, who can’t run (Turner had just 56 yards), play defense (Carolina racked up over 400 yards of offense) or get the ball in the end zone (three field goals, no touchdowns) on the road. And I have no idea why offensive coordinator Mike Murlarkey and the Falcons’ coaching staff abandoned the no-huddle offense after it worked so well early in the first half. Rookie Matt Ryan looked comfortable running the hurry up and Carolina’s defense was back on their heels, yet Mularkey ditched the approach until after the game was out of reach in the fourth. (Writer’s note: Head coach Mike Smith said in his post game press conference that the one series the Falcons used the no-huddle was scripted out before hand. Therefore, they weren’t comfortable allowing Ryan to run the no-huddle after that unscripted.)

The Panthers (3-1) are now cruising in the NFC South and they didn’t even play as well as they’re capable of today. With how well Delhomme and the defense is playing, Carolina looks like a legitimate contender in the NFC.

Top 10 Active NFL Receiving TD Leaders

You fantasy geeks can appreciate touchdowns almost more than the players who score them. So here is a list you might be able to use ….the active leaders in receiving TDs. Some of these players are nearing the twilight of their careers, but a lot of them are still putting up numbers….

1. Terrell Owens, Dallas Cowboys (132)—As great as TO has been when he’s not hogging headlines off the field, his best years were in San Francisco. Consider 2001, when TO caught 93 passes for 1412 yards and a career high 16 touchdowns. He was also averaging 109 yards per game in 2005 for Philly when he was suspended and then benched by Andy Reid after seven games for disparaging remarks about teammates.

2. Randy Moss, New England Patriots (125)—Yes, Randy Moss had some great years in Minnesota, including 111 catches for 1632 yards in 2003. But nothing tops 23 TDs, an NFL record, in 2007. Except maybe a Super Bowl ring…oops, was that out loud?

3. Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis Colts (124)—Harrison has been one of the most consistent receivers over the course of his career. And he holds the record for receptions in a single season with 143, in 2002. But 2007’s injury aside, Harrison’s numbers have slipped a little ever since Reggie Wayne started lining up on the other side of Peyton Manning.

4. Isaac Bruce, San Francisco 49ers (85)—He was the main receiver for Kurt Warner in the Greatest Show on Turf…and now he’s reunited with offensive coordinator Mike Martz at the age of 36 in San Francisco. I wouldn’t bet against the old man reaching 100 TDs maybe next season.

5. Joey Galloway, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (77)—This guy is 37 and still beating defenders to the ball. Good for him.

6. Torry Holt, St. Louis Rams (72)—Torry Holt formed one of the best 1-2 punches at receiver along with Isaac Bruce in St. Louis, and then became the main man for a few seasons. He’s still the main man, but on a very bad Rams team.

7. Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers (68)—Have you ever seen a guy smile as he’s being tackled the way Ward is? That, and the guy is a hell of a football player.

8. Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City Chiefs (67)—Gonzalez is the only tight end on here, and he’s on here because his career numbers rival that of any great wide receiver. But like Holt, he plays on a very bad team in 2008.

9. Muhsin Muhammad, Carolina Panthers (56)—Muhammad made the Pro Bowl twice and played on a Super Bowl with the Panthers, then went to Chicago for a year, which is the equivalent of a barbecue chef being sent to cook in a vegan restaurant. So here he is, back in Carolina, catching passes from Jake Delhomme again.

10. Plaxico Burress, New York Giants (52)—This guy’s career has blossomed in New York, as he has become Eli Manning’s favorite target. But his suspension for missing practice is eerily familiar for those who followed Burress’ career in Pittsburgh.

Source: Pro Football Reference

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