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DeAngelo Williams 'still in shock' over Panthers WR losses

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

DeAngelo Williams is curious about the Panthers offseason moves.
DeAngelo Williams is curious about the Panthers offseason moves. (USATSI)

More NFL offseason: Mock Drafts | Prospect Rankings | Pro Days | Top free agents

Panthers fans are plenty concerned with their team's offseason, particularly the departure of the team's wide receivers. They're not alone.

Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams sounded pretty concerned with the team's offseason moves on Thursday morning during an NFL AM appearance. Asked about losing Steve Smith, DeAngelo responded that "we lost them all" and called the loss of Smith and other wide receivers "tough."


"We lost them all. That was tough man. I played with Steve for eight years," Williams said. "And I knew the chip he had on his shoulder. And he was a playmaker. I couldn't believe we made that move. I'm still in shock. Not only did we get rid of him, we lost Ted Ginn Jr., Brandon LaFell and Domenik Hixon. You talk about Steve, I'm talking about all four of them.

"That's three potential guys — Steve, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn — who can stretch the field and know the offense. And Hixon was a possession receiver that came in and moved the chains for us."

Williams noted that his fantasy football draft position's gone up since the moves (because the Panthers kind of have to run the ball, is the thinking there) but that he doesn't feel any pressure.

Who does feel pressure? "The front office." Oh.

"It puts more pressure on the front office because you make these moves and get rid of our four receivers and you've got to bring in guys," Williams said. "No slight to Cotchery and Avant that we just signed. I don't know many receivers on other teams, so I'm not saying they're no-name guys, but our guys made their names all by themselves.

"I mean, I don't know where we go from there."

So these quotes are bordering on awkward, right? Williams definitely has a point and it's one that plenty of other people have made throughout the offseason. But those people aren't, you know, on the team.

Fortunately he saved a little face by putting some faith in the front office to bring in people who can help the team win.

"It's not my place to go in and question these guys on the decisions they make," Williams said. "Players play, coaches coach and front office manages. So whatever guys they bring in I expect them to be professionals and for us to step up and accept the challenge that we have in hand. We're the NFC South champions."

He also expressed concern with Cam Newton's timing coming back from ankle surgery, another issue that has Panthers fans a little concerned this offseason.
The Panthers are going to have a tougher time of it on offense this year because of the players they lost. But some of those players -- Ginn, Hixon -- were brought in by the current regime on cheap deals and paid off in a big way. If you buy into Dave Gettelman's plan, you have to think he can pull something similar of in 2014 as well.
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