Panthers hoping to avoid injuries

As another NFL season approaches, Scouts Inc. breaks down every roster and offers position-by-position breakdowns.

Critics are quick to point out that Carolina's commitment to the running game played a pivotal role in the Panthers reaching Super Bowl XXXVIII, and that Jake Delhomme hasn't shown he can carry the offense.

Delhomme got an opportunity to silence those critics when RBs Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster each sustained season-ending injuries early in the season last year, and he appeared too eager to prove himself. It looked as if he was trying to make too much happen on individual plays, rather than moving the offense by taking what the defense gave him. He threw 11 interceptions over the first seven games of the season and Carolina got off to a 1-6 start.

However, Delhomme bounced back throwing 17 of his 29 touchdown-passes over the course of the second half of the season. More importantly, he never lost his confidence in himself or his teammates, despite the rocky start. While he doesn't have elite arm strength and needs to continue to be careful when throwing into tight coverage, Delhomme is clearly the leader of this team. Look for him to have a strong third season as the starter.