The Carolina Panthers roster had contained few surprises before Sunday morning. Then they cut Terrell McClain.
The second-year defensive tackle was waived by the Panthers after paring the roster down to 53 men to make room for veteran defensive tackle Dwan Edwards.
Terrell played well in spots for us last year, general manager Marty Hurney said. Every year you have to do the best you can evaluating players through training camp and through preseason games. Thats why we do it. It was just the lack of consistency, plus the fact that we had the opportunity to get a player like Dwan Edwards.
McClain played and started in 12 games for the Panthers last year. As a rookie, the former third-round pick had 19 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery before going on the injured reserve list with a sprained left knee.
The 6-foot- 3, 300-pound Edwards was released by Buffalo on Friday after spending two years with the Bills. A second-round pick in 2004, Edwards has played in 83 games and has 149 tackles and 51/2 sacks.
We were looking for a guy who would push for us and give us more of that vertical push, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. Terrells a different style player as to what we found in Dwan.
Butler reaches settlement: Former cornerback Darius Butler reached an injury settlement with the team, he said Sunday.
Butler is a former second-round draft pick by the Patriots who played as the Panthers No. 3 cornerback for most of last season. He was waived by the Panthers on Friday afternoon as the team cut the roster to 53 men.
He suffered a concussion in the Steelers game Thursday and the Panthers placed him on injured reserve. Butler was cleared medically and is now free to sign with another team.
Bowl game atmosphere: With the Panthers traveling to Florida on Tuesday to avoid DNC distractions and focus on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, many on the team have likened this week to a college bowl week.
Several players in college participated in bowl games, which usually send players to the city several days in advance of the game.
But one person who cant relate is Rivera. The former All-American linebacker at the California never played in a bowl game.
I wouldnt know, we didnt go to one. So keep rubbing it in, Rivera said. At least they have the right attitude, the right frame of mind. As we go away, the main focus is to get ready for a football game.
College Tape: Typically before a game, coaches watch hours of game film on their opponent from the previous season. But in the case of the Buccaneers, film wont tell the Panthers much.
New head coach Greg Schiano brings in his own coaching strategies, and the Panthers coaching staff is looking at Schianos old team for pointers. Carolina is looking at film from last years Schiano-led Rutgers team for guidance.
When you look at what Gregs done in the past, and its not just in Chicago, where both he and Rivera coached, its what he did in Miami, at Rutgers as the head coach, I think thats where you really get the feel as to what hes all about, Rivera said. We have spent time watching the Rutgers tape Hes grown and changed as a coach as well. If theres one thing you can say about what Coach Schiano is going to do, theyre going to go out and be a hard-nose, physical football team.