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Panthers say Moss 'shut it down'

Posted by Albert Breer  December 13, 2009 05:23 PM

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"They're two different breeds," Gamble said. "Welker's just a tough, hard-nosed guy. He got hit and he got back up. I can't see Moss getting hit, catching slants, getting banged around, and getting back up.

"I respect Wes' game. He's going over the middle all the time, getting hit, that's the majority of his catches, linebackers ready to hit him. And he gets hit, gets right back up."

And so, as the second half ensued, the Panthers started to zero in on Welker -- leaving Moss largely to be covered as any other receiver would be. Because they felt, at that point, that 81 had checked out.

So if you asked any of the Panthers' DBs, it was pretty obvious to them: Welker's a far tougher cover than Moss is.

"He's a backyard football player," Harris said of Welker. "He runs his routes, like we used to play4 in the streets ? If I'm on the left side of you, I'm gonna break to the right. If I'm on the right side of you, I'm gonna break to the left. He does a great job doing it."

As for Moss, the first ball thrown his way told Carolina what it needed to know about his effort. Gamble said that Moss was lazy with his route, telegraphed an out-cut, and that allowed him to break on and pick it off. And not soon later, the Panthers knew they had him for good.

Gamble said, "We know from watching film on Moss, once you get him out of the game early, he's gonna shut it down."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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