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Panthers C Kalil a reliable protector of Newton

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

Panthers QB Cam Newton has shown remarkable poise and ability, exceeding even optimistic expectations for him in the first half of the season, and C Ryan Kalil has played a significant role in helping the rookie during his impressive run through eight games. Carolina used the franchise tag on Kalil in the offseason before signing him to a long-term extension after the lockout ended, and it's easy to see why the club was willing to commit $28 million guaranteed to him in the six-year deal. Kalil has not allowed a sack this season, according to STATS LLC, and he's had no problems making the shotgun snap far more often than he was asked to under the regime that preceded Ron Rivera's. Kalil made his second straight Pro Bowl appearance last season, replacing the injured Shaun O'Hara, and he's well on his way to earning another trip to the game. Kalil was already considered one of the top players at his position, and he continues to improve.

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