Panthers trying to light fire under Otah

Posted June 22, 2012 @ 1:28 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

There are Panthers observers wondering how much more patience the team will show Jeff Otah.

Otah — a former first-round pick entering the final year of his rookie contract — showed he could be a mauling right tackle early in his career, but not recently. He hasn't stayed healthy, missing 35 games in his four seasons and appearing in only four games in the past two seasons. While swelling in his left knee sidelined him earlier this month, the Panthers are expecting him to be ready to play when training camp begins. Head coach Ron Rivera has made Otah no guarantees as far as a starting job, though, while praising the performance of Byron Bell, who started 12 games at right tackle while Otah was out last season.

The Panthers would be thrilled to see Otah put doubts about his work ethic and durability to rest in camp, but there are some inside the organization who are not overly optimistic about his chances of returning to the promising form he once displayed.

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