|Rookie PR Edwards struggles in debut in front of Panthers crowd|
|Written by Steve Reed|
|Saturday, 21 August 2010 23:59|
CHARLOTTE – Armanti Edwards figured he was over his growing pains.|
The guy the Panthers gambled on by giving up a second-round pick in next year’s NFL draft struggled in his first game at Bank of America Stadium, making a pair of mistakes on punt returns that cost Carolina six points in Saturday night’s 9-3 loss to the New York Jets. Both blunders came early on and accounted for the only scoring in the first half.
His first mistake was not running up to call a fair catch on a punt, which resulted in the ball hitting a teammate in the leg and a turnover. He dropped his next attempt at the 12-yard line, resulting in another turnover and a second Jets field goal.
“I’m hoping he gets it out of the way in the preseason,” coach John Fox said. “He hasn’t done it before. We’ll continue to work with him. It’s a little different under the lights in an NFL stadium. That’s understandable. We’ll continue to work that and improve it.”
Edwards refused to use the fact that he’s never returned punts in a game as an excuse.
“I caught over 100 punts in training camp, so it’s not an excuse anymore,” Edwards said. “I just got to do a better job of getting under the ball and making sure I catch it.”
Edwards admitted he was nervous last week against Baltimore, but said he felt “very confident” entering this game.
As for the ball he dropped, Edwards said, “Basically what it is, I didn’t get far enough under it and it went through my arms.”
After that mistake he was replaced by Captain Munnerlyn on punt returns.
“I was expecting to get taken out after messing up two punts returns and giving up six points,” he said.
Edwards did a little better at receiver, catching both balls thrown his way for 19 yards.