Evaluating the Carolina Panthers


Now that our season has been over for a while, and I’ve had time to really look at the stats and video, I can evaluate how the Panthers performed.

The main focus of course will be the defense. The squad is a shadow of what it was on day one. The loss of key players, and back-ups, made it near impossible for Carolina to have a fighting chance. Naturally, I evaluate the most outstanding players on both sides of the ball. Once we had the moral victory bull out of our system, we, as fans, were able to see Carolina for what they really are: the future of the NFL. So, check back after the break if you care to see my overall evaluations, and what we can do to fix any problems.

Line-Backers: B+

You may think I’m crazy for giving them a B+. I know exactly what you are thinking: They didn’t perform all year, and Beason and Davis were hurt. Well, with what they had to work with, seeing aas Marty Hurney doesn’t believe in mid-season signings obviously, they did okay. Jordan Senn surprised me when I saw him live in Houston. James Anderson proved that he should get almost as much money as Jon Beason. Overall, the core has some growing to do, but they will be fine next season.

Defensive Backs: C+

I just don’t think that Captain has the makings of a starter. He’s too short, and he is getting beat on a constant basis. Chris Gamble, Sherrod Martin, and Charles Godfrey managed to hold big names to small games, and played like they always do: amazing. I expect the Panthers to draft a DB with the 8th/9th overall pick.

Defensive Line: C

When Carolina revealed that a small 3rd round draft pick would start on the line, I knew there would be problems against the run. Then they decided to start 2 rookies on the line I immediately knew the Panthers would have trouble winning games. The Panthers had a few sleepers this season when Antwan Applewhite and Neblett stepped up and performed when they had a chance. Charles Johnson was able to lead the d-line, and looked very good doing it. Expect the Panthers to try and find a solid DT in the draft or free agency.

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends: A-

Their success may be an effect left behind by Cam Newton, but the additions of Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey, in coalition with the renewed Steve Smith, made Carolina have one of the most dangerous passing games in the league. The only problem presented to this group is: Who is #2? Many will say Brandon LaFell, but I don’t see him as an effective #2. Maybe, David Gettis can do this when he comes back next season, but I don’t know about him either. I firmly believe that if Justin Blackmon drops to the Panthers in the draft, they HAVE to draft him.

Running Backs: B-

I watched in horror as D-Will failed to live up to his monster contract during the first few weeks of the season. I was one of the thousands calling for J-Stew to start as he was more productive at the time. Once Chud realized Carolina could blast opponents with a run attack, Williams productivity popped up. Overall the Panthers are perfect at RB, because with the addition of Cam Newton, the Panthers can produce almost 2k yards rushing a season.

Offensive Line: C+

When news broke that Geoff Schwartz was injured, I knew Cam Newton’s ability to run would come in handy. Then Otah was hurt again, and Byron Bell was forced to step up. Needless to say, Bell is a rookie and needs work. I for one believe it is time to cut ties with Otah. They are paying him too much money for him to sit over half a season for what seems like a decade. I would like the Panthers to draft Matt Kalil if he falls to #8/#9, but I doubt that will happen. So, Carolina needs to do some research and find a 2nd round gem.

Quarterback: A+

I’m not going in depth with this once, because we have done enough ranting and raving about Cam Newton, and we all know his stats. Now I will say, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Carolina do draft a QB in the 7th round, or sign an undrafted free agent. Before you freak on me, hear me out. Derek Anderson was a great mentor for a rookie, but now we need someone who can step up in the event that Cam gets hurt. We know Clausen can’t do it, so why not take a QB with a running ability, and throw him in if Cam gets hurt.

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Tags: Brandon LaFell Byron Bell Cam Newton Carolina Panthers Charles Johnson David Gettis DeAngelo Williams Geoff Schwartz Greg Olsen Jeff Otah Jeremy Shockey Jonathan Stewart Legedu Naanee Steve Smith

  • pantherINSIDER

    Our linebackers are hard to grade due to the play of our d line inability to get pressure on opposing qb’s, james anderson is a bright spot ill say that.

    In total agreement with your DB breakdown . Needs upgrading but at this point I don’t wanna use our 8 or 9 spot due to my biased opinion on trading down. Done right we could drastically upgrade the entire defense not just one area.

    Probably will raise eyebrows here but im gonna say it. We need jonathan Stewart on the field more than D will. He’s a better short yardage back which the panthers seem to call the majority of running plays. We just simply can’t maximize both rb’s full potential so why tie up cap money on two stud backs. Were getting Stewart cheap right now but that’s gonna change.

    Want some more brow popping ok get ready ;
    Mr beason is extremely overrated, make no mistake it has nothing to do with getting injured I assure you. I rate every position on game changing ability and go from there. Pat Willis, Ray Lewis are game changers .

    Same with Charles Johnson, Chris Gamble.

    We have two “GC” Cam and Smitty.

    Having said that we need draft picks not dre kirpatrick!!

  • pantherINSIDER

    Our linebackers are hard to grade due to the play of our d line inability to get pressure on opposing qb’s, james anderson is a bright spot ill say that.

    In total agreement with your DB breakdown . Needs upgrading but at this point I don’t wanna use our 8 or 9 spot due to my biased opinion on trading down. Done right we could drastically upgrade the entire defense not just one area.

    Probably will raise eyebrows here but im gonna say it. We need jonathan Stewart on the field more than D will. He’s a better short yardage back which the panthers seem to call the majority of running plays. We just simply can’t maximize both rb’s full potential so why tie up cap money on two stud backs. Were getting Stewart cheap right now but that’s gonna change.

    Want some more brow popping ok get ready ;
    Mr beason is extremely overrated, make no mistake it has nothing to do with getting injured I assure you. I rate every position on game changing ability and go from there. Pat Willis, Ray Lewis are game changers .

    Same with Charles Johnson, Chris Gamble.

    We have two “GC” Cam and Smitty.

    Having said that we need draft picks not dre kirpatrick!!

  • PSU_EQ

    @pantherINSIDER In regard to J-Stew, I agree he is a good back in short-yardage situations. He’s a bigger build than Williams. In that, the Panthers kind of have a divers one-two punch in Williams and Stewart; kind of like the Giants have in Brandon Jacobs (Stewart) and Ahmad Bradshaw (Williams). I would like to see a good mix of the two when possible next season.

  • PSU_EQ

    @pantherINSIDER In regard to J-Stew, I agree he is a good back in short-yardage situations. He’s a bigger build than Williams. In that, the Panthers kind of have a divers one-two punch in Williams and Stewart; kind of like the Giants have in Brandon Jacobs (Stewart) and Ahmad Bradshaw (Williams). I would like to see a good mix of the two when possible next season.