Going into the start of the season high hopes abounded as to how deep
into the playoffs we could go. Those thoughts have been rocked, but can
they be regained? Let’s break down concerns and see what, if anything,
can be done to turn them around.
Prior to the draft the concerns were improving pressure on the opposing
quarterback, a true number 2 receiver, right tackle and protecting Cam Newton,
special team play and the defensive secondary. We now know that most of
these concerns still exist. It looks like Brandon LaFell may work out as the
number 2 receiver. Pressure on the quarterback will probably plague us the
rest of the season and if that happens quarterbacks will set back as did
Eli Manning and continue to pick us apart. They decided to leave right
tackle to an undrafted player, Byron Bell, backed up by an often injured
Garry Williams and both are being targeted repeatedly. Our special team
play is awful and each week there’s a different set of problems. The secondary
makes no sense with the only attempt to improve it was drafting Josh Norman.
After what Manning did to him, watch for it to happen week after week.
Do we blame the players or management and the coaching staff? Management
(Marty Hurney) knew these concerns and we looked to him to bring in players
to shore up these positions, but did he do it? Our new coaching staff is led by
a former defensive coordinator, Ron Rivera, and backed up by Josh McDermott.
Our current defensive concerns should have already been addressed, but they
seem incapable. Once a game gets under way they seem impossible to make
in-game corrections. Now players are contesting each other rather than the
players hearing it from the coaching staff.
So what’s next? Possible remedies could include things such as protecting Cam
by bringing back Jeremy Shockey to give the right tackle position additional help
on that side. Addressing the secondary by making a trade before the deadline
for a better corner and the staff not letting the secondary play so far off the ball
would help. As far as the defensive line can they find help better than what they
have currently available? Probably not, so this comes down to the coaching staff
and their game plans. Special team mistakes are correctable. Marty made a
mistake in drafting Joe Adams who, even though he ran back 4 touchdowns in
college, fumbled 11 times. He should have known better. There are better
return players out there on practice squads, but he will have to admit his
mistake and correct it.
I’m not ready to throw in the towel because things could turn around, but now
in a long week it’s time to get started. Let’s give them the rest of the season
and if there’s no improvement, then changes should happen.
Topics: Carolina Panthers