December 4, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) talks with quarterback coach Mike Shula (right) during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Carolina Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-19. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Expectations for the 2013-2014 season

Looking back at the 2012 season, we all can remember the high expectations Ryan Kalil had. Taking an ad out of the newspaper and proclaiming that this team could win the Super Bowl, it seemed pretty outlandish to say the least. But I have to admit, when I saw that, I was one of the people who thought it could come true. I mean, Cam’s second season with Chudzinski calling the plays should scare any opposing defense. Also our defense looked fierce bringing in a rookie tackling machine to complement our monster line backing group. Then the season started, and as we progressed through the 2012 season it seemed that expectation was fading away after every week. Some key players got injured on both sides of the ball. While the players who stepped up when their number was called did an adamant job, especially Kuechly in the middle linebacker position, it just wasn’t the same team that had the expectation of a Super Bowl ring. So some might say, the 2012 season was a wash, but we did improve from the previous year only by 1 win. A small improvement, but some progress isn’t measured in wins and losses rather in the experience that goes along with the year.

Sep 16, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) reacts after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter with center Ryan Kalil (67). The Panthers defeated the Saints 35-27 at Bank of America Stadium . Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With all that being said, what should we expect for the upcoming 2013 season? I haven’t seen another ad coming across the wire for us being Super Bowl bound, although I personally think it’s logical expectation. I know it might be a long shot and there are plenty of questions on both sides of the ball. With Chudzinski leaving to coach the Browns, we have Shula moving to the Offensive coordinator position. How quickly will he gel with Cam and how will he call a game is all an unknown until Sept. 8th, and beyond. With a little shift possible on the O-line, the offense isn’t much different from the start of last season. On the other side of the ball its going to be a noticeable change to about every line of defense. Star should man the middle, but who is beside him? The linebackers have moved around with Kuechly staying in the middle, and Thomas and Beason on either side. Then comes our secondary, probably our biggest unknown on our team this year. With Gamble getting cut and bringing in a couple new faces, I believe the secondary will have the biggest hill to climb to help lead us to success. The thought process behind helping out our secondary wasn’t to bring in the best talent at the position, rather to beef up the front d-line in hopes that they could work together. That’s what builds a championship caliber team, teamwork and trust. This has been the approach of Gettleman since taking over the GM position. Maybe that is what we lacked all along in the front office, a little common sense. Not doing what’s viewed as most popular, rather doing the simple things that will get us to our desired destination. Getting back to the basics, winning the battles upfront and allowing their success to trickle down.

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