With less than a month to go until Training Camp kicks off in Spartanburg, SC, we are curious how you think the 2014 roster stacks up against the 2013 version. Lots of storylines swirled this offseason as veterans departed, rookies were drafted and free agents were signed.
There’s a whole new clan of receivers for Newton to toss darts to, as well as an intriguing backfield. Throw in a restructured offensive line and some promising young talent on the interior, and it’s quite possible that the offense we see in ’14 will be more entertaining and productive than that of the 2013 team.
The Panthers return the entire front seven, including a healthy Chase Blackburn to the linebacking corps. There is depth all along the line, and rookie Kony Ealy will be introduced slowly, yet play an important role. The secondary talent is a repeat of last year, just with different names on the back of their jersey. Melvin White is still starting at corner, and the remaining players are free agents brought in off the bargain rack, along with a couple of very promising rookies.
The coaching staff remains intact, though an interesting curve ball was thrown earlier this Spring. John Ramsdell was brought in as a Senior Offensive Assistant. Mike Shula is still the OC, but Ramsdell’s expertise with developing QBs and knowledge of the “Air Coryell” system is a brilliant move.
The schedule that was released is full of ebb and flows throughout 2014. They open the season with five very winnable games, before heading into a rough five-game stretch starting in Cincinnati, and ending in Philadelphia. There is a favorable week 12 bye, and then wrap up the season with several games that are equally losable as they are winnable.
Many in the mainstream media think that we were fortunate to have gone 12-4 last season. A few bad bounces or penalties being called, and we could have been 9-7. By the same token, if we didn’t let Buffalo march down the field in week two, or if we don’t fumble in week one against the Seahawks, we could also be staring at a different season.
So Cat Cravers, scanning the schedule and seeing the roster that is assembled for our Panthers, what do you think the final win total for the Carolina Panthers will be in 2014? Did we overachieve in 2013?