Carolina Panthers: Five Moves to Turn Around 2014 Season
Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
The Carolina Panthers’ 2014 season has been full of emotional highs and lows, but mostly frustration. Seven games in, and the Panthers’ starters are in need of a slight retooling. With a few tweaks to the roster, I believe the Panthers can improve their overall lineups, and return to the front of the class in the NFC.
The Panthers have failed in several key areas thus far in 2014.
The trenches have been brutal for the Panthers’ offensive line. Protecting Cam Newton and opening holes for the running backs has been a weekly failure. Ryan Kalil has been surrounded with rookies, undrafted players and journeymen backups that have proven to be incapable of doing their jobs.
Carolina’s receivers have been inconsistent all year.
Kelvin Benjamin has overachieved, but is only a rookie, and continues to make mistakes. The Panthers are without a downfield threat or speedy receiver, which is an important dimension to a successful offense.
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Cam Newton has the arm to launch the rock deep, but without a viable option on the receiving end of it, Carolina is doing Newton an injustice.
Defensively, Charles Johnson needs a running mate on the opposite end. Greg Hardy was that man, but Hardy has been inactive since game two.
Adding a compliment that can ease the burden on CJ’s shoulders would go a long way in the defense’s production. Getting a competent run-stopper and adequate all-around DE could help return the Panthers’ pass-rush to form, which would also alleviate the pressure on the Carolina secondary.
Speaking of secondary, the defensive backs have had a rough year keeping offenses off the field, and out of the end zone.
Players like Roman Harper, Antoine Cason and the recently-released Charles Godfrey, have either been really good, or really bad in 2014. Adding a confident coverage DB to this unit would help solidify an inconsistent, and porous secondary.
According to Spotrac’s salary cap tracker, Carolina has $6M in cap space avaialable. Let’s take a look at five potential moves that could help alleviate the problematic areas on this Carolina Panthers’ roster.