4 ways Carolina Panthers can improve on offense in 2021
By Dean Jones
How can the Carolina Panthers improve from an offensive standpoint in 2021 after showing some encouraging signs under first-year coordinator Joe Brady?
It proved to be a season of what-ifs for the Carolina Panthers in 2020. There is plenty to work with from a talent perspective – although a lack of experience in key moments came back to haunt them. So if they can get their recruitment right and make the necessary adjustments to their scheme during the offseason, bigger and better things should be in the team’s future.
Not only did the Panthers go into the campaign with little in the way of established veterans on the roster. But it’s easy to forget that Carolina’s coaching staff also had no play-calling experience at the next level.
Some growing pains were evident from all at certain points. Joe Brady was not immune to this and although the Panthers’ offensive coordinator received plenty of head coaching interviews earlier this year, one more year in his current role is probably the best possible solution for all parties.
If Brady continues to improve as a coordinator, then a head coaching opportunity might follow in 2022. With this in mind, what ways could the Panthers improve on offense next season with the talent at their disposal?
Improve the protection
One area where the Panthers need to get better is from a protection standpoint. There were some nice moments during the season that cannot be ignored, but things must improve if Carolina wants to take that next step and enter the playoff discussion in 2021.
All five players who started this season have some doubts about their future. Taylor Moton, Chris Reed, Russell Okung, and John Miller are all out of contract, with center Matt Paradis also facing the prospect of an early release to free-up some additional funds in the current climate.
Getting Moton tied down is priority No. 1. The stud right tackle is one of the best around at what he does and the Panthers need to pay him accordingly. But there is a case to be made for the organization to ring the changes elsewhere.
This is a deep class of incoming offensive linemen in the 2021 NFL Draft. It would be wise for Carolina to take full advantage of this and the prospect of bringing in another proven veteran who can make an immediate impact is also a possibility.