5 crucial observations from the Carolina Panthers 2022 season

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Chris Tabor /

Chris Tabor and James Campen were Carolina Panthers MVPs

There are two important words when it comes to any team.

Coaching matters.

It certainly mattered in two critical areas which were special teams and offensive line play. These are two areas the Carolina Panthers struggled with during the dreadful 2021 campaign.

Matt Rhule gets plenty of flack and rightfully so. However, the two best moves he made as head coach were bringing in special teams coordinator Chris Tabor and offensive line coach James Campen.

What were originally flaws became strengths in 2022. Tabor’s unit finished fourth on Rick Gosselin’s rankings for the season, thanks in part to the last-minute addition of kicker Eddy Pinerio and the offseason acquisition of All-Decade punter Johnny Hekker.

Plus, the Panthers led the league in field goals blocked per game.

Campen on the other hand has received high praise from fans, together with local and national media alike. As previously mentioned a couple of slides ago, the Panthers had one of the worst offensive lines in football in 2021. Fast forward to this moment in time, and the unit is among the NFL’s most improved position groups.

The former Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans offensive line coach oversaw the development of Ikem Ekwonu and helped coach a solidified group that could see future Pro Bowlers with further development.

When the Panthers needed a block on special teams or good pass protection in crucial moments, Tabor and Campen’s groups came up big. Whoever becomes Carolina’s next head coach needs to keep these two on staff and allow them to continue their exceptional work.

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