Carolina Panthers deep dive: Following the Rams' blueprint for success

The Carolina Panthers need to copy the pre-Sean McVay Los Angeles Rams.

Sean McVay
Sean McVay / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers have light at the end of the tunnel

Hopefully, the Carolina Panthers can follow the same path. Back in 2016, the Los Angeles Rams were searching for their next quarterback of the future. Veteran coach Jeff Fisher was at the helm trying to bring some respectability back to the franchise. During the 2016 NFL Draft, they traded up to the No. 1 and took Jared Goff.

Drafting a rookie signal-caller is quite encouraging. Especially when they're taken as high as Goff and Bryce Young were. However, there's always the other side of not hitting on that quarterback - that sets the franchise back for years.

During Goff's rookie season, there wasn't a lot to like. He started seven games and went 0-7 as the starter, throwing for five touchdowns against seven interceptions.

The Rams as a team went 4-12 that year and didn't have a first-round pick. It wasn't looking too bright. On the roster, Los Angeles had solid talent on defense and also boasted good-not-great talent on offense.

Their skill players on offense included Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, Brian Quick, Lance Kendricks, and Todd Gurley. It was a group of veteran players who were all best suited in "sidekick" roles rather than being featured pieces of an offense.

Defensively, they could rely on players like a young Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn, Alec Ogletree, Trumaine Johnson, and Lamarcus Joyner. Not bad, right?

At points in their careers, each of these players was very good. Donald has been a Pro Football Hall of Fame athlete for years. The roster had talent but needed a bit more juice, which brings me to the part of the story where things start making sense.