Panthers News: Frank Reich, Raheem Blackshear, offseason grade and NFC South hopes

Raheem Blackshear
Raheem Blackshear / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers won't win the NFC South

As previously stated, optimism is higher than it's been in a while where the Carolina Panthers are concerned. Most sportsbooks have the over/under at 7.5 wins currently, but many in the regional and national media are projecting Frank Reich's men to become a dark horse postseason challenger if everything goes better than anticipated.

Again, expecting miracles right away is asking for trouble. The Panthers are working towards a long-term goal with a future Super Bowl in mind, but any talk of completely rebuilding has been quashed by players and staff alike throughout the offseason.

Expectations might be high, but these should be tempered until further notice. This was a sentiment echoed by J.T. Olson from Yardbarker, who has high hopes for Carolina moving forward - even if it might not come with an NFC South title in 2023.

"I respect this Panthers team. They seem to be heading in a very positive direction and fans should feel optimistic….but they shouldn’t hold their breath for this season. While they have no obvious weakness, they also have no great strength. As someone who believes that teams with elite strengths win in this league, that makes it very difficult for me to buy into the Panthers winning anything in 2023. Next year might be a different story as this promising young core continues to develop. Next year I might even view the Panthers as the team to beat in the NFC South. However, next year is a long way away when you are hoping to win now."

J.T. Olsen, Yardbarker

It's hard to gauge what the Panthers' ceiling might be with a first-year quarterback, scheme changes, and plenty of new personnel all adjusting at the same time. There isn't a better coaching staff around to smooth the transition, but that doesn't guarantee success when it's time for players to cross the gridiron.