Has Ron Rivera lost his damn mind? He thinks Byron Bell can replace the former pro bowler Jordan Gross. I don’t know if that is utter disrespect or a scheme to build build confidence he the void left behind by Gross who coined Bell as “eyeore”. Everyone knows that Eyeore was a sweet little donkey that was so slow and kind of incompetent at times. If that is the impression that Bell gives off in the locker room then that is sort of identical to some of the moments he demonstrated on the field.
Bell had flashes at times but when he got beat, he really did get beat. I don’t know what the team is thinking if they are even considering Bell as a replacement. He is too slow, and he doesn’t have the strength to take on the best defensive ends in the league. I don’t think he is athletic enough to seal the edges from pass rushing olb’s so he will need to get his footwork together and better pack a mean punch.
I see a lot of face mask penalties on the horizon if he is put on an island. I would much rather see Bell as a left guard, which would be his most productive position based on him being a natural lefty. Only time will tell, where he lines up in week one.
I personally think Joe Webb is the type of player that the Carolina Panthers need if they have a team like San Francisco or Seattle in their way of making it to the playoffs and if they are to face off with Andrew Luck in the Superbowl. In my opinion Joe is one heck of insurance policy if Cam happens to go down and the team decides to keep the read option game alive and well. Joe and Cam are near identical players and the Panthers have founded a formula for mobile quarterbacks in the league and it went viral.
Joe is a double edge sword. He is likely to be on the scout team to get the defense ready for both teams out west that have become a major problem for defenses to key in on. Not only is Joe similar to Cam, Joe is more of a version of Colin. Jimmy took the scout team as far as he could but Webb would be the player to have Carolina’s defense exactly where they need to be in a game that can be the deciding factor. Signing Webb is a sign that Gettleman believes the team will be a in position to meet one of the NFC west teams in the postseason.
For a minute, I was losing hope in Dave when he let all of the receivers go in lieu of Greg “the Kracken” Hardy. So far, he has done a pretty good job of replacing key players lost in free agency, now only if he can fill in the number one receiver spot of the former agent 89, and the missing piece of left tackle abandoned by Gross, then the team will be able to compete on paper.
The offensive line of the Carolina Panthers has been a topic of discussion by Panthers faithful’s and with good reasons. Edmund Kugbila was the teams first offensive lineman drafted in 2013.
Stew is like “can you block this guy?”
According to Football Outsiders Carolina ranked 14th overall in run blocking and 25th overall in pass protection. Now that Gross has retired, Travelle and Geoff likely gone, the team has a group of young talent left with Amini, Bell, Kugbila, Kalil and Nate with Kalil being the anchor of the young group.
We all know what to expect out of the group except for Edmund who spent some time in college playing tackle and his second year with the second most knockdowns on his team. For some reason or another he was moved to guard and his numbers stepped up quite well his junior year and he helped his team to win a championship. That’s all good and sweet but the concern with him is his performance at the combine.
Edmund combine 40 time was among the slowest of offensive linemen which means his speed will be an advantage in trying to seal the edge as a tackle against elite ends in the league. That means he would have to harness his technique or a heck of a punch at first contact which he will likely fail at due to his endurance and mediocre performance in the bench press. His shuttle time proves that he is closer to the end of pack in recovering if he is beat. He has the perfect size to play guard and tackle but his physical performance shows that he has to be a sound player to win at his position.
It seems as if Kugbila will be a better fit on the strong side of the line where he will have more help from the tight end in strong formations. The Panthers will likely need to run 2 tight end sets in order for Edmund to be successful unless he somehow becomes a technique sound player. By Edmund sitting out due to injury is another indication that he lacks the ability to perform and give the Panthers the edge they have been lacking so long in the run game as well as passing protection. Personally, if the Panthers don’t elect to run 2 tight end formations, Edmund will likely be a depth guy and a career special teamer.
I am pulling for Edmund because he has the physical measurable that offensive linemen need but he lacks in the athletics to become a shining star. I might be wrong but time will tell if Edmund is the juggernaut to assist in keeping Cam in the pocket on a line that is coming off the bottom of the barrel in pass protection and middle of the mill in run blocking.
Although the Panthers lack in a number receiver, I still think the best option is to an offensive lineman in the first round. A receiver at this point of the season will do nothing if Cam doesn’t have the time he needs to wait for separation. The run game will likely suffer as well, which means we will probably see teams camping 8 in the box.
By Mr. CatWalker On February 22nd, 2012 in Drafting
There is a lot of talk going around about whether the Panthers should go with a defensive lineman in the 1st round or a defensive lineman. That’s a very tricky subject so I will reserve the next post to drive my point home.
At first glance it would make sense to work on the defensive line when you base your opinion on teams like the Super Bowl champs the New York Giants and then the other teams like Detroit and Houston it’s easy to get caught up on the d line. However if you look at any of those teams that have a solid core of corners and linebackers that can cover the quick passes. Look at San Francisco, Baltimore, New York (both), Denver and Houston, they have a solid cast of corners and line backers.
I can see where most fans will tout the horn of bringing your best pressure but if all you have is pressure then your team will surely get beat on the quick route in turn will lead to the defense playing 3 man fronts to send an extra db out in coverage. I’m going to say this any team with an average defensive line but top shelf corners and line backers is a recipe for success. The main problem with the Panthers in 2011 wasn’t their defensive line the problem was the line backers and the #2 corner couldn’t hold their position for a 3 count to give the defensive line enough time to get to the quarteback.
Me personally, I can remember quite a few times where Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy almost got to the quarterback in under 3 seconds but the coverage was so below par that the opposing quaterbacks were able to find the open man. I said it before thanks to Pro Football Focus that Captain Munnerlyn was 2nd to last in coverage. To me that would be the main reason to draft a corner with the first pick only because not one of the defensive linemen ranked 2nd to last or in the top 5 worst in the league.
As a person that appreciates the Panthers club, I would much rather have a corner that can help Chris Gamble in coverage and a solid weak side linebacker that can cover space laterally and in coverage. I can’t count how many times the weak linebacker got beat running backs coming out of the back field and in passing plays. Don’t let me get started on tight ends that abused the linebackers on seam routes and in between the hashes.
All of the fans that are calling for the glitter of a stud defensive line will be very sorry once they realize that quarterbacks will dump the ball off to running backs or tight ends in the smoke screen plays and wide outs in the quick slants. A defensive line is only as good as it coverage team. I loved how physical the 49ers linebackers and corners were in te play offs. When the defensive line wasn’t able to get to Drew Brees the linebackers and corners were there ready to lay the wood.
So for all of those fans that are listening to analyst that cover 5 teams without coming up with their opinions this is for you. If your coverage team isn’t there to knock the snot out of a receiver on stay disciplined enough to hit the right gaps in run plays then expect the Panthers to be just as sorry on defense as they were in 2011. If you are a true fan then you would want all of the secondary to be able to cover their man so the team wouldn’t give up the big plays. Remember the secondary is the last line of defense and if they suck then the defense sucks!!!!
By Mr. CatWalker On January 14th, 2012 in Player News
According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer the Carolina Panthers let go of Ron Meeks who was the Panthers defensive coordinator in 2009 and 2010 then was demoted to db coach in 2011 when Ron Rivera was hired as defensive coordinator. It’s true the secondary was close to being weak in 2011 but I would consider that as a result of the weak push from the defensive lines interior.
Rivera brought in Steve Wilks who was the secondary coach in San Diego under Rivera. The Chargers had a decent secondary better than the Panthers at least but in order for the secondary in Carolina to step it up they need to draft a corner in the first round. Then they can use the drafted corner as the #2 and put Captain back in his rightful position as the nickel back.
By Mr. CatWalker On December 31st, 2011 in Drafting
After reading all types of message boards you think the dire need for the Carolina Panthers in the 2012 draft would be a defensive tackle. Before the 2 rookies McClain and Fua went down for the year I would say that the team does need a solid NT but a few weeks later I think the Panthers have a done a wondering job piecing together a make shift line. They are able to retain Neblett, Shirley and Kearse and Applewhite then they are set on the defensive line.
The glaring needs on the team to me are a weakside linebacker, a #2 corner and an impact wide receiver. If I had my choice I would go with an impact corner that can play coverage and solid in run defense support. The corner would have to be ready to start immediately. However the next glaring need which would be my second choice of a first round pick would be a will back. The Carolina Panthers desperately need a weak line backer that has the speed to cover a running back coming out the weak side in flat and the physical ability to cover a tight end and stuff the run.
The Panthers have been getting crushed all year by running backs run screens to the weak side and gashing the team for massive yards. Even Michael Turner of the Atlanta Falcons came out the back field running fast as turtle and no line backer could close the gap of seperation. The only way the team could catch Turner who probably runs a 4.6 was when a small safety could redirect him for a line backer to finally catch him.
In the NFL if you don’t have a weak side line backer with speed teams will use their backs in the screen and tight ends in the seam to bail them out in 3rd down situations and if your defense can’t ever get off the field then no matter how the secondary is playing they will tire out and lose effectiveness. I’m willing to jump out and say the Panthers should improve their offense with drafting a solid wide out in the 2nd round. Last year I was laughed at when I said the Panthers should have drafted Victor Cruz with thei 4th round draft and a year later he is an impact player for the New York Giants.
I know the Panthers have Smitty, LaFell, Gettis and Naanee but Naanee isn’t that impact player and teams like the Saints and Packers have like 4-5 go to receivers that can gash the defense but right now the Panthers only have 2 with LaFell and Smitty. When Gettis gets back year it could take him a whole season to get his technique back but in 2013 I know he will be solid. In the mean time the Panthers need to win a Super Bowl and the teams that have won the past 2 Bowls had 4-5 go to receivers with a good rotation to keep them all fresh so that’s something the Carolina Panthers need to take into consideration.
In the 4th round I’m okay with the team picking up a corner back that can play special teams while they groom him to become a #2. Right now they don’t have a #2 corner just a bunch of nickel backs playing out of position. In the 5th round I want them to play around with an offensive line that can play tackle on an island both sides at that. If the lineman can play on an island he wouldn’t need much help with double teams leaving the guards to seal the interior which would buy Cam more time.
Plus with a 5th round olineman he will have time to develop also the Panthers have too much money tied on the line and somebody has to go. Schwartz will be back which would leave Hangartner as the odd man out. Although I would love the retain Hangartner it is just highly unlikely.
With the 6th round pick I would play around with another line backer just to see if more depth could be added. I’m more than happy with the way James Anderson has played so the 6th line backer would more than likely be a middle line backer back up since Dan Connor wants to test his value on the market. I’m not a big Connor fan anyways because he shows that he can hit the gaps but he takes wrong angles when it is time to stuff a running back. Plus he is too slow and is a liability in passing situations.
By Mr. CatWalker On December 29th, 2011 in Player News
Everyone knows that Cam Newton has broken record after record and will likely break another record in the upcoming game against the New Orleans Saints. Even though Cam didn’t get to cement a spot in the Pro Bowl, the respect that he is getting from players in the league as well as other leagues is simply amazing.
Cam Newton showed up at the Miami Heat vs the Charlotte Bobcats last night, and during the last minutes of the game Dwayne Wade and LeBron James gave Cam his due respect by doing Newtons should be patented superman celebration. Some fans saw it as a form of disrespect since the Heat beat the Bobcats at home but that isn’t how I took. I took it as a show of respect that superstars like LeBron and Dwayne recognize the potential of Cam Newton to soon become a megastar. I am not sure how NFL players show up to games but I can almost guarantee that no NBA player has given a game time shout out to an NFL player. Normally NBA players do celebrations to mock other NBA players but to give a player a shout during prime time is huge.
I am glad that the Carolina Panthers decided to draft Cam Newton with the #1 pick.
By Mr. CatWalker On December 29th, 2011 in Player News
With the talent that is on the Carolina Panthers squad it’s hard for anyone that follows the team to understand how 2 players didn’t make the pro bowl. The 2 players are Cam Newton and Chris Gamble. As everyone already knows Cam has broken multiple NFL records such as rookie passing yards, all purposr touchdowns by a rookie, rushing touchdowns and there may be more.
Cam is also leading the league in plays for 20 or yards and he is on pace to break another record being the only quarterback to pass for more than 4,000 yards while rushing for over 500 yards. For all of the awesome things he has done it is a tough to pill to swallow that he won’t be in Hawaii playing in the game.
Chris Gamble is another player that should get his due. I guess Chris hasn’t gotten his props because he is a quiet guy but come on the guy has been a stud all year long. Opposing quarterbacks tend to forget about thei number receiver when Gamble is manned up against them. He has only given up 1 touchdown all year and that was against Tampa Bay during the first game when Carolina was already ensured the win.
Also only behind Revis quarterbacks have the lowest rating when throwing a ball in Gambles direction. To be in the same conversation as Revis and to unthrone Nnamdi, Gamble has done some awesome things this year.
I guess the only thing that held both players back was their winning record which was their faults by a long shot. The early losses can be attributed to the defensive line and line backer groups as well as the special teams unit in all 4 phases. It sucks that the mishap of certain areas of the team to hold back their national attention.
So this post is dedicated to Chirs Gamble and Cam Newton.
By Mr. CatWalker On December 29th, 2011 in Player News
There has been a lot hoopla around whether or not Drew Brees will start in week 17 against the Carolina Panthers in the finale of the regular season. Sean Payton the head coach of the New Orleans Saints said that Brees is going to start the game. Whether Brees finishes the game only time will tell.
With the first week bye in the play offs it would be very dumb for the Saints to sit Drew Brees out. Had the 49ers not been right on the heels of New Orleans Brees probably would sit out. I am glad he is starting because I want to see what the Carolina Panthers can do against the 2nd established quarterback if they get the win. The only other established that the Carolina Panthers pull out a win was against Josh Freeman last week. The Panthers defense did a remarkable job keeping Freeman off balance.
In week 17 Drew will not follow the birdie so the game this Sunday will serve as a litmus of what the Carolina Panthers can do on defense
I respect Roddy White as a player but he seems to be very confident in running back Michael Turner when the Atlanta Falcons play the Carolina Panthers. White should feel good about what Turner has done but with the way his numbers looked last game, White should be focusing on his game. I can understand White’s perspective because he was an absolute mute before Michael Turner came to the Falcons.
Algae Crumpler was the big boy on campus but fast forward a few years and now Roddy has a mouth piece. It’s funny because some of the Falcons biggest fans wanted him off of the team. This might sound like a Roddy White hate fest but it’s not. White has forgotten that he wasn’t a factor because he used to have butter fingers and it seems like this year he might have put some baby oil on his hands as well because he is getting back to form when Michael Vick was in town. With that said the reason why Roddy White had an article dedicated to him is because of these statements speaking of Michael Turner “He’s going to be real big, especially this week,” White said. “He’s had a lot of success against these guys. We always get off to a good start and get the ball in his hands. He opens up the play action pass for us. In this game, it’s really crucial to get him off to a really, really good start, just let him pound those guys for a little while then throw it over their heads. He’s going to be a real focal point this week.
White was done there he added “Hey, we might run it 50 times. I don’t know if he’s going to have 50 carries, but we might run it 50 times.”
Whenever there is a receiver that is saying a running back for their team might run it 50 times, he is either not feeling he is playing good ball or the quarterback isn’t vapable of getting it done. Or maybe that is what the coaches are feeling. I’m glad our receivers aren’t looking forward to our 2 running backs carrying the ball 50 times. Atlanta fans should be bothered by that statement especially from a receiver that almost lead the league in receiving yards.