Carolina Panthers

Poor Coaching? Poor Execution? Why Not Both!

carolina panthers

The Carolina Panthers are not a good football team. Months removed from a 15-1 season and Superbowl appearance, they are a shell of what they were. Last year the Panthers were a team full of excitement, exuberance, and passion. This year seems to be lacking in all three. Instead the Panthers look unprepared, uninspired. and uninterested.

So who is to blame for this strange turn of events? Are the players responsible for not adequately performing? Or are the coaches responsible for the lack of discipline and poor play?

Answer: Sadly, it is both.

The sloppy play by the players is easy enough to identify. We have seen it week in and week out ever since the preseason. From senseless penalties to blown coverages and missed field goals, the Carolina Panthers look more like the Cleveland Browns.

As an example, I submit to you the following play on a crucial 3rd and 1.

From the i-formation, lead blocker Mike Tolbert appears to do what can only be described as a pirouette. Fantastic if this was Dancing with the Stars (which by the way I would love to see Tolbert be a contestant on). But in terms of football and his responsibility, this is a zero. Less than a zero if you consider the lost yardage on the play.

So, this is Tolbert’s fault, right? Well, yes and no. The issue gets cloudy when expectations come into play. Carolina Panthers fans have been talking about Tolbert’s poor blocking all season long. It is common knowledge. One can only assume that the Panthers’ coaching staff realizes this as well.

So the question then becomes “why does Mike Shula expect Tolbert to make this block when he has demonstrated otherwise time and time again?” Isn’t that setting the offense up for failure even before the ball is snapped? Is that fair to Tolbert or the team?

At some point the Carolina Panthers coaching staff has to point their finger back at themselves. Are they calling the plays that best suit the current strengths of their players? Or are they sticking to the same old tired plays and simply hoping for the best. I think the answer here is clear. The Panthers coaching staff is unable to adjust and bring out the best of what their players can offer. Some might call that the very definition of good coaching.

In short, don’t point a finger at either the players or the coaching staff. Instead, raise both hands and point at both. They are equally responsible for this sad state of affairs.




  1. Matt

    October 11, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Fingers need to be pointed all the way up the chain then. Richardson is probably the most at fault. We’ve seen the same crap for over 2 decades. He’s a cheapskate! You don’t get cheap during your super bowl window!! Sprinkle in a few good seasons here and there so you don’t lose fans. I’ve been in denial until this season. We are one of those teams that’ll always be held back by a cheap owner. Sitting up in that booth, and can’t even crack a fucking smile. Because he lied to us and he knows it!!! It’s all about money, and he doesn’t give a damn about winning!!

  2. Karen B

    October 11, 2016 at 9:56 am

    What I don’t get is that the Panthers coaches seemed to excel last season in making lemons into lemonade… they got an amazing season out of a fairly shaky group of WRs, an Oline with some vulnerabilities (at Tackle), lots of injuries at CB, necessitating bringing in players off the couch…

    If they did it last year, how / why can’t they do it this year? What has changed? Over-confidence? Less talent? Harder schedule? Boredom? Disillusionment after the two crushing losses to the Broncos? Internal strife in the team that we don’t know about? I just don’t know..

  3. Gettleman Isajoke

    October 11, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Time to face facts Jeremy, Gettleman constructed a very weak team, this record is a reflection of the talent on the team. When you spend your top drafts picks on positions not needed, and refuse to bring in free agents that could easily help the team than you are going to get lapped by the rest of the league. He is obviously not a good drafter for a guy that hopes to do everything solely through the draft. Funchess was never even a WR, none of the 3 cbs he took this year were even ranked in the top 250. The butler pick strapped the team elsewhere. He hit early with Star, Short, and Kelvin but that’s it. What about all the FA’s he passes up on, chris long, terelle pryor (could have got him for nothing last year), marvin jones, chris ivory, casey hayward. All of these guys would have been great additions but Gettleman and Richardson were too cheap to even make a bid and have more cap space than anyone.

    Not only could he have kept Norman tagged, but Norman offered to take the cheaper long term deal that was offered at the last minute but again, Gettleman’s ego got in the way and let him walk.

  4. Pingback: Panthers Articles You Want To Read For October 15, 2016 | Panthers - NFC South Daily | Carolina Panthers Blog

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