I have seen Todman forget when he is suppose to be on the field and run to the wrong hole multiple times. Not just missing blocks. He would have been cut 2 weeks ago if he answered to Belichick. As for Wegher they punished him the most of any back in the preseason tonight. They repeatedly tossed him into the A gap and Skipper told him not to bounce it outside after the first run he bounced outside. They have not done that to any RB the entire preseason. CAP lives on finding his own hole and not the designated one. Todman runs it east to west looking for a crease. And I discount draw plays because those are gimmick runs trying to catch the defense sleeping on 3rd and long. Really no work by the RB. It is there or it isn't - all dependent on the defense. Wegher has been the only RB that has looked good in the red zone with the defense crowding the running game - just wish we saw Wegher against the 1st team defense for 3 to 5 carries.
They kept running Wegher through the A gap. Almost like they were punishing him by running him through the heart of the defense over and over and over again. Looked like he was spoken to when he popped a run outside for a big gain. Toss the kid a draw (not up the A gap), or a screen, or an off tackle run. I believe I saw him spitting up blood. Maybe the coaches are so stubborn they do not want their RBs running to daylight, but rather following blockers who cannot move bodies. Maybe it has never been the RBs, but the coaches who have created these running game issues. Take what the defense gives you has always been my motto. Scrap the play if the blockers in front of you cannot open the hole - at that point it is a broken play. No need to run into a wall when the play breaks down with the blocking so you can say you ran to the correct hole. Too much micro managing from the coaches.
That was a draw play on 3rd and long. Not a straight up run. Caught the defense sleeping. The typical Todman run is when he gets blown up behind the LoS. Still waiting fo CAP to show he is physical and not simply a dancer. Defenders square up with CAP and he folds to the ground. He is not going to replace Stewart until he can create yards with some power. His chance near the end zone said it all. Same issue at Auburn. Very impressed wih the OL tonight.
You mean struggling during the games where the Panthers are starting or subbing in Fozzy Whitaker, Brenton Bersin, Corey Brown, Andrew Norwell, Mike Remmers, Nate Chandler, Wes Horton, Mario Addison, Colin Cole, Dean Marlowe, Carrington Byndom, and Adarius Glanton? The UDFA squad! I am positive they are not going to make for some poor match ups the other team will try to exploit. Scary thing is they all have a strong possibility of starting at some point in the season. By 2017, the Panthers will be sporting all udfa depth at this rate.
1 reception for 5 yards in the preseason. Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess have more, and they just played in the first game. Philly has had 3 games. Opportunity to send a message to the team early if it more of the same in game 4 of the preseason.
So far in the preseason, Norwell and Turner have made several mental mistakes in their blocking assignments for the run game. Less than impressive. Norwell has been slow off the line and looks lost while going for another blocker's assignment at times (seemingly forgetting the play). Turner has been taking bad angles consistently on the second level blocks allowing defenders a path to the runner/hole. Cam sold out to try and score against the Dolphins. Norwell and Turner can be seen casually walking in the direction of Cam's run allowing the DB to run by them and stop Cam at the goal line. Norwell gives up on his DL when the play breaks down and Cam runs. Norwell's man is the one who disrupts Cam's running lane down the sideline. From a blocking standpoint this is the difference between scoring a TD and scoring a FG. If your QB is selling out, you as the OL better sell out. Releasing your man to watch Cam run the ball is unacceptable. Their pass blocking has been okay in preseason. Both messed up against the Pats with Turner looking the wrong way blocking no one with the stunt running by him to Cam and Norwell getting pushed into Cam's lap. Cam got killed on that play. Norwell has been good in goal line blocking, but Turner kept getting beat and found himself on the ground way too often - even on his back. Man beasts of destruction and mayhem is not quite what I have seen in the preseason. Maybe in practice against the 2nd team defense. They need more discipline and drive on the field - especially in the running game and broken plays.
When they both complete a full season as starters, Trai proves he can be a force in the running game, KK proves he can consistently stop the run, and they rank alongside a Ryan Kalil or Charles Johnson, then I will elevate them. Until then they are just a fan fantasy with visions of all pro in your head. Gaines started 21 games in 3 seasons, and Jeff King started 62 games in 5 years. Both were key in the run blocking game for the 2005 and the 2008 Panthers teams. I could even argue they run block better than Trai at this point in his career. The TEs were essentially guards who could catch the ball under John Fox.
So, drafting 5 mediocre players you force into starting roles by default > drafting 2 All pro starters. The NFL Draft is about filling a teams roster out for 4 to 5 years with a constant 40 players to keep a team sustainable and competitive. You will always have starters from a 53 man roster every Sunday. The quality of the depth drafted will determine the quality of a teams starters over an entire season. Placing equal value on a mediocre starter like Trai Turner compared to an all pro starter like Ryan Kalil is ridiculous. If Trai goes down his replacement is not a huge drop off. If Kalil goes down the entire OL is in trouble. Also, Hurney had his hand in drafting 13 pro bowl players for this team - 6 of them were not drafted in the first round. I believe he will add 1 or 2 more to that list before his players have all retired from the game. Hurney headed up the draft for the Panthers since 1998 (15 drafts). He took the GM title when Seifert left in 2002. Hurney has drafted 118 players (7.9 per draft) over that time. He had 69 (4.6 per draft) who were starters. Gettleman has 16 drafted players (5.3 per draft) over 3 years. Counting the current depth chart for the upcoming season as starters, Gettleman has 7 counting as starters (2.3 per draft). So, what is greater? 13 pro bowlers or 0 pro bowlers? 4.6 starters per draft, or 2.3 starters per draft? Now you bring yourself to the question of quality/mediocre starters not in the first round. Gettleman has 2 (0.67 per draft) in Trai Turner and Kawaan Short. Hurney has 32 (2.1 per draft) in Josh Norman, Brad Nortman, Brandon Lafell, Greg Hardy, Captain Munnerlyn, Ryan Kalil, Charles Johnson, Dante Rosario, Richard Marshall, James Anderson, Jeff King, Will Montgomery, Evan Mathis, Geoff Hangartner, Jovan Haye, Keary Colbert, Travelle Wharton, Drew Carter, Michael Gaines, Ricky Manning Jr, DeShaun Foster, Will Witherspoon, Kris Jenkins, Steve Smith, Deon Grant, Jeno James, Lester Towns, Chris Terry, Mike Rucker, Hannibal Navies, Chuck Wiley, and Donald Hayes. Hurney had 8 in his first 3 drafts. He had more starters, but the others were unproven or below average like Kony Ealy, Tre Boston, and AJ Klein. In his first 3 drafts following his GM title he had 7. This is an effort to put the uncontrollable love for Gettleman into perspective. I did not like how Hurney handled the team as a GM either with his inconsistent formula to building a team that seemed to change every 4 years. However, if you think the team as a whole is trending up based on current production and Gettleman has built a team with great depth compared to previous seasons under Hurney, then you are dreaming. This team is going to struggle to make the playoffs (again), and barely get in if they can keep their remaining key players standing upright for the entire season. They will be long shots against the Packers and Seahawks - especially with the lack of depth in player rotations and Rivera's conservative/predictable coaching for the first 10 weeks. I see more of the same coming this season. Possible playoffs and the inability to out coach, out match, and out score the Packers or Seahawks. I call this wasted time on the part of the front office. The goal should be to build a team to beat the Packers and Seahawks and win the Super Bowl. Anything less is unacceptable. The definition of insanity: repeating the same action and expecting a different outcome.
This team is actually getting older to try to stay competitive. This team has a serious lack of talent in their depth because of Gettleman. He has built a house of cards with his poor use of the NFL draft and this method will lead to a decline in the quality of depth every season. Let's hope none of the key players he was given leave, or this will be a disaster. He has improved 3 positions (OG, DT, and DB) since his arrival while making 4 positions worse (OT, RB, WR, and DE). OT, WR and DE have been degraded in the quality of starters and depth. All the key components that drive this team have been here before Gettleman and continue to age without any promise of a player who is on the roster that can take over once they leave. Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert, Greg Olsen, Ryan Kalil, Charles Johnson, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, and Josh Norman. Is there a single young player Gettleman has given this team that you would hook the future of the team to for the next decade if any of these players leave? Joe Webb, Fozzy Whitaker, Folkerts, Dickson, Kony Ealy, AJ Klein, Shaq Thompson, or Bene Benwikere? Maybe Shaq, but we need to see him in the season. The team is not comfortable putting Bene in a starting roll and they are replacing him in the big nickel roll with Shaq. In 3 years, Gettleman has only improved 2 very weak areas of the team - OG and DT (neither to all pro level). Anyone could have improved those positions since they were awful. Meanwhile, he has destroyed the WR, OT, and DE positions. All around depth is worse than 2012. The DB situation is held together by players ready to end their career in Roman Harper and Charles Tillman while his other vet additions have already been canned mid 2014 season - not a good plan for sustained growth in the secondary. This is the state of the Panthers. A team that needs key players (from a previous GM) to stay healthy due to a significant lack of depth in order to make it into the playoffs with a small chance of competing with the likes of the Seahawks and Packers. Have a couple key cards fall, and there is no next man up good enough to drive this team past mediocre. Not to mention all those key cards in the deck are aging. In contrast, the Panthers can have any of the quality players Gettleman has added to the team go down and replace them well enough to continue on at the same level of play. As long as the key players from the Hurney era stay healthy, the Panthers have a decent chance of making the playoffs.
Building for the future does not mean 5 drafted players a year to fill your roster while packing the other 70% of your team with veterans no one wants and udfas. This is the formula for a talent starved team that the few talented players you have must carry the team on their shoulders to win the division and hopefully the Super Bowl. You will be underwater in 4 seasons from a personnel perspective, and 1 or 2 key injuries will not allow you to cross the finish line of the marathon that is the NFL season/playoffs.
A lot of young RBs with great vision, hands, quickness, speed, strength, toughness, and freakish athleticism? Ones that can slice through small holes in a red zone defense with little to no blocking for 10 and 5 yard runs on a regular basis? Ones that can launch themselves from the 5 yard line and into the end zone with consistency? Ones with the high jumping technique/ability to go up and over the defense at the goal line? Ones with the ability to tackle like a true defender on special teams? Two offenses Wegher will thrive in when the Panthers release him: Patriots and Saints.
Barner is not on the roster competing for a spot. So, yeah he whiffed. Fozzy Whitaker came here last year to replace the flop that was Kenjon Barner. Definite whiff. Even bigger whiff if Barner becomes a force with another team. When a GM wastes picks on players to ship them to other teams so they can become great players in the NFL, that is a tell tale sign of a GM that needs to be replaced. Bad enough the NFL Draft is not being utilized well enough to stock the team with talent. The room for error on making the wrong call on cutting a draft pick is even smaller because of the few draft picks the Panthers have had under Gettleman.
This excludes players on IR for the season and drafting K/P Seahawks: 27 Patriots: 27 Panthers: 15 Packers: 29 So, you can see it gets even worse once you factor in the players retained as both the Seahawks and patriots have an 80% increase in drafted players currently on their roster since 2011. Then add the players they have drafted prior to 2011: Seahawks: 5 Patriots: 8 Panthers: 4 Packers: 10 So, going into the cut downs for the final 53 we find: Seahawks: 32 Patriots: 35 Panthers: 19 Packers: 39 And we still have yet to take into account key free agents/trades who are starting: Seahawks: 4 (Marshawn Lynch, Jimmy Graham, Kevin Williams, Cliff Avril) Patriots: 3 (Brandon LaFell, Rob Ninkovich, and Alan Branch.) Panthers: 4 (Greg Olsen, Charles Tillman, Roman Harper, and Michael Oher) Packers: 1 (Julius Peppers) The remainder are Free agents for depth and udfas: Seahawks: 17 Patriots: 15 Panthers: 30 Packers: 13 Are you seeing the disparity in how these teams are built through the draft for quality talent in their depth? If you have 1 or 2 go down for the Panthers it is devistating. For the Patriots, Seahawks, and Packers it is a set back that they will get through. This is what allows teams to compete in January at the end of the grueling physical marathon that is the NFL. The Panthers need to be extremely lucky to reach the playoffs without any key players getting injured and hoping they hit on some great surprises in their udfas. The Panthers really need to use the draft more wisely in stocking their roster to catch up to these teams. Then we will see much more of a playoff impact. Until then the Panthers will always be at a disadvantage going into the playoffs.