The smart way to become competitive quickly is to fix your defense first. It ain't pretty, but you can become competitive faster and cheaper by straightening out a bad team's defense first. We did that. Our defense wasn't terrible, but it has gotten better. The next step is grabbing your franchise QB, which we did before getting our defense squared away. And for the last two drafts, we've picked up quality receivers in the first and second rounds. We've also shored up a terrible offensive line this year, building it in-house for the most part. What part of this don't you get? Play off appearances for the last two years not proof enough? Gettleman has done a great job of putting together a team that is built to beat the other teams in our division. And we've gotten lucky that we're surrounded by three dumpster fires around us right now. The Saints, Falcons and Bucs would just about kill to have the small number of problems we do now. Rivera, our relatively new coach, has the second longest tenure in the NFC South at the moment... that says something. Just relax, sit back and get ready for the season, it's going to be a bumpy ride, but a good one!
This probably tells the tale of Boykin. If Green Bay didn't pick him back up, with their needs right now, there might be something not quite as good about him as we think. He may have lit it up here in the preseason (if any receiver could be said to have done that), but we also have no idea how many times he was the first read, but couldn't get open or was running the wrong route. I'm hoping Bersin makes it through the cuts. You can't say the guy hasn't worked hard for us and steadily improved his game. He might not post 900 yards this season, he might only grab 200. What matters is how important those couple of hundred yards are. 10 catches, all for first downs? That's a great role player. One touchdown in a tight game? Worth it's weight in gold. Throwing a block downfield to break someone else open for a TD? Moose made a career out of that.
Best guy you could have for back up QB. He's got the skills to win the games and the maturity to practice to win, but not to take over. Sure, he's got a great job, but he also is exactly what a coaching staff wants in a back up. There's no drama and there's no question if he could take over in a pinch. He's been selfless since coming here and he's been dead reliable when we needed to lean on him. Good move for the front office, one that gives us more stability than about any other team could hope for in their QBing situations.
Short tenures for coaches and GMs today mean also that you get one throwaway season during your career... and it is only allowed for the first season. Perform over the long haul or die. We're not a throwaway team this year, we aren't having a "build for the future year", we have a team built to work the best it can this year. We have suffered one major injury this year, and it happened to be in an area of weakness. How devastating will it be? No one really knows. We haven't even seen Funchess on the playing field yet. He might be better than KB or he might be terrible. We don't know. Don't go signing off on this year yet. We have no idea how things will play out and that's part of the fun, isn't it? Yes, the Patriots work like a well-oiled winning machine, and I hate them ever the more because of it. We're the Panthers, we rarely win pretty, but we can out tough just about any team there is. Can't wait for real football.
I wouldn't let a decent vet go until I had made it through that last pre-season game. If your team got unlucky and had an injury to that position, you'd be SOL by letting a good replacement go. Good GMs don't let good potential resources walk out the door before they have to. Early cuts are rarely, if ever, because a good guy GM wants a quality player to have a shot at another team.
Don't expect to see anyone with much potential as a WR cut today. A quick check on most of these guys will show they were camp fodder and many didn't even register a catch in the pre-season. Second set of cuts will be more interesting, but who knows, maybe there will be a diamond in the rough.
Luckily, the people who employ each of us don't treat us the way we treat the folks on our teams. These are careers, lifelong dreams and last hopes going away. There are also people that give their all, time and time again, on Sundays and practice days for our team and our entertainment. They deserve more respect than some folks are giving them here.