I agree 100%. People need to remember, if Cam runs the option once, the defense has to game plan for it. If he breaks out of the pocket and runs on occasion, the defense has to game plan for it. When they have to shadow Cam, keep a DE/OLB in contain mode, or even better, bring eight to the box---then watch how good Cam's passing gets. If we run between the tackles, the DTs can't pin their ears back on play action. If we run the option, it changes things on the outside for the defense. Throw in a good screen package (something we need to work on, IMO) and some deep balls, and we have stretched the D to cover the whole field every play. Sometimes Cam is not as important as the threat of Cam.
Remember last year, when we were relying on rookies down the home stretch, the one that put us in the playoffs? Remember Benwikere, Boston, Glanton, Norwell, Turner, Benjamin, Brown, Ealy, and even Byndum at times having to play, and we won? They ain't rookies now. And the biggest year for improvement is the second. Many of the key players above only have a half season of experience. People have not factored into the equation the number of rookies we had playing at a high level last year. The look at free agency and the draft. "sometimes the answer is on your own roster."
No, I am certain Ginn makes the team, if only as a returner. I am not as high on Byrd as Igo is, but I think Byrd is a project to put on the PS. Ginn will not be in the rotation as much as he was last time he was here.
He reminds me of white. (peters) He has a shot. Fits the Panther CB profile. I think, for this defensive secondary to be good, we need to play Bene inside. Of course, expect some wrinkles with Thompson in the mix at LB.
Our LB corps is now the best in the NFL. I mentioned earlier, watch Blechen from Utah. Backup LBs had better be special teams studs, and the 3 late additions (Blechen, Glanton, and Mayo) look to be special teams terrors. I think Klein makes the roster, but I wonder where he will play. Funny, but the LBs selected in the draft probably drew the most criticism. Let's not forget how everyone sighed (I didn't--my claim to fame) when we drafted Luke. He was not a real need at the time, but there were signs Beason was beaten up. Then AJ Klein, then Thompson, then Mayo. We find Glanton in the dumpster. Aside from Davis, our entire LB corps has been overhauled since Ron arrived.
a player I really like is Brian Blechen from Utah. He has all the tools for a special teams ace. I see him as a backup to Thompson and the possible "heir apparent" to one of the OLB spots in 2-3 years. He is raw, developing, and learning the position, and the LB competition is fierce, but I see him finding a spot on the PS in the worst case scenario. I love Marlowe too, by the way. I would not be surprised to see him on the roster. Byrd has a decent chance due to his skill set and his last name begins with "B" something that seems to be a requirement, with the exception of Funchess. All your WRs can't be tall and lanky (Benjamin, Funchess, Bersin). Brown and Byrd could be awesome in the slot. Notice I did not mention Ginn. I am not sure he sees much time as a WR. Where/when do you play him? I think there are 3 right now better (Benji, Fuch, Brown). With Bersin and Brown coming on strong, do you block their development by giving snaps to a 30-year old poor man's Devin Hester?
I think we have upgraded at every position-especially OL, if that tells you how bad we were last year. We have 4 NEW faces starting this year over last season. We have a much improved WR corps. I think we will run the ball better. Cam is healthy. They see a 1-game improvement? On defense, Bene and Boston will no longer be rookies who were injured early on. Ealy will be a year better, and we improved, if you can imagine, at LB. Star will not be injured and KK is becoming a star. Norman too. We seem to have improved dramatically on special teams, the unit that cost us about 2 games last year. Give me the over. Panthers win 10.
Short was overused in college, where he had to play many more snaps than he should. He was also the biggest stud on the DL, rarely seeing anything other than double teams. So much of his film is of a tired player getting double teamed. If he were in a rotation of any sort, he would have been a first round talent. Spoke to him briefly at OTAs--what a nice, humble person.
To be honest, Hornets would have been a good name had the NBA team not already taken it. It has been a nickname of Charlotte for a while in all 3 sports--Baseball (double-a farm team), football (World Football League--I think Gary Danielson was the QB) and the NBA. However, when the observer asked for potential nicknames for teams back in the day, I sent them "Sharks" "Bloodhounds" and "Copperheads" because all had regional ties.