I agree. Also, teams that peak early tend to either stagnate or come back to the pack. That's what has me excited right now, we are undefeated, but we are far from peaking. Our team has not yet jelled and come together. I honestly believe that once we get Williams back, and the OL settles in, that our running game will be a real force...and I mean outside of Cam. I also think our defense will be exponentially better once Luke is back.
Against 3rd and 4th string. He showed potential, but really did nothing against players that actually made NFL teams and play. They will keep him on the PS to develop this year, then I think they hope he will earn an active roster spot next year. Definitely has the tools to be good once he develops and puts some weight on.
Star is underrated when compared to Short by many Panther fans. Too many only notice the flash, but fail to realize that it's Star pushing the pocket taking up multiple blockers. Much of the flash everyone likes is because of the unflashy work Star does. Both Star and Short are vital to our defense. Our defense starts with the front seven, so if Gettleman has to make a future cap choice, he'll pass on signing Norman to make sure he has the space to sign both DT's. So, I have no doubts that Gettleman will get both signed, we can easily stagger the big cap hits.
Don't read too much into how much he has been out there. By all accounts, he has passed all levels of the protocol without any setbacks. So, I think he is exactly where he is expected to be in order to play Sunday. Using Norman's participation as a baseline is flawed since he started the protocol at an earlier time than Luke. Based on what I'm hearing, I'll be shocked if Luke isn't out there on Sunday. It's smart to be cautious, but if he passes the protocol, then by all measures, he is healthy and therefore, should and will play.
Much like Jacksonville, we are the better team. However, the OL hasn't quite come together and injuries are a concern. Offensively, they really don't have much for us. Hopkins is good, but with two less than mediocre QB's throwing him the ball, he shouldn't be enough to beat us. And with Foster out, we should be able to control their run game...especially if Star does in fact play (albeit likely with limited snaps). Defensively, I expect they will put pressure on Cam. But I think the receivers will have chances to make some big plays. So, it really comes down to them catching the ball. If Olsen wouldn't have been called for the questionable PI, and Ginn had made that easy TD catch last week, we all would be talking about how good the offense looked and that they can't overlook that side of the ball for us. And as always, Cam is the X-factor in the run game. Designed runs are ok, but it's the improvised ones that can break the back of a defense. I don't know how disciplined their defense is, but if they lose gap control at all, they could have a very big problem on their hands.
I think many here are looking at this in the worst light. I don't think the team rotating Kalil and Remmers is about Kalil not being healthy, but rather about him not being in game shape, and likely to wear out by the fourth quarter if he plays the whole game. Now, if he's fine as the game goes on, they may decide to keep him in and not rotate. But I believe they want him fresh and ready if it's close in the fourth. And as others have said, I think they also are looking for an excuse to get Williams into the game. They know he's too good to keep on the bench, but Remmers did nothing to lose the job, so I'm sure they want to get him on the field any chance they can get. Then, if he shows in actual game time what they saw in preseason, they might feel more comfortable bringing him in as the starter.
I'm not so sure. If they want to put eight in the box, we have the type of receivers now that can take a quick hitter and go the distance. Ginn and Brown can be deadly to a team that takes a safety away from coverage. We didn't have that last year.
The bottom line is we are a better team than Jacksonville, with or without KB...no matter how you slice it. I get that many think KB was our receiving corps, but in truth, we are solid there. Funchess has shown himself to be at least solid, Ginn really does seem to thrive in our offense, and despite what many want to think, Cotchery is a good #3 (he was just miscast as a #2 last year). And that doesn't even take into account Olsen, who is better than any pass catcher Jacksonville will have tomorrow. And if Philly can find his hands again, he is solid. So, while we will not be as dynamic as we would have been if KB didn't get hurt, teams will still have to respect our passing game. I also really think too many pundits do not realize just how much of an upgrade we have on the OL. They probably look at how bad we were before inserting Norwell, Turner (got healthy), and Remmers, and assume it will be more of the same this year. Not to mention, they only look at how Oher has struggled the last couple of years (without realizing he was hurt most of that time and is now healthy). What they don't understand is that our OL should actually be a strength this year instead if the weakness they expect. And as a result, Cam should have more time to make good decisions and find more open running lanes. And our running game will be significantly better with a healthy Stewart (who is better than Yeldon at his best) and CAP out there instead of an ineffective DeAngelo. I really do think this team is much better than most outside of Carolina realize (and even some inside). If Ealy is even just solid, our defense has the potential to be the best in the league, and I honestly think our offense is being underrated...even by many in our own fan base.
Really, if Brown gets over the yips, and Funchess' hamstring clears up by the regular season, then much of this panic would have been for naught I've never been on the Corey Brown hype train, but nobody can deny that he has shown the ability to get open this preseason, and last year he showed he could catch the ball. Now he just needs to put the two together. I agree with Rivera in that it's a mental block for him, so I really do believe if he could have just a couple of good catches, he can and will get his head straight. As for Funchess, he's not going to be KB good this year, but we really don't need him to be. We just need him and Brown (or someone else) to be solid. Remember, last year our OL and running game was so bad that it was impossible for us to have any kind of balance. This year the running game should be exponentially better (just give the OL a chance to gel with their run blocking), which will ease the need for our passing game to carry the offense. It's pretty clear we won't have a dynamic offense, but it should be good enough to win with our defense.
No biggie, I just wanted to point out how easily our perception of our offense could have been completely different. Cam's throws were just an example, but it's something that I don't see being a problem as he gets into the flow of the season. Nine time out of ten, those plays will be completed. Here they weren't, so, IMO, our offense looked worse than it was.