NanceUSMC added a article in Carolina PanthersTwas the Night Before Christmas, Panther Style - Merry Christmas Panther NationTwas the night before Christmas and all through the land,
The playoffs were coming, for each Panther fan.
However unlikely they said this would be,
The Panthers delivered, for you and for me.
The journey was long, and not without struggle,
There were plenty of doubters, over at Carolina Huddle.
But the team was determined, and promised to fight,
So that fans could rejoice, on this Christmas Eve night.
But just how we got to this wonderful place,
Is a story that puts a huge smile on my face.
The NFC South, we were expected to lose,
Good thing we don't care, about those point of views.
It's the year of the Saints, said the man on TV
They've got too much talent, who else could it be?
Coach Payton was back, that's what they were lackin',
But the experts forgot, Coach Ron has The Kraken.
The showdown was set, for a little past noon,
What they didn't expect? The Carolina monsoon.
The torrential downpour was a nice surprise,
And certainly helped with the Saintly demise.
The Saints kicked the ball, and the Panthers received,
The offense came out, and we all believed.
DWill off tackle, that was the call.
The crowd was electric, 'Get Smitty the ball!'
But the offense soon stalled, this wasn't the plan.
Not that it mattered, cause Kuechly's the man!
He dashed and he darted, it was quite a sight
And showed that this team, could put up a fight.
The Saints tried to run, and they didn't get far.
Thanks partly because of a big man named Star.
So Brees dropped back to pass, but had little success,
Cause the first half, you see, was a Panther sack-fest.
The Saints managed to put three points on the board
It didn't change much, fans continued to roar.
Saint coaches decided to win would take tricks
Then decided to try a surprise on-side kick.
They recovered the ball, and put up three more points.
The Panther response? Let's make some more noise!
The defense was solid, and TD is a beast,
He wasn't afraid of Drew Brees, in the least.
Brees dropped back to pass, he had Graham in his sights
But just about then, Thomas Davis took flight.
TD hauled it in, an incredible pick!
Then Deangelo rushed, for a really quick six!
Halftime had come, with the Panthers ahead
Twas the first time all day, that the Panthers had led.
It was just about now, that the rain came to town,
And man let me tell you, it really came down!
But Brees is fantastic, and a tough one to spook
But in this downpour, he threw it to Luke!
The rain made it tough, to move or to score
But despite all this mess, we were still up by four.
The Panthers had given, as good as they'd got
For rivals like this, predictions mean squat.
But the Saints they weren't done, they had more in the tank
That's when Brees tossed the ball, to Graham on the flank.
The Saints took the lead, at thirteen to ten
I hadn't been worried, up until then.
It was late in the game, and the offense had stalled
But just about then, Cam got the call.
He dropped back to pass, and hit Teddy in stride
And that quick young man, took the Saints for a ride.
Hurry up Cats, only seconds are left!
Don't worry my friends, cause Greg Olsen is deft!
He pulled in the pass, and fell to the ground
Cam rushed to the line, to spike the ball down.
And that's when it happened, the crowd started to rock
The next play, you see, put the Saints fans in shock.
Dom on the left, ran a simple out-route
And cradled the ball as he fell to the ground.
The crowd exploded, in spite of the rain
Cause we revel, you see, in Saintly disdain.
The review was upheld, as we knew it would be
That play right there, put the Cats up by three.
Extra point on the board, and time winding down
It was joyous to see, Sean Payton's frown.
The Panthers had won, on this wet winter day
And don't really care, what the 'experts' might say.
Now we're back in the playoffs, and man is it grand
There's room on our bandwagon, for everyone to stand.
We're gonna play tough, and we will make some noise
That's just how it is, for these Carolina boys!
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NanceUSMC added a article in Carolina PanthersWhat Was Marty Hurney Thinking?What on earth was Hurney thinking?
Well, let's think about that question for a moment... His job is to put the best available players possible on the field, and surround them with solid role players and a capable bench, thus giving the team the best possible chance to compete on a week in, week out basis...
So what goes into a draft selection?
First and foremost (and what many draftniks, both amature and professional (yes, I'm pointing at you Melvin Kiper)) it's absolutely imperative that you remember one rule: Need is a terrible evaluator. Take a moment and read that again... Need is a terrible evaluator. What does that mean exactly? It's simply that if you draft, based on your team's specific needs, you end up ignoring better players, and typically reaching just to fill that specific position with someone who either may have been available later, or may be a marginal player... Again, draft the best football players available for your team, and let you coaching staff figure out how to best get them on the field... Then fill the holes with role players via free agency... Not every position needs an all pro... Analysts inconsistently grade drafts based on whether or not specific needs were met or addressed... This is only part of a team's offseason storyline, and just because a team doesn't get that 'needed' position, it's often ignored that they added solid or above prospects that can upgrade underproducing veterans, or push them into better production... Drafts should be graded on an evaluation of the talent selected...
Second, you have to trust your scouts and advisors... This is their job... It's what they do 8 or 10 or 12 hours a day, 5 or 6 or 7 days a week... While you and I are sitting at work, answering phones, resolving issues, attending mindless meetings, these are individuals who are out watching football, evaluating players and taking notes... The draft process for an NFL franchise is a never ending cycle, and one that each GM (including Hurney) live daily... It's imperative that you trust your team's big board, and take the players that you feel offer you the best talent available... It's also imperative that you not cave to pressure from analysts, media or fans... Just because someone is selected that you've never heard of (as a fan) doesn't mean it isn't a solid talent... There are thousands of players participating at the collegiate level, most of which we have never heard of... The knee jerk reaction when someone is selected that we are unfamiliar with is to reject the selection... Instead, take more time to specifically research that player, and make a more educated fan judgement...
Third, keep in mind that the draft is an exercise in failure... If you 'hit' on 50% of your selections, you've have a fantastic draft... Hitting on a third of your picks (2 players that come in and start, or heavily contribute), you have had an average and respectable draft... Nothing stellar, nothing horrible... Anything more is gravy, anything less is potential disaster...
Finally, trust your instincts... We as fans are allowed to let our emotion dictate what we believe the team should do... But emotion is a dangerous thing... Emotion led the Saints to trade an entire draft for Ricky Williams... Emotion will get you fired... Trust your instincts, and not your heart...
So that is what's going through the minds of Hurney, and the other GM's participating in this draft...
We've got a couple good football players so far in this draft, and as a fan I'm happy about that... Certainly, I don't know what kind of careers they will have, but I'm excited to see how they can make our team better, and how they will be used...
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