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  1. Really good listen if any of y'all get the chance. Billy (NFLBreakdowns Contributor) and Scott bring in Cian Fahey of ESPN to discuss all things Panthers related: I'll give a few summary points from the Cian segment: On Cam Newton: Cam Newton still played at a very high level similar to 2015. The difference is how much worse the offense surrounding him performed. Injuries, drops, and protection all took a hit, making Cam's situation war worse than it was in 2015. In particular, Cam "struggled" in the last quarter of the season, specifically after he was reported hurt against the Chargers. Wasn't able to physically throw the ball accurately in that time-stretch. Cam threw 23-26 total interceptable passes, with seven coming from the last Bucs game alone. Injury main reason why. No concerns about Cam's pocket movement, mechanics, or really how he works as a QB. On Panthers Offensive Evolution Lots of uncertainty over how Shula will change the offense. Gives an example in the past of an NFL team promising offensive change, but words that never came to fruition. Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin not fits for short game. On Panthers Rookies Fahey not too big on Samuel making an immediate impact his first year, but does admit he has potential in the future. McCaffrey is the big deal. Huge offensive weapon. Creates insane mismatches with his explosiveness, power, and abilities. Just having McCaffrey already revolutionizes the offense in the short passes, underneath, and in space. On Ted Ginn Not Being On The Team/Lack Of Deep Threat Option Fahey states Ginn was by far the Panthers best wide receiver. Benjamin drops the ball at a similar rate. Only reason Ted got flack was due to how egregious his drops were due to him being a deep threat. Russell Shepard currently closest on the roster now who could possibly replicate the deep threat (assuming Samuel gets eased in from injury), but not on the same level as Ginn. Could lead to defenders jumping routes, more boxing in, and more focus on intermediate routes for the lack of a deep threat. On The Offensive Line & Tackles Fahey says the interior is one of the best in the NFL. Tackles are a concern. Finds it funny how Vikings were laughing about giving Panthers Matt Kalil, Panther fans laughing at Vikings for taking Mike Remmers Says main reason for Matt Kalil's downfall was his loss of athleticism. Just didn't have the explosiveness needed to attack and block premiere pass rushers. May see more TEs being brought in and RBs to help compensate for lower quality tackle plays. Forced to keep seven guys on the o-line last year, while only having three wideouts run routes. Limits kinds of playcalls Panthers can run. On Kelvin Benjamin Says his rookie season was overrated with inflated targets. Not as good as some perceive. Very poor at getting separation. Does make some good catches. However, he does not seem to be consistent in using his big body to his advantage. Doesn't appear to show much growth in getting better, and hard to fit a role with him. Age factor (26) is also something to consider. Decreases probability of improvement On Ideal Personnel Package For Panthers & Cam Keep Cam in a shotgun offense (3 receivers, 1 tight end, 1 runningback) with plenty of short/intermediate options with deep ones sprinkled in. With good enough receivers, it'll force safeties back, opens up power runs/option plays and creates mismatch nightmares on the field. Spreads out field with the ability for power plays. Keep results of the play on Cam Newton and quality of his play. Allows him to flourish and work his best. On Idea Of Cam Executing A Short Passing Offense Brings up none of Cam's receivers in the past were ever fits for the short game in the past. Gives example how much easier it is to throw to Brandon Marshall in comparison to Kelvin Benjamin due to separation he gets & getting open. Had no runningback coming out of the backfield or any receiver who could separate on the shorter routes or get in space easily. Says context always needs to be raised when talking about accuracy. Idea is that adding guys like CMC, Shepard, Samuel will make Cam better in the short passing game. Some really good stuff. Give it a listen.
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