I know it has been discussed before but instead of digging for the latest thread. I started this one.
I am an eternal optimist. I have faith in our GM.
Our whole season IMO evolves around three major areas.
Both Tackle positions, Wide receiver and our DBs
3. Defensive Backfield: Our front seven could make a high school defensive backfield tops in the NFL I like the additions of Cason and bring Cotchery back. Drafting Benwikere could be a steal. Moving Godfrey could really solidify the corner position. I think camp starts with White and Thomas but could very well end with Godfrey and Cason. Or any combination of the above. I really think Benwikere is going to help us forget about Munnerlyn.
At the Safety position we bring in two former pro bowlers in DeCoud and Harper. Though a little thin after those two if Lester continues to grow and Boston has a chance to learn from some of the best in the league. Our safety position is going to be solid. What intrigues me the most is the veterans DeCoud and Harper. You have guys that know what to do and put them with the best front seven in football. That only makes them more dangerous.
In conclusion I think our defensive backfield is going to be much better than last season. Which is why it is 3rd biggest concern.
2. Wide Receiver: Every week we here how Cam isn't going to have anyone to throw to. Last year was the first year I cringed about Cam throwing to Steve Smith. He had drops that we not consistent with what we expected from No. 89. Before I say this. Steve Smith was one of my favorite players and will always be one of my favorite players. But honestly I got tired of the over pumped antics he gave us after a 5 yd reception. The high adrenaline slapping of the helmet and trash talking was getting old. Which IMO was one reason why we parted ways.
Out goes Ginn, Lafell, SS and Hixon. They got the job done and each will have highlight reels that will always be apart of the Panthers but when 2014 is over. Benjamin, Avant, Cotchery and Underwood will have similar highlights. They have better hands and know the game of football. They'll get open and make the catches. This doesn't even count, King, McNutt or even Pilares. We are going to have a better receiving corps than 2013. It is hard to believe or accept because none of us have seen any of these guys play. In 1995 we had receivers none of us ever saw before and we set an NFL record with the best record of an inaugural franchise year. In 1995 (in a tougher era for passing) We have over 3000 yds passing. we were 24th in the league and a rookie team. In 2013 we were 29th. If our passing game improves 5 spots it would mean our new receiving corps was a small success. IMO we will be middle of the road. 14-18 is my guess.
An added thought. Cam working and hanging out with Benjamin is two-fold. I think Cam cares and wants the Rookie to get off on the right foot off the field. On the field I don't think Cam is going to let him have a Rookie year. I think Cam is going to push him to be a true #1 out the gate. The excitement we have in the potential of Benjamin will be seen in 2014.
1. Offensive Tackle. I put it as offensive tackle because the right tackle is fighting for the left tackle position and if he wins we than have to fill the right tackle position. Three names fight for these two positions. Chandler, Bell and Williams. I think the majority of the huddle wants Chandler at LT and Williams at RT. I think this battle is going to show whether Bell, the left hander, does better at the left side then the right because he is left handed. Are the two years in training as our future left tackle going to happen for Chandler? IsWilliams going to come in and take one of those jobs from these two? I think Chandler will win the LT spot and it is choose your poison on RT. What I think the front office is betting. Chandler wins LT and we sign a veteran for the right side. What kills me is that this, of all three of these concerns, is the biggest.
I will say there is a wild card in the O-line situation. WE have Silatolu returning and IMO Turner wins the other guard spot. Stewart is as healthy as any of us can remember. I believe that we are going to try to get our running game so strong that defenses will play the run. That in itself should help the pass blocking.
In the next 6 weeks we are going to see who wins what. We are going to see if Gettleman is a magician. I believe we start week one with a win and our season goes good.
But then again.... I am an eternal optimist.