This right here will be huge. 2+ years ago defenses stacked the box. Cam didn't make good reads on which LB's were blitzing and which weren't. It has gotten light years better despite the OL getting worse.
The OL needs to gel and the Panthers need to run the ball more often in 2014 then in years past. This will be the only way they will succeed pass blocking. There is a great article around somewhere that talks about OL. The OL always get beat pass blocking and only have an advantage run blocking. That is when they can wear down the defense - no tall task today with the high rotations used on the front 3 or 4. I would like to see the stat, how many 3rd downs were converted by run and how many by pass in 2013 by the Panthers. I'd like to see if it is any different then most NFL teams.
Maybe it is just the OC, though...
The big thing now is that Cam is capable of making the reads and playing exceptionally well. If he has time to take 3 to 4 step drops 30 times a game it is going to make a difference on the W-L column. But, expecting him to complete a pass to save a series on 3rd and 2 is just ridiculous. The OL needs to step up and the RB's need to find lanes.
It is clear that the running game is of no serious issue. Cam, Tolbert, and Stewart are the majority of the conversions on the ground. In fact, the 3 of them rank among the top 3 in the league over the past 3 seasons when it comes to rushing 1st downs. I attribute the decline in production from 2011 to the injuries along the OL that kept an entire unit from staying together for a series of weeks, and the injuries to Stewart the past 2 seasons. On the NFL level pass blocking is about the individual talent along the OL, run blocking is about the longevity of an OL unit.
The Panthers glaring need is to balance their threat of the pass with their run when converting 1st downs. This especially rings true in the Panthers red zone production. Coaches fall into the hole of balancing all of their play calls. They fail to realize they should focus attention on balancing successful/productive play calls only.
Edited by CPantherKing, 10 August 2014 - 04:07 PM.