This is my gift.
This is my curse.
I am SmootsDaddy89.
You have to be a complete imbecile (looking at you, AK) to believe that we're worse off at the QB position now than we were last season. Will Matt Moore play like Tom Brady next year? Probably not. Will he even play as well as he did the last five games of 2009? It's a toss-up. But really, if he plays only as well as Jake did in 2009 (Not that well, mind you) we'd still have an excellent shot at snagging a playoff spot next year.
When the Panthers drafted Tony Fiammetta in the fourth round last year, we all knew this was coming. I actually expected Hoover would be cut after last season when we drafted him. Hoover was an average fullback, no matter how badly people here would like to deify him. Fiammetta was one of the more highly-touted fullbacks coming out of college. He has all the skills needed to be an elite fullback in the NFL. Will he be that kind of player? I don't know. I wouldn't judge him based on his terribly limited playing time last year. With a full off-season's worth of practice with the starters, I truly believe that he will be a beast of a fullback next season.
Look, I love Moose, you love Moose, we all love Moose. But to pretend that his ability (outside of blocking) hasn't been declining lately is foolish thinking. This, along with defensive end, is a weak spot. And from the looks of things, it appears Jarrett will be given a chance to start next season, regardless of who we bring in. (Although I do think we'll take someone in the second or third round in the draft, but probably they'll spend this season playing the slot, unless Jarrett fails miserably.) I don't know how this will work out, truthfully. I could see Jarrett finally sobering up (literally) and taking responsibility when it's finally forced on him, and I hope that's what happens. I still believe that he has all the tools to be Moose Jr, if he gets serious about it.
Keydrick was diamond in the rough, but MacKenzy Bernadeau (aka the French Flattener) showed that he's more than capable of taking over for him. I don't even think most people are concerned about Vincent anyway, so I'll leave it at that.
Julius Peppers/Tyler Brayton
Julius Peppers was dominating when he wanted to be, but he was also a lazy asshole. No one's going to be terribly sad to see him go. Brayton was an excellent signing for us, so much so that we actually tried to retain him, despite him being 30. I still think we will re-sign him once he realizes he's not worth what he thinks he is. (If Seattle is any indication, it doesn't appear we're the only ones who think he's worth less than he does.) If not, we may very well use another early pick on a defensive end. I have all the confidence in the world in Charles Johnson, however. And I believe Brown will be a great pass-rusher. My main concern is his ability to play the run. Douglas, despite his age, is another possible solution here as well.
Maake Kemoeatu/Damione Lewis
Kemo was a fat turd who excelled at grabbing guards and centers and giving them great big bear hugs, but outside of that, he's been horribly overrated by our fanbase. And no matter how good you think he is, he simply will never be able to perform at a high level again with his injury. Lewis was good in a ROTATION, but not as the starter. If we could bring him back for cheap, I'd be happy with that. But both sides seem to believe it's not happening. Leonard, Tyler, Irvin, and even Johnson provide a good rotation, and I believe they're capable of replacing Kemo and Lewis. We may not have a dominant NT anymore, but really we haven't had that since we traded Jenkins.
Like Hoover, the writing was pretty much on the wall here once we drafted Dan Connor, especially considering how much Dan was hyped as being the next great Penn State linebacker heading into the draft. People say Anderson will probably get the start, but I really think it's going to be Connor's job to lose, and we should still have one of the best linebacker corps in the NFL next year. Connor, simply put, is a bad mother f**ker. Just check his wallet.
One final point here.
How quickly we forget that just two years ago, we were in much the same position as we are now. We lost/replaced nine starters from the 2007 season: Foster, Colbert, Wahle, Hartwig, Bridges, Rucker, Jenkins, Morgan, and Cooper. We went into the 2008 season with two rookies starting at the key positions of right tackle and free safety, with another (Stewart) basically a starter himself because of how we use our running backs. What was the result? A 12-4 season, an NFC South title, a first-round bye in the playoffs, and who knows what else could have been if Jake didn't implode.
Losing players doesn't HAVE to have a major impact on a team's ability to perform at a high level the following season. Provided you have the players to replace those that you lost. Hell, Miami had a large roster turnover prior to the 2008 season as well, and they won their division, just one year after finishing 1-15. With the possible exceptions of wide receiver and defensive end, I believe we have the players already on the roster to fill the shoes of those we've lost.
So cheer up panthers55, Pat Kirwan is a useless douche who should shave that ridiculous mustache of his.
Edited by SmootsDaddy89, 12 March 2010 - 09:52 AM.