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A Case For Being Optimistic.


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#1 SmootsDaddy89

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:49 AM

I know a lot of people are confused, uncertain, or even upset by some of the moves made by the Panther's front office this off-season. I figure it is my duty, as carolinhuddle's most respected poster, to quell the voices of some of the malcontents like p55 and others spreading doomsday messages every chance they get.


This is my gift.

This is my curse.

I am SmootsDaddy89.

Jake Delhomme
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.

Brad Hoover
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.

Muhsin Muhammad
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 Vincent
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.


Na'il Diggs
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.


#2 CatfanMO

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:52 AM

Im to lazy to read all of this. Will someone please summarize?

#3 SmootsDaddy89

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:55 AM

No.

Eat a dick.

#4 SmootsDaddy89

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:55 AM

Just kidding. Read the last two paragraphs. That basically sums up my argument.

#5 CatMan72

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 10:22 AM

Good post, and one additional point on Hoover/Fiametta: It's possible the Panthers are planning to run more single-back sets. I was just watching the Minn game the other day and the commentators pointed out DeAngelo Williams actually preferred to run out of a single-back set when he first arrived in the NFL. They said he's since been "converted" to running behind a FB, but in this passing oriented day and age, single-back sets are becoming more and more the standard.

In general, lead blocking FB's are a dying breed... a single-back allows you to put an extra TE or WR on the field and disguise you're intentions a little more. Fiametta, Sutton and Rosario (who actually does a decent job @ FB) are much faster and have better hands than Hoover, so we can put any one of those guys in the backfield and hit them in the flats, on screens or on dump routes for more yards. Anything you can do to make the defense guess is a good thing, and we have been to predictable in the past.

I'm sorry to see Hoover go, but the writing was on the wall when we drafted Fiametta and carrying two FB's is absurd. Having a FB or H-back in the backfield adds a whole new dimension to our offense, and given how good Moore is at rolling out of the pocket and throwing on the move, this evolution could open up a whole new section of the playbook for us.

Edited by CatMan72, 12 March 2010 - 10:25 AM.


#6 CatfanMO

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 10:22 AM

No.

Eat a dick.


lol. I agree with your argument. I am actually excited about this next season. The last few games with Moore under center were very promising. I think we will do just fine.

#7 SmootsDaddy89

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 10:25 AM

Yeah, I forgot to mention that I think Sutton could be a fullback full-time if he beefs up some. But I'm still rooting for Fiammetta. His attitude is awesome.

#8 K-man

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 10:58 AM

I agree with your post and think the D-line will be much better than people think.

#9 The Saltman

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:01 AM

I agree completely with this argument. I am just concerned with not have a good pass rusher on the d-line. I really hope Charles Johnson can step up and show what he can really do.

#10 SmootsDaddy89

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:05 AM

The d-line, at worst, will be average. I highly doubt it will be the swiss cheese some people think it will be though. Having said that, I'd still really, really like to get Brayton/Lewis/both back if we can.

#11 monstercat

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:10 AM

I disagree about Hoover. He was recognized by most football experts as one of the best blocking FB's in the league in the last 3 years or so. I'm fine with them going with Fiametta, but you don't have to sell Hoover short in order to justify that move. Hoover was a great lead blocker, a great teammate, and a very underrated player. I will never forget that play against the Ravens a few years ago, when Hoover absoluetly pancaked Ray Lewis.

#12 SmootsDaddy89

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:13 AM

Eh. He looked good because our offensive line has been demolishing people the past two years. Probably half of Hoover's blocks were against defensive backs thanks to our line. It's no coincidence that Hoover looked great in 2003 with the Roids Crew, looked average from about 2004-2007, and then looked amazing the past two years.

#13 CatMan72

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:13 AM

The d-line, at worst, will be average. I highly doubt it will be the swiss cheese some people think it will be though. Having said that, I'd still really, really like to get Brayton/Lewis/both back if we can.


...and our d-line was swiss cheese for the better part of last season with guys like Lewis and Peppers.

Having said all that, I would feel better with one more experienced DT and DE in the mix. Brayton could serve both those roles so I'm hoping we can reel him back in, but I understand why we don't want to shell out big time $ for him.

#14 The Saltman

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:15 AM

...and our d-line was swiss cheese for the better part of last season with guys like Lewis and Peppers.

Having said all that, I would feel better with one more experienced DT and DE in the mix. Brayton could serve both those roles so I'm hoping we can reel him back in, but I understand why we don't want to shell out big time $ for him.


swiss cheese except for Peppers. Im more worried about losing Julius than I am anyone else.

#15 ncbobcat

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:17 AM

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.


Good post, but I still see this scenario differently. Sorry, but I'm not the type of person to write a novel in rebuttle, so I'll break it down briefly by player.

-Foster, streaky at best and we all felt good about DeAngelo taking the load, knowing the team would bring in a solid backup (boy did they ever).

-Colbert, Really? Do I have to explain why this isn't a good correlatation....

-Whale is probably, along with Rucker, best at making your point...aging veterans playing well, but past their primes.

-Rucker (see Whale)

-Bridges was a stop-gap that kept his job due to lack of numbers. Vincent is much better.

-Cooper (see Bridges) Much deeper now and DB is the sole uneffected unit.

-Morgan was not missed because we did have a young player step up to make your point. However, if he could have played another year or two, could you have imagined Morgan, Beason and Davis?

-To my point, losing Jenkins KILLED us and we haven't replaced him, STILL. He would be in the disgruntled Peppers category, however, the team didn't adequately replace him and it has hurt our run defense ever since.

Edited by ncbobcat, 12 March 2010 - 11:22 AM.



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