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#81 CRA

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 03:12 PM

My 2c.
I look at our team as a group of units, and basically just speculate on how the units might change from last year to this.

QB/RB: Newton may have more potential than any QB we've ever had, but he's had no chance to develop it, and I don't think he'll get one before the season begins, because of the lockout. The best evidence we have to date says that Clausen will be the starter. We may lose DeAngelo, and if we do I do not believe the dropoff will be extreme because of our depth. In a nutshell, and in spite of the hype I see only a marginal improvement at the QB/RB tandem.

WR/TE: With Shockey coming on board, and Rivera's familiarity with TE pass plays ala Antonio Gates, along with a reasonable dose of physical development for LaFell/Gettis, I feel more confident that this unit is on the path to incremental improvement and success.

OL: If we are optimistic about Otah's health, Wharton's longevity, and Kahlil's next career move, then perhaps this unit will improve on last year's deplorable performance. If instead, we are pessimistic about any of the three factors, then things could get very ugly again on the line which would likely result in another season of low scoring games. If they do, Newton's chances of starting before he is ready escalate because of his perceived physical ability to escape pressure and move the chains forward if only slightly. Skilled physically capable offensive lineman take years to develop, and the Panthers are at least one year behind schedule going into this year, next year we will be two years behind schedule. The addition of Shockey indicates less help blocking on the line, not more. This unit totally frightens me.

LB: Considering the talent we have at this position, and that we play a 4-3, I think we are probably the best in our division at this unit when healthy. I do not believe we will decline from that in 2011. Thomas Davis should known now that he is in an urgent make/break situation, and he has to perform this year...or else.

DB: We have declined in this unit from previous years, but at least we've developed some players along the way. Gamble is losing a step and we are losing Marshall. This is another unit that needs an infusion of talent, and the receivers in our division are going to rub that point in. One cause for optimism is that Rivera has a long history of favorable turnover ratios. Can he create turnover and blitz opportunities for our DB's and do they have soft hands?

DL: It was amusing to hear the ignant analyst insist we needed to replace the 20million dollar Peppers during the offseason. Hopefully some of our rivals will make the same mistake and underestimate us there. We threw 2 early picks at tackle, and it'd be fair to probably assume that one of them will be better than one of last year's starters. We may not dominate there, but we will have improved. That should be most apparent in the 4th quarter of games. We will make some comebacks, because our D-line will have more depth & stamina than our opponents expected.

Coaching: Unwise to speculate on my part, and fortunately for us also unwise for any opponent to do so either. Rivera will get a chance to bring creativity to our offense on his honeymoon, so we should see lots of entertaining unfamiliar stuff. If Armanti can ever be worth anything in the NFL, this is his shot while the team identity is still in flux. If the O-line is healthy, the TE position finally has a chance to develop. If instead the O-line repeats 2010, then Shockey will be miserable here. Are we going to bring back the corner blitz? I'd like to see us try. We've got some hard to tackle QB's in our division, and while some are fast, none are quick. We've got some speedy, quick, and nimble DB's who can get in a QB's face and be disruptive if they are given the chance.

We will not be the worst team in the league this year, and I personally would bet against us being the worst in our division, though I would not choose another team specifically in our division to say will be behind us. Every team in this division is one QB injury away from being out of the race, except maybe us. It wouldn't make a huge difference for us, if any of our QB's was out because we have to plan for any of the three to start. We have no clue at all who that will be.



only thing I disagree with is the first part

QB/RB - There is really no way Jimmy starts. You either start Cam or the vet you bring in.....I just don't see how Rivera couldn't logically start a season w/ Clausen. That means instant improved QB play....which also improves the ground attack in comparison to last year.

#82 bleys

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 03:27 PM

that too...

#83 Cyberjag

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 03:38 PM

So John Fox takes over a 1-15 team and wins 7, yet he's just terrible. And Rivera, who's a genius, will be lucky to win 4 games?

Huddle logic at it's best. :)

BTW, my best guess is that we start Clausen and finish with Newton, and we probably better last year's production by a touchdown per game. Defense stays roughly the same. Schedule looks hard right now, but since most of the teams on there are supposed to be good then we'll probably catch a break and instead of losing to someone who's supposed to be lousy we'll beat someone who should have been better.

Regardless, it's going to be a fun year. I don't think we make the playoffs, but the team is still young and there's going to be a lot of opportunities to see a play here and there and look forward to the future. And forget Luck, the last team to get back to back #1 picks was the 2000 and 2001 Browns, it's HARD to be that awful two years running.

#84 Darth Bobo

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 03:52 PM

QB/RB - There is really no way Jimmy starts. You either start Cam or the vet you bring in.....I just don't see how Rivera couldn't logically start a season w/ Clausen. That means instant improved QB play....which also improves the ground attack in comparison to last year.

You may be spot on about Newton's starting. I can only guess.

2010 was a psychological catastrophe for Jimmy Clausen, the season began with his optimism and ended with him standing alone, without confidence, apologizing for the 2010 season. Who else (other than Delhome, Lucas, or Bright) has the all-too-eager blame finger of Steve Smith emasculated more? Jimmy showed some mental toughness by keeping more composure than J. Russel or V. Young did.

First, I'd give Jimmy a second chance, because we aren't heading for the playoffs, all Jimmy has to do is forget last year and improve. I personally feel it would be a mistake of bias to assume that Jimmy cannot. If Jimmy proves as his detractors suspect that he cannot even perform as a competent backup to Newton, that information will become obvious and valuable to the Panthers, as we can begin seeking a replacement for him.

Second, I'd insulate the capable but inexperienced Newton from the same kind of psychological catastrophe that Clausen faced if at all possible. Personnel decisions like switching a starter seem much worse to fans when they are repeated, then they do the first time they are made. Considering that, Cam Newton may be too expensive not to consider his psychological stability and confidence before putting him on the field. And we don't even know what our strengths are going to be at the beginning of the season. Would it not be better to hand Newton the reigns after we know what we can/cannot do?

Cam is a proven is a winner, and we need him to continue to believe that about himself no matter what. We need him to ride the wave of confidence, not get knocked off of it and try to get back on. That, we should leave for Jimmy. It's the cards he was dealt, and he has to make the most of that. If Cam sees Jimmy fail as starter, then it will be easier for him to believe that he has earned the right to be where he is. And Cam should never be a starter by draft-right. All players have to earn their right to play to get respect from their teammates. If Cam is put on the field while Jimmy sits in envy, waiting for his second chance, then every small failure may eat away at Cam. If Cam starts over Jimmy without ever having played a single NFL game and fails early, Jimmy may come back and play better than anyone expected. In that case, the coaching staff looks lame for not knowing who the better QB was, and for putting Cams ego at risk before he was ready. That would be irrespsonsible.

Edited by Darth Bobo, 16 June 2011 - 03:54 PM.


#85 Peppers90 NC

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 03:55 PM

So John Fox takes over a 1-15 team and wins 7, yet he's just terrible. And Rivera, who's a genius, will be lucky to win 4 games?

Huddle logic at it's best. :)


BTW, my best guess is that we start Clausen and finish with Newton, and we probably better last year's production by a touchdown per game. Defense stays roughly the same. Schedule looks hard right now, but since most of the teams on there are supposed to be good then we'll probably catch a break and instead of losing to someone who's supposed to be lousy we'll beat someone who should have been better.

Regardless, it's going to be a fun year. I don't think we make the playoffs, but the team is still young and there's going to be a lot of opportunities to see a play here and there and look forward to the future. And forget Luck, the last team to get back to back #1 picks was the 2000 and 2001 Browns, it's HARD to be that awful two years running.


Finally! And the core we have now is tremendously better than the core we had back then. But it is better to underestimate and overachieve than overestimate and underachieve.

#86 CRA

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:02 PM

You may be spot on about Newton's starting. I can only guess.

2010 was a psychological catastrophe for Jimmy Clausen, the season began with his optimism and ended with him standing alone, without confidence, apologizing for the 2010 season. Who else (other than Delhome, Lucas, or Bright) has the all-too-eager blame finger of Steve Smith emasculated more? Jimmy showed some mental toughness by keeping more composure than J. Russel or V. Young did.

First, I'd give Jimmy a second chance, because we aren't heading for the playoffs, all Jimmy has to do is forget last year and improve. I personally feel it would be a mistake of bias to assume that Jimmy cannot. If Jimmy proves as his detractors suspect that he cannot even perform as a competent backup to Newton, that information will become obvious and valuable to the Panthers, as we can begin seeking a replacement for him.

Second, I'd insulate the capable but inexperienced Newton from the same kind of psychological catastrophe that Clausen faced if at all possible. Personnel decisions like switching a starter seem much worse to fans when they are repeated, then they do the first time they are made. Considering that, Cam Newton may be too expensive not to consider his psychological stability and confidence before putting him on the field. And we don't even know what our strengths are going to be at the beginning of the season. Would it not be better to hand Newton the reigns after we know what we can/cannot do?

Cam is a proven is a winner, and we need him to continue to believe that about himself no matter what. We need him to ride the wave of confidence, not get knocked off of it and try to get back on. That, we should leave for Jimmy. It's the cards he was dealt, and he has to make the most of that. If Cam sees Jimmy fail as starter, then it will be easier for him to believe that he has earned the right to be where he is. And Cam should never be a starter by draft-right. All players have to earn their right to play to get respect from their teammates. If Cam is put on the field while Jimmy sits in envy, waiting for his second chance, then every small failure may eat away at Cam. If Cam starts over Jimmy without ever having played a single NFL game and fails early, Jimmy may come back and play better than anyone expected. In that case, the coaching staff looks lame for not knowing who the better QB was, and for putting Cams ego at risk before he was ready. That would be irrespsonsible.


well, I don't know if Cam starts right away or not.....could be the vet just as easy. Jimmy hate aside, I just don't see how Rivera can start him for a host of reasons over the other two.

The keys are meant for Cam.....Rivera either gives them to him or the vet test drives the car for a bit. Rivera will start Cam when Cam is ready to take lumps and learn. I think only injury would force Cam off the field next year once he starts.