Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:08 AM
there was a culture of apathy here long before rivera got here.
the only thing required for you to get a huge contract was that you were drafted by the panthers. there was no expectation of being great. all you had to be was decent. that was on hurney.
the team itself never had the bar raised as far as expectations. fox, after that first and legendary meeting with the team wher he told them all that no one's job was safe, never really challenged the players to be great. all they had to be was just good enough to keep your job. excuses were constantly made for being underachievers and a mindset of "it is what it is" permeated the team. apathy.
in hiring rivera, it seemed we got someone with fire but really all we've seen is fox minus an winning season. maybe if he had inherited a better defense and an oline that was roided up rivera might have had equal the success, but the bar was never raised moving from fox to rivera.
part of the problem remaining is the players on the team that were used to losing and just shrug their shoulders and continue saying, "it is what it is" only now they've added to their language, "here we go again" kind of just expecting things to fall apart at the first sign of trouble. but what do they care? they still get paid.
this team might need another gutting or a heart transplant. we might need to get more off the team from the fox/hurne era than what has already been cut off.
all of that said, cam has the power to change his own perception and mindset. he may have been brought down by a losing culture that is here, but that's no excuse for not being able to fight back. all of the guys on the team have that same power...or at least they should. most of them are followers, though. just a couple are actually leaders and cam is one of the few and probably has more power of influence than any one else in that lockerroom.
he can be a ray lewis type leader, but first he needs to start fighting again and quit being so controlled or influenced by his surroundings. the only one that can make that happen is cam. but the other grownups on that team need to suck it up as well and quit accepting defeat. they need to be players that make things happen at the end of the game. they need to be guys that turn it on at crunch time.
i think they fight most of the game, but at the end they just allow themselves to get slack because they don't have any confidence in themselves to be able to finish. they expect something to go wrong rather than expecting themselves to be that clutch guy that makes things happen when ther number is up.