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Catalyst

Rebuilding Plans

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Post your plan to rebuild the Panthers... I'll go first:

1. HIRE A NEW GM: I'm not going to pretend to know the candidates or what direction we'll take, but just hire a new GM who plans to rebuild without blowing up the talent base we already have. I really feel we don't need to blow this team up to rebuild. The guy from the Giants would be good, but I really don't care so long as the new GM doesn't screw up.

2. HEAD COACHING SEARCH: Rivera obviously is not the answer. We badly need a new head coach who can change the culture of this franchise. We have a QB who has tried to do this and he's been lambasted for his efforts by the press and a large portion of the fanbase. He needs a partner in the new coach, not just a guy who stands expressionless on the sidelines.

My pick for head coach? Mike Zimmer, the defensive coordinator of the Bengals. Not a huge name, but Zimmer has shown the ability to get the most out of a mediocre bunch of guys in Cincy and while the Bengals defense hasn't been elite, they have been remarkably consistent during his run. And beyond that, he has the qualities you look for in a head coach. And that's important because it takes more than having a top-ranked unit - as Rivera had in S.D. Mike McCarthy, for example, was the O.C. for the 49ers before being hired by the Packers and they were coming off several awful years offensively. He wasn't hired for where his units ranked, but because of the qualities he possessed as a coach. Zimmer is just what we need, IMO.

3. TAILOR THE OFFENSE TO CAM - BUT KEEP IT PRO-STYLE: This is huge. Chud's biggest mistake has been trying to force this read-option bullshit on us. I've always felt the offense that best suits Cam is one like Ben Roethlisberger ran early in his career in Pittsburgh. We need to find an O.C. that understands this and can tailor his offense to fit Cam, but in a way that doesn't turn us into the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

4. TRIM THE FAT: Sad as it is to say, there are several big names I think have to go. The biggest name is Jon Beason. As much as I respect him as a person and player, Luke Kuechly is just better right now and the middle is and should be Luke's for the future. That means Beason will, if he stays, be forced to play outside, which limits his ability just as it did Luke's. That's not fair to the team and it's not fair to Beason himself. It's just time to part ways. Other cuts/trades I'd make include Jimmy Clausen, Derek Anderson, DeAngelo Williams, Geoff Hangartner, and David Gettis. Ron Edwards as well - more on that later. Chris Gamble, Jordan Gross, Thomas Davis, and Steve Smith stay. It's be near impossible to replace these guys in one offseason. I would ask them to restructure, though.

5. SIGN A HIGH-CHARACTER VETERAN BACKUP QB: Cam needs this badly. He needs a Jake Delhomme type backup who has been a starter before and who is a high character guy who can show Cam the way to handle the pressure and media and do it right. Derek Anderson is not that guy.

6. SWITCH TO A 3-4 DEFENSE: This will depend largely on what direction we go with coaching, but the option of switching to the 3-4 defense should be on the table. I'm not saying we do it, but we should consider it. I feel like Charles Johnson can play 3-4 DE; he's good enough against the run, has the size, and is obviously a good enough pass rusher. Greg Hardy can play OLB and Thomas Keiser might be a beast in the making as a 3-4 edge rusher as well. Move James Anderson to the middle along with Kuechly and draft/sign the biggest, nastiest nose tackle we can find. Sign a mid-level FA to start opposite Johnson at the other end spot. Thomas Davis can play his old 'joker' role as a pass rusher and hybrid strong safety/linebacker type and also serve as depth at ILB. He can't stay healthy anyway, so a part-time role is his best fit anyway. The secondary will remain largely the same with Josh Norman getting first crack at the starting CB job opposite Gamble. We need to address the safety position badly and bring in a guy who can compete with Norman with the loser playing the nickel role.

7. DRAFT STAR LOTULELEI, DT, UTAH: We should be in a good position to draft this guy. If we're too low, trade up like Cleveland did for Trent Richardson. Make it work. This is the guy we need to anchor the 3-4 defense. He's a Haloti Ngata in the making.

8. FINALLY ADDRESS THE WR POSITION - BY WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY: Smitty isn't getting any younger and we don't have a viable #1 other than him. We have to address this ASAP. If it takes trading back into the 1st round by giving up the following year's 1st rounder, so be it - as long as the prospect is right and the value is good. If we can trade into the 10-12 range and pick up a viable replacement for Smith we need to do that. Coming out of the draft with Star Lotulelei and a Keenen Allen, for example, I say we do it. For that matter, if we have the cap space to sign a Greg Jennings, do it as well. Or if we have to trade for a top flight receiver, so be it. We have to address this need NOW and not wait until it becomes so pressing that we're left without a true top receiver for Cam to throw to.

9. COMPLETELY REVAMP SPECIAL TEAMS: We need to hire the absolute BEST special teams coach available. Whoever it is, show him the money. I'm so sick of out return game being nonexistent and our coverage units being piss poor. We need to finally address this, both in terms of coaching AND players on the field.

My plan results in a starting roster roughly looking like this:

HEAD COACH: Mike Zimmer

QB: Cam Newton, Veteran Backup

RB: Jonathan Stewart, Tauren Poole

FB: Mike Tolbert

WR: Steve Smith

WR: Brandon LaFell

WR: FA/Draft Pick/Trade

TE: Greg Olsen

LT: Jordan Gross

LG: Amini Silatolu

OC: Ryan Kalil

RG: Mid-Level FA

RT: Byron Bell

DE: Charles Johnson, Frank Alexander

NT: Star Lotulelei

DE: Mid-Level FA

OLB: Greg Hardy, Frank Alexander

ILB: Luke Kuechly

ILB: James Anderson

OLB: Thomas Keiser

CB: Chris Gamble

CB: Josh Norman

CB: Mid-Level FA

FS: FA/Draft Pick

SS: Charles Godfrey

K: Justin Medlock/FA/Draft Pick

P: Brad Nortman

KR: Kealoha Pilares/Joe Adams

PR: Joe Adams

LS: J.J. Jansen

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Ummm....

switch to 3-4 and then ditch a MLB as good as Beason?

Why switch to a 3-4 at all in fact? We have a fantastic group of 4-3 DEs which are generating pressure to the level of any 3-4 defence. Add to that you would be taking a group of linebckers who are pretty good in a 4-3 and forcing them into things they aren't great at - taking on blocks.

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switch to 3-4 and then ditch a MLB as good as Beason?

He's not that "good" anymore. He'll likely never regain his form.

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I like the Mike Zimmer suggestion.

I like trimming the fat (although I think that you shoudl keep a vet QB behind Cam....if not Anderson, then someone just like Anderson)

Would let hangman go, but need to sign some OL Depth.

Not sure I would let R Edwards go at this point. We seem to have stablized the DT position and should develop some of the young guys. But, cutting the DT veterans did not work before, and I don't like it now.

Don't like drafting a 3-4 DT because I don't like moving to a 3-4. Also don't like taking DT's that high in the draft....VERY FEW ever pan out.

Nice analysis and well thought out positions....even the one's that I don't agree with.

Well done, sir.

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am i the only one who feel like special teams has improved exponentially from last year? I mean coverage-wise. We are actually stopping returners from even moving and nortman, aside from his epic 6 yard punt last week, has been rock solid and has a far stronger leg than baker ever did. Medlock isn't Mare, so that's an upgrade. The only thing we haven't gotten better at is on the returner side of the ball, but at least with captain returning punts we know he won't fumble.

Murphy has done just fine this year in my opinion...

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am i the only one who feel like special teams has improved exponentially from last year? I mean coverage-wise. We are actually stopping returners from even moving and nortman, aside from his epic 6 yard punt last week, has been rock solid and has a far stronger leg than baker ever did. Medlock isn't Mare, so that's an upgrade. The only thing we haven't gotten better at is on the returner side of the ball, but at least with captain returning punts we know he won't fumble.

Murphy has done just fine this year in my opinion...

Largely agree with the first paragraph, which made the plan against the Bears that much more idiotic. We brought in ST aces, generally have done a good job covering kicks, then go full retard in our scheme because we're facing Hester.

Early in the game, we punted to Hester and covered it just fine. I think on his first two returns he averaged maybe 6 yards. Then either Ron or Murphy got scared and decided to let him affect the game without even touching the ball. Whether it was Ron's idea or Murphy's we'll probably never know.

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People will laugh at the annual idea to switch to a 3-4 but if there is ever a time to do so, it would be this coming offseason.

Big personel and coaching changes coming, so why not? Considering the offenses we have to play in our division, I think it makes sense.

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Stephen A Smitt said it best, that when you look at the TB Bucs you see Greg Schiano. When you talk about the Panthers, you see Cam. Rivera is not a leader of men.

He's right on it. For a better example, look at the Saints. You have an All Pro QB in Brees but when you think of the Aints, Sean Payton always come to mind. And not just from the bounty scandals. It's a huge image of both Brees and Payton as the faces of that Franchise. Date back to when Tony Dungy was with Payton also and even now Brady and Belichick.

We need to find that coach who controls and will light a fire under our players! Rivera is not a coach and I believe that he will never get another shot as a HC after his time is up here. We need a coach who will take all the media attention off of Cam. I'm not calling for him and I dont see it happening but a Cowher would do just that.

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He's not that "good" anymore. He'll likely never regain his form.

Said the same thing about B. Urlacher. Beason will be fine. I love how a guy gets injuried and automatically he is done. Beason has had a small run of bad luck. For crying out loud we held onto OTAH for 2+ years waiting for him and he was 1/2 the athlete Beason is.

Beason will be fine in 2013.

If you are going to go 3-4 keeping Beason should be a must.

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Said the same thing about B. Urlacher. Beason will be fine. I love how a guy gets injuried and automatically he is done. Beason has had a small run of bad luck. For crying out loud we held onto OTAH for 2+ years waiting for him and he was 1/2 the athlete Beason is.

Beason will be fine in 2013.

If you are going to go 3-4 keeping Beason should be a must.

Most people would say, but that was under the Hurney regime that we held onto Otah for so long. I am not most people though. We need to have Beason come back and restructure him just like we did TD. Tell him that he needs to show us he can play while battling for an incentive laden contract. Plus, he is going to have to play at the Will. If he will not make those two concessions, then maybe you think about making moves.

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