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Causes for Optimism?


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#1 Cape Fear Cat

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:15 AM

So here we are, and another season is in the books. Instead of grousing about what could have been, I prefer to look ahead to what might be. Rather than being Debbie Downers for a change, how about we offer some things that make us optimistic for 2013!

For me:
Cam is still Cam, and is becoming even more so! He will be one of the best that ever played, and he's all ours.
LaFell is turning into a fine (if not spectacular) receiver. Granted, he's not Smitty, but then who is? Which leads me to...
Smitty - pound for pound, still one of the top ten receivers in the NFL. He brings the skill and the fire that sets the standard for the youngsters to reach for. We're damned lucky to have him.
Luke Kuechly is a MONSTER linebacker. The corp of TD, Keek, and Beason is going to be a thing of beauty to watch next year.
Greg Olsen is the steady-handed presence that provides Cam the support he needs when nothing else is open. I love that he's calmly staking his claim to the TE highlights in the Panthers' record books.
CJ and Kraken - need I say more?
Dwill, Stewie, and Tolbert. How disheartening must it be to have to game plan against a three-headed monster like that? Granted, cap considerations might dictate Dwill has to go, but I sure hope not. He's been a consumate Panther and has always answered the call when we need him. Of course, some of you will point to poor performances early on in 2012, but I think that was more a function of poor O-line play. Can't run through holes that ain't there, right?
Promising young talent. Two years in a row we've been forced by injury to plug holes with unknown back ups. This year, for the most part, the youngsters stepped up and gave a respectable accounting for themselves. That talent will ripen as the new season camps and instruction begin to bear fruit, giving the Panthers a solid corp of bench players who can hold the fort when inevitable injury forces them into the lineup again.
A coaching staff who I think is starting to finally get it. I know, I know, a lot of you will think I started imbibing the New Years hootch a little early. But I honestly think the improvement curve I've seen over the last half of 2012 applies to the coaching too. I think it's starting to gel with RR, Chud and McD. I'm not one who demands instant gratification (though the homer in me struggles with the desire sometimes), and I believe the best things take time to build. I think RR, new coach that he is, has the talent to do that. Despite some questionable, bone-headed rookie coach mistakes, he has shown me enough to grant him some more rope to field the team we all want.

So call me a homer, or say I've lost my marbles. Damn me to the purgatory of the hopelessly deluded, and laugh at my Pollyanna-like enthusiasm for what many of you no doubt consider to be another upcoming season of more of the same. You may be right, but I'm putting on my rose colored glasses now, and exercising my right to be a cockeyed optimist. Go Panthers, and hurry up 2013! :goodjob:

#2 chknwing

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:17 AM

little early to start drinking for new years eve

#3 RockyTopVol

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:19 AM

I don't think all of those players will be back next year.
Still, I applaud the sentiment. I'm tired of being depressed because of my football teams.

#4 Bj-Monster23

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:19 AM

Hard to be optimistic when you're feeling the same way you did last year.

#5 Cape Fear Cat

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:25 AM

Sometimes, BJ, when you feel that way, the only thing that saves you is optimism. Buck up, little buddy! The day after the Super Bowl is the start of a brand new season!

#6 panthers55

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:46 AM

What worried me most of the year was that we had to be perfect most of the time in order to win. If Cam threw a pick or we gave the other team great field position, they always scored and took advantage. What I have seen in the last few games is the offense doing some great things but also making mistakes like the pick six to Vilma. Instead of Cam and the offense packing it in, they fought right back. Meanwhile the defense has been very stout at times and came up with sacks and big defensive plays to stop the opponent. Sure we gave up a lot of points to New Orleans but when it mattered in the second half when we were behind, they totally dominated the game.
I know everyone wants to make this a referendum on Rivera but what I saw was a team playing together and picking each other up when the game was on the line. The defense saved the offense at times when they made mistakes. The offense scored when they needed to to capitalize and build a lead. Special teams was very good yesterday. Making a chance on special teams really has paid off.
What I am excited about is that I have seen total team efforts the past few weeks. I hope we can build this kind of chemistry next year before week 10.

#7 Bj-Monster23

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:54 AM

Sometimes, BJ, when you feel that way, the only thing that saves you is optimism. Buck up, little buddy! The day after the Super Bowl is the start of a brand new season!


Yeah I know.

#8 jarhead

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:56 AM

What worried me most of the year was that we had to be perfect most of the time in order to win. If Cam threw a pick or we gave the other team great field position, they always scored and took advantage. What I have seen in the last few games is the offense doing some great things but also making mistakes like the pick six to Vilma. Instead of Cam and the offense packing it in, they fought right back. Meanwhile the defense has been very stout at times and came up with sacks and big defensive plays to stop the opponent. Sure we gave up a lot of points to New Orleans but when it mattered in the second half when we were behind, they totally dominated the game.
I know everyone wants to make this a referendum on Rivera but what I saw was a team playing together and picking each other up when the game was on the line. The defense saved the offense at times when they made mistakes. The offense scored when they needed to to capitalize and build a lead. Special teams was very good yesterday. Making a chance on special teams really has paid off.
What I am excited about is that I have seen total team efforts the past few weeks. I hope we can build this kind of chemistry next year before week 10.



I agree.Lets hope that is something we can build on. I am not trying to forgive Rivera for his game planning early on but he did a good job of getting the most out of scrubs when we had so many injuries.He did not make excuses but went with what he had and played to win these last couple of games.The defense he was able to assemble was pretty impressive given the injuries and he should be commended for that.

I also felt that Cam picked up his game the latter part of the season and showed what he was made of yesterday after clearly being injured.

#9 panthers55

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:06 AM

I agree.Lets hope that is something we can build on. I am not trying to forgive Rivera for his game planning early on but he did a good job of getting the most out of scrubs when we had so many injuries.He did not make excuses but went with what he had and played to win these last couple of games.The defense he was able to assemble was pretty impressive given the injuries and he should be commended for that.

I also felt that Cam picked up his game the latter part of the season and showed what he was made of yesterday after clearly being injured.


Totally agree. The difference in Cam's attitude and leadership coupled with Kuechly and Davis being everywhere and showing the defense how to be physical and relentless finally paid off big time. I agree that coaching is very important but to me how the coaches prepare the players and get them to buy into their system is the most important thing they do. Rivera hiring a teaching staff is finally paying off. And lets give McDermott props. He took a lot of crap over the past 2 years when the defense struggled. He gets credit for turning things around and taking scrubs like Thomas and making them play inspired and physically.

#10 chknwing

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:11 AM

imagine the team without scrubs. cmon gm, u got work to do

#11 ickmule

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:13 AM

Totally agree. The difference in Cam's attitude and leadership coupled with Kuechly and Davis being everywhere and showing the defense how to be physical and relentless finally paid off big time. I agree that coaching is very important but to me how the coaches prepare the players and get them to buy into their system is the most important thing they do. Rivera hiring a teaching staff is finally paying off. And lets give McDermott props. He took a lot of crap over the past 2 years when the defense struggled. He gets credit for turning things around and taking scrubs like Thomas and making them play inspired and physically.



Finally, someone that gets it. Thanks !

#12 rayzor

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:15 AM

i agreed with everything right up until "A coaching staff who I think is starting to finally get it." I still don't trust his game management, esp. at crunch time and at the end of games.


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