I have objectively looked at our roster and though there are a few questionabl positions. I truly believe we have an outstanding roster. Depth seems to be OK as well.
Starting up front offensively
Kalil and Gross are two Pro Bowl Caliber players in probably the two key positions on the offensive line. Center and LT. Right Tackle is Bell and what a find he has been. Now in his third year he knows he belongs and has solidified the RT position for us. He made us forget about Jeffery...whats his name. Hangartner and Silatolu are solid guards. Now that Silatolu has a year under his belt he seems to be more confortable at his position. I don't see why he won't continue to improve as he did at the end of last season. Hangartner, I think caught some flack as being bad but I think it had to do with our replacement center more than him. Sure he takes the blame and maybe rightly so. I just feel he is better than the critics on this forum say he is. It will be interesting to see if Kugbila will be able to push him for the starting guard position. I know he was running with the first in minicamp, We'll see in about 6 weeks or so when they put pads on. IMO this line is as good as any in the league.
Tight End we have an underrated Greg Olsen and a solid blocking TE in Hartsock. 800+ yds for a TE is a solid season. Everyone seems to forget Olsen when we talk about the receiving Corps. Hartsock is only going to make our running game even better.
Wide Receiver has to start with Smith. The guy is a game changer. Always has been, always will be. IMO a HOFer (that's another topic) LaFell is solid. I truly believe that Ginn and Hixon are going to really make a difference this year. (mini-camp Ginn went off from what I have read) Though there is some concern I just feel that we are going to be fine in this area.
Running Back Double Trouble when healthy are the BEST tandem in the league. There are some arguments but clearly worth arguing about. I think Shula is going to really get this part of our offense going. Tolbert and Barner will be great tools out of the backfield and in Tolbert position a hell of a lead block. I am truly excited for Shula to feature these guys.
Saving the best for last
Quarterback Cam Newton is our franchise QB. Some seem to forget the man is not even 25 yet. If Cam continues to grow (which I believe he will) We are going to be a contender for a long time. Many seem to forget that Brees had 3 or 4 years on SD before he went to N.O. Cam is only in year 3. He will do great. I am happy Anderson stayed. I think he knows this offense and god forbid but if Cam went down with the tools he has I think we would still be successful.
Defensive End CJ and Hardy had 23 sacks last year without a dominate interior tackle. This year that has been address in a big way. We have Alexander who is well worth our third round pick we gave up for. Orh or any of the other DE we have wil flourish with our DTs.
Defensive Tackle. Star, Short, Edwards, Cole, alone make this a formidable positon for us. Depth and talent in one quick off-season. These guys alone are going to make a huge difference for everyone on the defense. Linebackers are going to be free. Kuechly and crew are going to have a monster year. This time last year we were going "Who is going to play DT?" This year we are going who are we going to have to cut? Kearse, Fua or Gaydosh.
Linebacker Arguably the best LB corp in the NFL. Three 1st rounders, Pro Bowler Beason, DROY Kuechly and TD who was on his way to the pro bowl when he got hurt. Throw in Klien, Blackburn, and Senn and this is as good as it gets at one position.
Defensive Backs Probably our weakest area. But also have a ton of hungry talented DBs that are going to benefit from a front 7 like we have. Thomas for sure and Norman, Dockery or maybe White will take #2, Moore and Captain filling the slots on nickel and dime. With Godfrey at the helm in the defensive backfield and Mitchell (IMO) starting we will be good as any at Safety. Lester and Campbell will be solid backups. These guys names aren't brand name guys. But they did a solid job (not including upgrading in the offeason thru FA) at the end of last season and should be better with our front 7. Percentage of reception IMO is overrated and I think it showed for us last year. Though we were tops in percentage of completion we were near the best in yardage. Meaning alot of completions were short yardage stuff. Underneath stuff that we kept at short yardage. While it would be nice to limit the catches they make at least we are keeping it in front of us.
Coaching Offensively Matsko, Brown, Proehl are solid coaches that always get the best out of their players. Shula IMO having learned from his mistakes in his past and having a FAR Better cast of characters will really get the job done. I don't see any reason why they won't fluorish offensively.
Defensively Washington, Holcomb and Wilks are as good as they come as well. McDermott has all the tools and no excuse not to bring the house and cause havoc to other teams. He has the tools and I think will show some of his breeding from the Great Jim Johnson this season.
Special Teams. Rodgers has quite a few weapons to choose from but Ginn should help our field position and if he can get our coverage teams down pat. We should really be in great shape on Special Teams.
Head Coach Rivera, I was not one that wanted to retain Rivera. I thought when the tough got going he pulled a Coach Klien (See the movie Waterboy) and went and hid. JR retained him and believed he learned from his mistakes. I hope he has. This position could ruin the whole thing if he freezes when crunch time arrives. Rookie year with Rookie QB.. OK he was learning. 2nd year is a mulligan year. This year he has to shine.
General Manager This isn't a position ON the team but a crucial part of the team. As the season progresses and injuries happen. Gettleman will find a replacement if required from Free Agency. I think he has what it takes to mold a team.
I am going to get the homerism and bandwagon accusations. Never fails when someone writes something like this. I try to be objective and I just don't see where any position is going to be a liability. Sure some are weaker than others but as they saying goes. "You are only as strong as your weakest linK" I see our weakest link as being pretty solid.
Do me a favor if you want to plug in a different name instead of the ones I posted. That's cool the point for each position I think I made.
Go Panthers 2013.... Playoff Bound