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MHS831

How much have we improved from 2012?

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OFFENSE

 

Quarterback:  Same.  While I think Cam will have a better year, I think he is not to blame for 7-9--he is the reason we got to 7-9 with that team.  Maybe the chemistry is better, but his preseason was not impressive.

 

RB:  Better.  We learned how to use Tolbert, added Barner, and have DWill and Stewart (eventually).  Last year the QB out rushed the backs. That is not happening this season.

 

TE: Same.  Williams is raw and Olsen and Hartsock are constant. 

 

OT: Somewhat Worse:  I see Bell as a very hard-working, limited T.  Gross will slide each year until we decide he is done.  No improvement here, unless Chandler catches fire.

 

OG: Better:  Wharton, Silatolu, and Williams are better than a rookie and Hangartner.

 

C: Better:  Kalil was injured for much of the season, which is why we fell short of his Super Bowl prediction.

 

WR:  Somewhat Better.  While we still need that superstar who is not 5'9" and 34, we are better. Smitty still has some juice in the tank, Lafell is improving, and Edwards/Ginn/Hixon are better than Murphy.

 

DEFENSE

 

S: Better.  Godfrey at FS is better than Godfrey at SS.  Mitchell and Mikell are better than Godfrey at SS.  Everyone is better than Nakamura. 

 

CB: Somewhat Better,  Gamble was hurt for most of the season.  We started a fifth-round rookie from Coastal Carolina, some of the time, Dockery and Thomas the rest.  Experience alone makes us better, but Moore and White do too.

 

OLB:  Somewhat Better.  Davis has shaken the rust off,while Beason begins the process, but Davis and Beason are tremendous football players.  Beason may take some time to surpass Anderson's production because he is learning and getting back into football shape, but do not discount the fact that beason makes others better.  The improvement lies in the addition of Chase Blackburn and AJ Klein. 

 

MLB: Somewhat Better.  How can anyone expect Luke to improve on his NFL-leading tackle total?  He will become a better player because there are now 4 guys in front of him who will garner some attention. 

 

DE: Better,  Hardy came into his own last season, but this is his breakout season.  Stay tuned.  Johnson is still solid and Alexander is no longer a rookie.  Star, KK, and Dwan will demand double teams.  Happy days are here again.  Expect 30 sacks from our DEs.

 

DT:  Unbelievably better:  Star > Fua.  KK and Dwan > Dwan and Chandler.  The biggest improvement

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

 

K: Somewhat Better. Gano has been stroking it with confidence and power--like Rum is gone with a Victoria Secret catalog.  Impressive.

 

P: Better.  During the second half of the season, Nortman improved his average by 5 yards.  He seemed to be getting some good hang time and distance this preseason. 

 

PR: Better.  Ted Ginn.

 

KR: Same:  Not sure who gets the work, but I doubt we see worse than 2012.

 

 

While the Panthers have weak spots, so do all other teams.  Hats off to Gettlemen for giving us a chance to compete.  Screw you Hurney, and may the guy who stomped your face with golf spikes live a long and prosperous life for having the vision to do what we all would have done had it not been already done. 

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A bit sunny, but I have to agree. I think we're just better this year. Plus the defense looks like an actual unit now, which is so far from where we were.

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You know what, that glass is starting to look half full... 

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Outside of personnel I think we will be better just being more comfortable in the system and experience

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just based on the obvious improvements on special teams and defense, i think the team is better than last season's.

 

the jury is still out on offense.

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Experience tells me it's hard to impossible to say. Too many things that can happen in terms of injuries, players progressing and players regressing as well.

I just hope for the best but have no real expectations.

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Head Coach is still highly suspect. Rivera better field a top 5 D and Shula better channel is father or all the improvements in the world won't matter.

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i think our WR group is much, much better with the addition of ginn and hixon and lafell's continued ascension. 

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I think we're a much better team honestly

 

I agree.  I will however temper the level of excitement I had prior to last year until I see it game one.  Last year's opening half of live action took more wind out of my sails than Jake Delhomme's season giveaway on a Saturday night some years back (almost).  I'm going to wait and see.  

That said.  We are better on paper and there are logical reasons to believe there is added motivation to go with the situational improvements.

 

Reason #1: Riv is on the hot seat and is respected by his players.  That is a powerful combo

 

Reason #2: A porous middle of the D not only gives a green light to up the middle rushing, it pretty much renders all leads we had unsafe and any lead we have to overcome insurmountable based on the O's ability to salt away time with the run.  Star changes this, not to mention Short.  We no longer have one of the biggest psychological de-motivators in the sport working against us like we have had for the last halff decade or more.

 

Reason #3: Legitimate attitude and confidence in the punt return game.  Ginn is a weapon.  It gives us an identity.  It makes OC's rethink every 3rd down play call (if not all of them) knowing hat they face.  True home run potential.  Have not had that since a brief stint with Smitty and Bates before that.  Players, coaches and fans alike will get excited every time the punt team takes the field.  

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