So, because the Falcons and Saints had good offense last season and they won't slump... but their defense will be better, they will jump, leap, bound and land tied at the top (unofficially)?
But, the Panthers who didn't have as good an offense last season, but improved it, and solidified even more the defense that is still the best in the division, will have less wins (with minus one game has the same "easy schedule" as the rest of the division) ?????
I'd have to say probably being present in the stadium for the 2008 MNF game against the Bucs for the Division lead at that time. The run game with Double Trouble getting 200 yards before Jake's kneel downs that night was awesome.
Other notables for me:
2004 Home Opener against Green Bay (my first live game)
2013 against the Pats (my Dad's first live game)
2013 Away game in ATL, winning the division, and being in their dome to witness it.
I never had a team I pulled for before the Panthers.
My friends had teams. I'd watch and get to know Football (I was more a NASCAR and basketball kid growing up, outside skateboarding)
I was told "you need to pick a team so we can talk poo to you!" I asked what were the newest teams... they said 2 teams coming into the league this season. I picked the Panthers, being I was such a NASCAR fan (via my dad) and a Hornets fan.
So, since they started playing in the league. I've been a fan. Life long, I can't say that I guess being they haven't been around all my life. But Their life? Yes sir. Life long.
To be fair, Baldwin and Kearse were his top two receivers. Russel has had a lot less to work with, unless you're counting RB's. Then hes had one of the best to work with.
Indeed they were, and like I said... they have both been there since he started. building chemistry. out of Cam's 6, he's technically lost 3 (2 left the team, 1 is used as a FB or Blocking TE, not a pass catching option. he's caught 1 pass since 2011.) and the other 3 weren't options on the field until 2014 really. While they played Plug-N-Play with the WR2,WR3, etc positions each season until 2014... where they blew up the whole WR bunch.
Talent is Talent. but then again consistency with said talent Grows the collective talent. does it not?
Either way. the whole thing has been the consistency hasn't been there for Cam. (lack or talent plays a part in that) And Wilson has have consistency, building his game with the familiar players each season. (who got more and more action)
Who knows, but you can only grow talent if you keep it around.... constantly.
But it is safe to say it is both stuff out of his control (OC and OL) and also some stuff he can control (footwork, being more decisive, making better reads/throws, etc).
I'm pretty sure the anyone with half a football mind can make some pretty solid Educated guesses that the talent he's had to throw to in his career as a Panther hasn't been "consistent". the Oline rankings show that's not been consistent. 2 OC's on top of that (completely different styles)... yeah, those a major factors.
Yes, he needs to work on his footwork. We have all been saying that since he got to the NFL.
Even in the past season I saw Game make "better" and "more decisive" reads. And Hell, even the best Qb's make those mistakes. that's a fluid thing with new defensive alignments and match-ups. Part of the game. but, I personally feel he's done pretty well at progressing there in the past 2 seasons.
No one is argue'n that Cam doesn't need to do better on things. And if they are, that's just idiotic. But, to think it's solely on his shoulders to carry the team and "elevate his game" to the next level... that's what he has been trying to let go of. He's said it himself. He can't expect to be the guy to always make the play. he has t trust his teammates. Work together as a team and elevate to those standards.
It's happening. The Panthers as a team are getting younger, and learning together. young players learning together. working together. staying together for a consistent solid number of years will wield results.
It's been a mixed bag for Cam.
He's young. (as his Coaching staff has been as well when it comes to their careers are certain positions. Not to mention the new philosophy from the GM standpoint that's only been in for 2 years, and gave a statement of doubt that Cam would even be that franchise QB) it's a process. And I for one see it progressing.
Here's to the Future. Here's to the whole offense building together upon itself... And here's to a championship in the near future.
For the people talking about the years before last seasons horrid Oline...
2011 Oline rankings... number on the right is the season before.
9. Carolina Panthers (7th)
Run Rank 5th, Pass Rank 18th, Penalties Rank 19th
Outside of the problem right tackle spot, this is a line that does a particularly good job in opening holes for their backs. They also afford Cam Newton ample time when it comes to making plays. It’s not flashy, but it is effective.
Best Player: Over the past few years, Jordan Gross (+11.5) has worked within his limitations to become one of the most dependable left tackles in the league. Kudos.
Worst Player: In an ideal world Byron Bell (-26.2) wouldn’t have seen any action, but injuries to Geoff Schwartz and Jeff Otah (+1.6) robbed the Panthers of the two guys on the roster capable of playing RT. It’s not an ideal world and Bell was horrible in every phase of the game.
2012 Oline rankings... number on the right is the season before.
27. Carolina Panthers (9)
PB – 27th, RB – 23rd, PEN – 14th
Stud: As is often the case, it’s the ever reliable Jordan Gross (+16.4) who continues to get the job done, even if his performance in Week 17 was the worst we’ve ever seen from him. He may never be an elite tackle, but at least he’s more than a one-tricky pony.
Dud: There was a close competition but ultimately the inability of Geoff Hangartner (-14.5) to get any push in the run game meant he was the way to go.
Summary: The Panthers haven’t been shy about investing draft picks on the line, but with the injury to Ryan Kalil this year it fell apart. Amini Silatolu looked every bit the rookie, while Byron Bell isn’t good enough, often enough, to be a starter in this league yet.
Stud: It’s been a year to remember for Jordan Gross (+33.5). Retirement had been talked about, but surely he won’t quit when playing this well?
Dud: When you convert a defensive linemen to starting right guard there are going to be teething problems. That said, they can be relieved that Nate Chandler (-9.0) wasn’t the total liability he could have been.
Analysis: A big part of their offensive turnaround. They lost Amini Silatolu to injury but Travelle Wharton came in and played lights out in his 851 snaps. Throw in the good (although media overrated) play of Ryan Kalil and it’s really just the right side of the line you look at and think they could do with upgrading the talent/ experience level there.
Stud: While his work in pass protection was suspect, you have to appreciate the run blocking of Ryan Kalil that contributed to his +6.6grade.
Dud: The move to left tackle was no easier for Byron Bell (-33.4) who continues to give up too much pressure.
Breakdown: All things considered, this could have been a lot worse. After losing studs Jordan Gross and Travelle Wharton to retirement and dealing with injuries during the season, they tried a number of different combinations with more success than you had any right to imagine. A bit of special praise here for the pickup of Andrew Norwell who has been something of a revelation.
Now toss in his RB's have been injured on and off through out his career as well. Hindering the Run game... creating the Passing game some issues. Last season He himself was injured.
Least we not forget the great number of productive Pass catchers cam has had in his career...
2011 WR's & TE's
Armanti Edwards PR
Kealoha Pilares KR
Legedu Naanee (IR)
David Gettis (IR)
Richie Brockel FB
2012 WR's and TE's
Kealoha Pilares (IR)
2013 WR's and TE's
Ted Ginn, Jr.
Kealoha Pilares (IR)
2014 WR's and TE's
Now, again, I'm not saying Cam is perfect. or that he doesn't have things to work on. Because he does have a lot of things to work on. BUT... to get better at something, don't you kinda need a consistent base line to start off on?
2015 looks to have a better Oline at the moment. the WR's (Cotchery, KB, Olsen, Dickson, Ginn, Brown) all now going into at least their Second season with Cam tossing them the ball. Well.. Consistency? Right?
Stew healthy, and Tolbert. That's good!
And Cam himself healthy.
Yes, it's time to prove his worth. But, I think a lot of people forget the Offense as a whole runs THROUGH Cam... but isn't JUST Cam.
40 people at the huddle draft party eh? and Josh Norman crashes the party? far cry from when I showed up with my brother to the 2006 draft party at the Hickory Tavern, I think there was maybe 8 other people there. which was the first draft party? was that it?