Can't rightly speak for Zod, but I'd guess he's thinking leadership.
Pretty much from the time he took the reigns against Jacksonville, guys were ready to follow Delhomme through the Gates of Hell. That became a bit of a double edged sword later because even as his skills declined, guys were still behind him (not that there was generally any real viable alternative, anyway).
Cam? Hard to expect a college kid to come in and immediately take the reins of a team with a fair amount of veteran presence, especially with strong personalities like Steve Smith around. The more I watch, the more I think the front office really did do what was best for Cam when they let go of Smith, and I think he's responding well.
He might still trail Jake in leadership skills right now, but I see him getting there (and sooner rather than later).
Cam has done an excellent job with learning how to be a leader and progressing more and more each year though. And I agree with you on smitty too. He will always be me favorite player, but maybe his departure is exactly what cam needed. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense, the offensive leaders of this team were gross, smitty, and cam to a lesser degree. Gross retired so it's perfectly logical to let smitty go and give cam complete control.
1) Kugbila never sees a snap
2) Our Safeties are a problem all year. We drop Roman Harper late in the season
3) Greg Olsen loses a step and never performs again
4) We are last in the league in rushing
5) Despite having the #1 defense in the league we go 6-10. And Steve Smith scores 3 times against us in a blowout and beats up Godfrey for no reason.
1) Kugbila Turner Chandler and a free agent pick up give us a solid line
2) Benjamin has 900 yards...however 223 of those come against the Browns setting a Panthers record and solidifying home field advantage in the playoffs.
3) Benwikere quietly has 5 interceptions on the year.
4) Gano hits a 68 yarder in preseason
5) 13-3 with a home game against the 49ers.
You put the fear in me. I'm scared for our nickelback against Smitty. I don't want to see a young guy like benwikere have to face him.
Tiquan Underwood getting open all morning long? I see that as more cause for concern for a secondary than reason for optimism for Underwood. That's the tricky part of OTAs and training camp. When someone is killing it, does that mean he's really good or does it mean that the guys he's going up against suck?
Underwood averaged 18 ypc last year. He's our deep threat, I would be disappointed if he wasn't getting open.