Remember - The Seattle Seahawks won the SuperBowl with less than great WR's. Golden Tate was their best WR in 2013 and he only had 64 catches for 848 yards with 5 TD's. These stats are comparable to Greg Olsen's stats.
The Seahawks won with a strong running game (Lynch had over 1,200 yards), very good special teams, and an outstanding defense.
Even with losing Captain, Mitchell, Mikell, and Florence, the Panthers will still have one of the best defenses in the NFL. Gano proved to be a very reliable kicker, and Nortman progress nicely as a punter. They still have very capable RB's with Williams, Stewart, and Tolbert. If they can fix the o-line there is no reason why the Panthers can't have a very strong running game and this will complements their defense.
To me, the biggest weakness is the o-line. They need to solidify all positions except Center & possibly LG unless Amini comes back strong.
They will add WR's through the draft and free agency. They don't need a superstar WR to win....just look at the 2013 Seahawks.
Let's remember the non-call 'leg whip' on Charles Johnson that took him out of the game for several series. That would have been a huge penalty on the Patriots. If that penalty had been called, the Patriots probably would not have scored their first touchdown. No way Gronk would have caught that ball.....the refs made the right call in picking up the flag.
Gross, Wharton, and Kalil have been solid. On a side note, Evan Mathis was a 3rd round draft pick for the Panthers in 2005. He has turned into a very good guard. It's too bad we didn't let him develop.....we sure could use him now.
Should have kept Anderson, and let Beason go. Beason was great prior to getting hurt, but has not played up to his 100% in nearly 2-years. Unfortunately, his story could end up similar to another great MLB that Beason was picked to replace. When Morgan was healthy, he was one of the best MLB in the NFL. Beason replaced him.
I remember last year when the Bucs played the Giants. The Giants had sealed the win, and late in the 4th quarter they had Eli taking a knee to run out the clock. The Bucs defense started aggressively going after the Giants o-line and Eli. Coughlin was furious after the game, and actually had 'words' with Schiano explaining to him that 'that is not how you play in the NFL'. The concern was someone could have been hurt, and it showed poor sportsmanlike behavior. Schiano acted like he did nothing wrong.
In 2002, Steve Spurrier was the new 'college coach golden boy' coming into the NFL. In the preseason he launched his 'fun & gun' offense and all of the media slobbered all over the results. The Redskins ended up with a 4-1 preseason record, blew out opposing defenses, and everyone was buying into the new 'offensive' hype. Well, after 2-seasons and a win/loss record of 12-20 football Spurrier went back to college ball.
The point of this: Don't buy into Preseason football. It is meaningless. And also don't buy into Chip Kelly's new offensive football. It worked in college, but no guarantees it will work in the NFL. The Panthers defense will be fine.....they will actually be very good.
Yes, I am concerned about Beason. I would be thrilled to see the 'old Beason' this season. When healthy, he was a difference maker. But he has not played good football in a very long time, and has had to deal with some very serious injuries.
Anything is possible, but hopefully the 'backups' are ready to be the starters. I think RG should be a bigger concern for the Panthers than LB because I think they have a contingency plan in place in case Beason is not the same guy.