consider this....we were 2nd to last in drives per game (btw, that was by design). that, in itself, is going to limit 1) our yardage per game and 2) our points per game. it just makes sense that if you have less possessions than anyone that you are going to have less opportunities to gain yardage and points compared to the rest of the league. you want to know why we were among the lowest ranked teams on offense, consider the metrics most people use to gauge success of an offense are those two stats. why? it requires the least amount of thinking. how accurate a gauge is it? imo, not very when we scored enough to win 12 games last year.
football outsiders had us with 31.59 yards per drive and 2.09 points per drive, which was a respectable 11th and 10th rank for yards/drive and points/drive. like i said, that's respectable and pretty efficient considering the amount of drops had by the WRs last year. as a team, we caught 62.5% of passes thrown, which was 13th in the league...kind of meh, but still not horrible. Looking at team drops, on average we weren't too bad...about 17th highest team percentage. When you look at individual drops...smitty at 5.5%, lafell at 7% and ginn at 4.4% aren't among the worst, but we all saw the effects on drives. ginn's drop % isn't as high as i thought it would be, but i definitely remember watching those drops and those were some really big plays that we lost out on because he couldn't hang on to the ball. the timing of those drops were horrible.
if you give yourself more drives then it obviously gives you more chances and limits the damage that those dropped balls and failed drives have. when you limit the number of those possessions, you don't have the luxury of being not "among the worst". you have to be among the best. we had a couple very good/reliable receiving options last year, namely olsen (111 targets, 4 drops), dwill (36 targets, 1 drop), and tolbert (32 targets, no drops), but that wasn't enough.
we replaced some WRs with not the surest of hands with guys like avant (76 targets, 1 drop), and cotchery (76 targets, 2 drops). we have all either heard or saw how good benjamin has been in regards to catching the ball, but it wasn't until one of the very last practices that he dropped any which was a walk through in which people weren't really focusing on catching the ball as much as making sure they were where they needed to be when they needed to be. of course, there will be more challenges when real games start and he faces some tougher DBs and some scheming against him, but what I'm taking away from it is that he will be a very reliable target that puts himself in very good position to catch cam's passes, both the good and not so good ones.
so what we have is three new receivers who have shown or are showing that they have very reliable hands. combine that with olsen, dwill, and tolbert (and stewart who is also a reliable target when healthy) and we have a receiving corps that can help keep drives alive allowing us to make more of the limited opportunities our offense has each game.
what this also means is that our offense should be more productive. it will have more points and yardage (though still not being enough to pu tthem at the top).
the biggest thing, tho, is that it will help us win more games and those wins will be less dependant on the defense suffocating the other team.
the biggest thing we needed for this offense was to be more efficient and we've given ourselves the tools we need to make that happen. not just more reliable targets, but bigger ones as well.
sites like BR and ESPN who draw a lot of traffic, but who rarely look at the bigger picture, will probably still not give the panthers the respect that we hope is due them. that won't matter because we will see an improved offense on the field that stays on the field longer, giving itself more and better chances to score and will have more successful end zone efforts.
regardless of where the panthers rank on total yardage and points, the true signs of a successful offense will be our ability to turn more possessions into points.
Bad teams with inefficient offenses....technically can rank high in yards. Some people will claim that makes them good.
Good teams with efficient offenses....often don't produce tons of yards bc there is no need....some will claim that makes them bad.
Everyone who doesn't think Smitty is gonna come ready to have a 10+ reception, 200+ rec. yards, and 2 TD game is crazy. He may still love Charlotte, but he wants to prove he still has it. And guess what, he does. I don't think he is gonna go off, but don't expect anything less than everything he has that game. I don't care if he says it aint personal. It is. He will treat it that way. Plus he actually has threats around him now.......we better come to play.
No doubt he will bring everything he's got....but that is about 50 yards or so these days on average
I guess you missed that whole "He doesn't fit here" line.
So far, I've seen nothing from Barner that looks like an NFL RB. He may be fast in a timed run, but his initial burst looks very average in terms of an NFL RB. He can't block, he can't catch, and he's hesitant. None of that is scheme related.
I was really just echoing you. Sorry if it came across different.