Jump to content


Member Since 08 Jun 2010
Last Active Today, 09:48 PM

Topics I've Started

Offensive Line Ranked #22 in 2014 (Down from #7 in 2013)

27 February 2015 - 09:17 AM


(this article is a bit old, so if it has been discussed, I could not find it, I apologize to you and whatever God you worship, and please do not feel the tremendous obligation to read on)


22. Carolina Panthers (7th)

Pass Blocking Ranking: 27th, Run Blocking Ranking: 15th, Penalties Ranking: 3rd

Stud: While his work in pass protection was suspect, you have to appreciate the run blocking of Ryan Kalil that contributed to his +6.6 grade.

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.


Comments:  This is interesting because we should be able to see upgrades across the board.  When I see that we were ranked #7 in 2013, I am a bit shocked.  We had Bell at RT, Silatolu/Wharton at LG, Gross was on the decline of his career, and RG was by committee (Scott, Chandler, Bond).  Hats off to Matsko and to Cam Newton for freezing the defensive pressure.  In 2014, Cam was injured and defenses could pin their ears back.  


This year, the OL should be better in nearly every aspect.  Kalil is still rather solid-no longer elite, but he was flanked by 2 rookies for much of the season.  The two rookie Guards really stepped up in 2014, showing they belong.  Next season, I expect them to be more comfortable with the offense and more experienced.  Rookie linemen are often targets for the DL, so we endured in 2014.  Heck, Remmers was even a rookie in terms of experience.  He did OK in pass protection but was a liability in the run game.  I wonder if he would not be the same on the left side, where his body seems more suited to play.  Having said that, finding a RT is much easier than a LT.  I would still bring in a developmental LT (rookie, in other words) because Remmers would be an awesome backup OT. 


Having said all that, I expect both G positions to be upgrades in 2015 due to experience.  Kalil should continue to anchor, and we should see upgrades in talent at both Tackle spots--even if the best we can do is move Remmers to LT--still an upgrade.


There are other factors that will improve the OL play.   First, people do not realize how much Brockel helps us.  When he went down, we struggled more.  Secondly, Cam was dinged and the defenses knew it.  His run threat was not a concern.  Third, the upgrade at RB (Williams was 31 and played like it; Tolbert and Stew were hurt much of the season) will help.  In addition, another WR weapon will help Cam get rid of the ball sooner and keep Safeties out of the box. 


I would first like to take my hats off to coach Matsko for taking what we had and doing better than 9 other offensive lines.  In addition, for having the 7th OL last year with the issues we had at G and RT.  Amazing that the unit was ranked 7th.


I would also like to say that these are the reasons I expect, barring injury, that the OL will be one of the best in 2015.  It could be that we are 1 player away.


Just my perspective.

How Dave Gettlemen helped me master Valentine's Day

12 February 2015 - 03:29 PM

(I am risking abuse here, but I thought you all might enjoy this during the offseason.  Besides, it is as good as most of the other threads)


Valanetine's day, Anniversaries, Birthdays--what do they all have in common?  Opportunities for me to screw up.  For me, One is in February, the next is in April, and another in August.  So I spend most of the warm-weather months in the doghouse or on the couch. Not any more, thanks to Dave Gettlemen!

1. Valentine's Day is a lot like the draft:  Don't think of 2015, think of 2016.  By planning a year in advance, it helps me to realize that spending too much in 2015 only makes 2016 more challenging.  By keeping the gesture of love modest and simplistic (translation: inexpensive), you never have to worry about disappointing the following year, assuming of course, there is one.  Still, you have to take that chance.  There is nothing worse than having a woman love you for your materialism on the outside when you are hating your last-year self on the inside.  Do not work against your future self-keep the bar low.  

2. Respect the cap.  Sure, it is great to fall in love and spend big bucks on people you love, but remember that Valentine contracts are back loaded.  You are always happy in the beginning, but when the tread wears off the tires and the person you love starts showing signs of aging, paying more than before is going to be a hard pill to swallow.  A simple rule here: You are paying for future production and not past performance.  

3. Shop at the Dollar Store and Tah-get:  Again, why shop at the high dollar stores when you can get production at a huge discount?  I guarantee those cocoa trees and silk worms did not know or care what store they were producing chocolate or panties for--neither should you.  In fact, you might luck out and find a box of chocolates wrapped in some exotic underwear for $9.99 at Staples or something.  Of course, you get the small box, and if she asks why, you tell her "So the underwear will fit when you are done."  Thanks Dave!

4. Remember, "offense scores points, defense wins championships."  We are trying to score points and disregard championships.  Rings in this arena are usually a sign of decreased playing time and, in some cases, defeat.  Scoring is all that matters, so be offensive.  I plan on it. 

I thought I would share my newly-found wisdom with you guys so you can tweak your strategy this year.  Forget the Marty Hurney approach--emptying the bank account for what you already have, or trading what you have for lesser talent.  Go Gettlemen, and follow his advice and you can't go wrong.

Ages of Current Panther Players

13 January 2015 - 10:53 AM

I did not look up each player's birthday, but added a year to their current age according to the Panther roster. In other words, this is how old they will be in 2015.   Some of the more interesting ages are in bold: 


Projected core players age in 2015:

QB Cam Newton 26, Derek Anderson 32; Joe Webb 29

RB Jonathan Stewart 28; Fozzy Whittaker 26; DeAngelo Williams 32

WR: Kelvin Benjamin 24; Philly Brown 24; Jerricho Cotchery 33; Brenton Bersin 25

TE: Greg Olsen 30; Richie Brockel 29; Brandon Williams 28; Ed Dickson 28

OT: Mike Remmers 26; Byron Bell 26; David Foucault 27; Nate Chandler 26;

OG: Andrew Norwell, 24; Trai  Turner, 22; Amini Silatolu, 27; Edmund Kugbila 25; Fernando Velasco 30

OC: Ryan Kalil 30; Brian Folkerts 25

DT:  Colin Cole 35; Dwan Edwards 34; Star Lotulelei 26; KK Short 26

DE: Charles Johnson 29; Mario Addison 28; Wes Horton 25, Kony Ealy 24

LB: Thomas Davis 32; Ben Jacobs 27; Adarius Glanton 25; Luke Kuechly 24; AJ Klein 24; Kevin Reddick 25

CB: Josh Norman 28; Melvin White 25; Bene Benwikere 24; Carrington Byndum 23

S: Roman Harper 33; Colin Jones 28; Thomas DeCoud 30; Tre Boston 23; Robert Lester 27


Reasons to feel great about next season

11 January 2015 - 12:54 AM

I never start threads, but I think this is important--You already know this stuff, but it may help to frame the situation at this time.


We just went toe-to-toe with the World Champions in their house.  They beat us by attacking our rookies and forcing a few turnovers.  Next year, they will not be rookies.  Next year, we will have a LT and another WR threat.  Next year, we beat them. Next year, we beat a lot of people.


About a third of the players who contributed was composed of rookie players (Brown, Norwell, Glanton, Ealy, Boston, Benwikere, Turner).  Of those somel were undrafted (Brown, Norwell, Glanton).  We had some overachievers, bargain-basement free agents like Remmers, Love, Cole, and Horton.   These players were assembled out of necessity due to some terrible contracts, dead money, and a cap deficit over $16m just 2 years ago. 


Then there were players on the roster whose talents were discovered.  Colin Jones, in my opinion, could be a pretty strong SS.  I think they should look at him there anyway.  Josh Norman stepped up and has become a strong CB.  All gained experience this year. 


We get everyone we want to return back next year.  In fact, most of our contracts are set through 2016, with the exception of Cam.


So what are our needs?  LT, WR for sure.  DT, RB, CB, S depth. 


Expect us to become elite in 2015.   These players are experienced now.  They are no longer rookies, bargain-basement free agent nomads, or bench warmers.   


The future is bright.

What do you say to the Panther critics?

29 December 2014 - 12:07 AM

What do you say to the fan that criticizes the Panthers for going 7-8-1 and making the playoffs?  The fan who refers back to the blowouts and the embarrassing games earlier this season?  The heckler?  The smart-ass brother-in-law from Dallas or Seattle?

You tell the fan that it was not pretty, but we won the division despite having to climb out of Hurney’s Cap Hell Hole, created by desperation characterized by overpayment and bad drafts.  You explain that we have a ton of dead money and our $13m franchise player was not only a distraction, but he was suspended for most of the season-fully paid.  You tell them that we lost a lot of talent last year to free agency and had to again crawl through the mound of unclaimed, bargain-basement free agents, undrafted rookies, and practice squad players for starting talent.  Don’t forget to tell them how Ealy, Horton, and Addison stepped up during Alexander’s and Hardy’s long-term suspensions.  Remember how incredible it is that Thomas Davis is still playing at a high level after 3 ACL surgeries.  Tell them how we pulled a rookie LB from Florida Atlantic to start today.  Mention Fozzy Whittaker’s story before sharing his statistics of late.  Perhaps you could share Tre Boston’s injury status this season and understand why he was late to the party.  Finally, explain how difficult it was for an injured Cam Newton to produce having bad ribs, a surgically-repaired, healing ankle, and no chance to develop chemistry with his WR corps in the preseason.  And about the WR corps, explain how NONE of them were here last year.  Mention that 7 rookies started for the Panthers today.  SEVEN ROOKIES STARTED (Benjamin, Brown, Benwikere, Boston, Turner, Norwell, Glanton).  That is about a third of all starters on offense and defense.  THREE UNDRAFTED PLAYERS STARTED (Bell, Remmers, Norwell) ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE.  Finally, tell them that the Panther’s record is 0-0 with 4 to play.