Let's face it, the majority of the leaders on our team are guys that have accepted the losing culture. Cam came in as a fiery winner, and has accepted losing as okay. And, I'm sure he's not the only one.
What I believe we should do:
1. Try to trade Steve smith - if no offers, I believe he needs to be cut. Greatest panther of all time, and hopeful HoFer, but I don't doubt in that huddle he is telling Cam to throw him the damn ball, and he just doesn't have the ability to win those match ups consistently.
2. Try to trade D-Will AND Stewart. We don't need them. If not, then they need to go. I know there are cap implications but this losing mindset needs to go. Keep Tolbert and make him the #1. Barner can spell him, or we could pick up a guy late in the draft. They are a dime a dozen.
3. I'd love to be able to replace Gross, but that's difficult at this point. He's too old to be traded, and we don't have an answer on the roster to replace him.
4. We HAVE to draft a #1 quality receiver this year. We need to ditch LaFell, Edwards, Hixon. Keep Ginn. I'm hoping for Sammy Watkins this year, and I wouldn't be opposed to drafting another one in the second. This needs to be an offensive draft. If we have guys that can get open, we don't need a stellar o-line. The major problem with cam is that his guys rarely do get open, and when they do he's usually not expecting it.
5. We need to sign some o-line guys in free agency. I have no idea who is going to be available after this season, but Gettleman needs to do some cap work and get some upper level guys in here. Byron Bell is as unconsistent as they come, and we have literally no one at RG. Silatolu is always hurt. Kalil is really the only one worth keeping on the O-line at this point.
I realize it's easy being an arm chair GM, but if we don't get rid of this losing stench ASAP, Cam is going to be beyond repair. Gettleman needs to get a good coaching staff in here and we need to go young. We are relying too much on our veteran guys to play with these young studs, i.e. Steve Smith vs. Patrick Peterson.
Look through those numbers and find the one that sticks out like a sore thumb. Why, yes, it's the 1-7 record in games decided by seven points or fewer! Keep in mind that those games included the following contests:
• The infamous game against the Falcons in which Ron Rivera punted on fourth-and-inches with a $90 million backfield and turned the game over to his defense, producing a 30-28 loss.
• A 16-12 loss to the Seahawks in which the Panthers threw the ball on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line with 3:47 left and failed.
• A one-point loss to the Bears in a game the Panthers led 19-7 with seven minutes to go and 22-20 with 2:32 to go.
• An overtime loss to the Buccaneers in a game the Panthers led 21-10 with 6:06 to go, which required an 80-yard drive for a touchdown and a two-point conversion from the Buccaneers in 1:02 with no timeouts.
That's three games in which Carolina had a win expectancy above 75 percent (peradvancednflstats.com) during the fourth quarter and one in which it was a yard away from taking the lead and decided not to run the ball. Now, I don't know that Carolina should have won all those games; comebacks happen, and Seattle might very well have driven down the field and won even after that fourth-and-1 conversion, had it happened. But the Panthers were 7-9 without winning any of those games. If they held on in two of them, they're 9-7 and on the verge of contending for a playoff berth. And if they get a little lucky and win all four of them, they're 11-5 and we're looking at Ron Rivera as a Coach of the Year candidate as opposed to a guy who might have been lucky to keep his job.