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Risers and Fallers - Ravens Edition

Aug 23 2013 05:34 AM Zod Carolina Panthers
After the third preseason game, Carolina Panthers fans are on a defensive high. While it is still only preseason, there are some good things, and horrible things, that could be observed Thursday night.

Rising: Luke Kuechly. I honestly did not think he could rise any more than he currently has, but apparently he has broken through the ceiling. He didn't have a good performance, he absolutely put on a clinic for the Ravens offense. They should be writing him a tuition check today.

Falling: Armond Smith. Want to know a sure fire way to get cut from a Ron Rivera team? Get yourself ejected for kicking a player. Nice knowing you Armond.

Rising: Ted Ginn Jr. His touchdown on a punt return was the spark that set off the entire defense on a rampage, according to Kuechly. Welcome to the team, Ted.

Falling: Every player on the Offensive Line. I can't recall a worse performance since... well... actually since 2012. Cam still has no time to set his feet. Still no room for running backs to run through. If this does not get fixed, fans will be getting beers and going to the restroom while the offense takes the field.

Rising: Richard Rogers. As special teams coordinator he has put together what looks like could be the best special teams unit in many seasons.

Falling: Mike Shula. Sula's offense was unprepared and undisciplined. Far too many penalties, an ejection, wide receiver drops, and all over chaos across the board on offense. Much of this goes to the individual player's performance, but some does fall on Shula. Discipline and preparedness happens on the practice field and film room. Get it fixed, Mike.

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:: before

I'd put Star, Short, and Alexander on the risers list.  Even though there are already high expectations (similar to Luke), their individual performances were excellent.

And you laughed at me for including Shula on my fallers edition.

Our D-line was very good at times but still looked like there were some missed assignments on a few of those runs.  I think Star is going to be great in this league for years though.


Kind of nice for our line to put enough pressure on the QB for our secondary and linebackers to tee off and make plays.


Offense was stale both in play calling and execution. Doesn't matter if JStew is back, Armanti, Jerry Rice, whoever.... if we don't get some time to throw the ball and a few seams to run, it ain't gonna matter.


Gano continues to rise in my book. Dude has been solid.


Beason was on the field and didn't get carried off. That's a riser in my book as well.

Fallers- coaches. Once again the team takes the field looking flat, unprepared and generally apathetic.

Fallers- WR's. Dropping drive killing catchable balls.

Risers- Star/ KK. Holy crap- talk about potential.

Risers- Barner. Continues to impresses and now with ball security.

Risers- Barner. Continues to impresses and now with ball security.


Way too much was made of his one fumble on his first NFL carry. People are just anxious to tear him down.

    • C47 PIE'd this

Pretty spot on Zod.


Defense (Keek and Star especially) were on fire.  I can't even tell you what Keek looks like out there... freaking incredible.  That kid... wow.


Offense looked pathetic.  O line is scary bad.  There's a chance they can pull it together but we have to get more talent on the line.  Gettleman, are you listening?


ST's look like they haven't looked in... uh... can't remember.  Ted Ginn was amazing.  Even the kicking game looks good, when have we been able to say that?

Shula has definately fallen and I wasnt very high on him to begin with.  I honestly believe one of the biggest problems with our offense is the lack of a head coach/offensive coordinator that knows how to use the pieces we have effectively.

As a man who admits when Im wrong. Star jumped off my screen last night.

People like to throw out that the Panther's offense and Cam haven't played well in the preseason under Rivera and cite that Cam had no problems during the season.  And to an extent this may be true.  But why is this ok?


For a team that wants to talk about this season being about winning it seems that they aren't quite sure how.  It starts with focus, toughness, and preparation.  Last night's offensive performance was the farthest thing from those three qualities that I've ever seen.  And those are NOT things you just "turn on" once the season starts.  


Maybe that's why we've started out so badly the last few years.




Beason was on the field and didn't get carried off. That's a riser in my book as well.


IIRC Beason took Vonte Leach head on, bounce him off like he was nothing and made the tackle.  Good things from Beason last night.

Faller: Mike Mitchell. Fine line between nasty and reckless...

Riser DJ Moore: Has really impressed me during the Preseason...

Those are the two I didn't see mentioned.

Shula, Shula, and then more Shula.  Any defense that knows what the offense is going to do can make it look silly, and last night it looked like the Ravens knew what we were trying to do on every other play.

Kurb Edition.


Risers: Luke Kuekley, One of the most dominate performances I have ever seen from a MLB. Worth noting, this could be the best front 7 he has played on in his entire life.


Risers: Frank Alexander, 1 sack, 4 pressures. Exceptional work against the starters and dominate against the scrubs. He could likely be a starter next season.


Risers: Stahhh and Short.  Think a DUO of DT's can win Defensive Rookie of the year?  Star at one point, took a Ravens Starting Guard and threw him to the ground like he was a tackling dummy. Short has a very strong first step and was shooting gaps all night.


Risers: Beason. Came in and made some plays. Looked rusty at times but he should have a solid year.(if...)





Fallers: Everyone on the offensive line not named Ryan Kalil. Bell had his worst performance to date. Gary Williams didn't even know his assignments.  Amini got dinged early and Gross looked old and in need of a competent LG to play next to him. The whole group should be absolutely ashamed of that performance. 


Fallers: Mike Mitchell, continues to make stupid ass plays, continues to get 15 yard flags. 


Fallers: Keilo Pilares and Armond Smith, Kielo doesn't really add any thing and Smith caught a case of dumbass. Both will be cut.


Fallers: Sinoieininon Fua. I didn't think he could get worse. He has. It's amazing. I'd rather have Nick Hayden.


Fallers: WR's not named Ted Ginn and Steve Smith, Ginn makes up for his iff hands returning punts. Steve is steve. Everyone else had drops, poor routes, or both.

It was hard to impress compared to Luke last night, but Star looked like an absolute man last night. When he gets truly accustomed and comfortable out there, good Lord. 

Lafell, smdh - I was ready to annoint Gettis as a serious competitor for #2, then he got a drop too.


Garry Williams straight turrible


Star, Short, Frank the Tank, Keek all have the rising stock.  Our secondary still looks lost if we don't get the push up front though.

My (less than expert and moderately... ok  extremely inebriated ) take on the game and the state of our Panthers. 

  • I am overall much more optimistic about this team now.  If Ray Lewis had not retired and was still playing he would have been the 2nd best (speaking of current ability not total body of work so dont blast me) LB on the field.  If the Panthers show up this year in some big games I think that at the end of the year Luke will be regarded as the best MLB in the league and has the potential to carry that torch for a long time.  The defense as a whole seems ready to play and we have some ballers.  Mitchell needs to stop making douche bag plays but if they can somehow harness that the unit will be formidable each and every week.


  • The offense is a question mark.  After seeing the first offensive series (most notable Bell being pushed back into Cam resulting in an errant pass) my opinion was reinforced that the OL is by far the weakest link on the team and should be addressed prior to the game with the Seagulls.


  • After the Defense took over and the OL being so sucky, I concluded that we would see few if any "non vanilla" offensive plays.  Shula would keep everything conservative and keep the Gulls guessing.


  • Overall we appear to have an elite defense and an offense with some potentially elite players that are being hamstrung by a sub-par OL.

I think the there are 3 things we need to do between now and opening day


  1. Get Mitchell under control
  2. Get a couple (or three) Offensive Linemen
  3. Scrimmage our subpar OL against our extremely formidable front 7 in hopes of helping them have a crash course so they are not totally overwhelmed in September.
Riser: my dick when I saw what Keek did last night. I love that man. I'd have his babies. No homo of course.

what was most impressive about star to me is how easy he made it look. He just tossed people aside, if you specifically watch him off the snap. he explodes off the line and surprises the poo out of the o-line. KK was all over the place hustling, slithering by the o-line and making plays as well. This DT tandem is so much fun to watch.

I think folks are overreacting a bit about Armond Smith's ejection.

It was quite a little bit overblown of an incident in the first place, and Smith is a versatile player for us.

Fua - fell


No seriously...he got knocked down on every play



Riser - Sean McDermott. Never again will he be called McDerp. He just unleashed a style of defense that relies on tricking the QB, showing him a formation, and then shifting late to take away what he wanted to do only seconds before. It worked. And we had the pressure up front to force Flacco to make quick decisions. If we continue to execute this style of defense to perfection and generate pressure, then we might break the record for most interceptions by a Panthers defense.  


Fallers - O-line, Cam Newton.

Keek, Star, KK, Alexander, Davis.



O-Line, RB's, Cam (not just him on this one). every WR not named SS.



This O Line will only allow us to win 7-8 games even with that defensive front.  You still need to be able to put up 24 per game on O to win week in and week out.  This D will tire out quickly with rookie DT's and everyone flying around like crazy if the O can't stay on the field.

K.K. has now looked good in all the preseason games, right? Great DT picks this year!

It's a good thing Gano has looked solid, because with this crappy offense we'll be kicking a lot of FGs.


Oline was terrible, and Cam was overthrowing, I'd probably put blame 66% oline and 33% on Cam for our troubles.  I can't blame Cam for not finding people open since we had ZERO run game but when someone WAS open and it overthrows, come on.  LaFell and Gettis with clear drops too.


Defense was awesome and fun to watch.  One thing I noticed is now that we have some DL depth we're able to have some better rotations in there.

Rising: Richard Rogers. As special teams coordinator he has put together what looks like could be the best special teams unit in many seasons.

I'd include Bruce DeHaven in that.