On Sunday the Carolina Panthers face off against the LA Rams in what could be the most important opening day for the Panthers in quite a long while. After a soul crushing seven game losing streak followed by a meaningless win that only hurt their draft position, Panthers fans find themselves with less than stellar season expectations.
Let me be clear. There are no excuses for anything less than a winning season this year. Everything surrounding the Panthers today has been known all offseason.
Cam’s shoulder? Known.
Defensive struggles? Known.
Offensive line woes? Known known known.
These are not challenges that have sprung up recently. These are things that have been painfully obvious not just this offseason, but previous ones as well.
Marty Hurney and Ron Rivera have addressed all these issues to the best of their abilities. The Panthers now have two promising backups to Cam Newton. The Panthers have moved to a 3-4 defense and Ron Rivera himself has promised to be calling the plays. The Panthers signed a veteran center and drafted a new offensive tackle. Problems solved? Hopefully.
But if not, and the Carolina Panthers have a slow start to the season, you can expect a quicker drop off in fan attendance and enthusiasm since the days of Jimmy Clausen.
Welcome to Ron Rivera and Marty Hurney’s last chance. Let us hope they knock it out of the park.