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  1. Of several Baker Mayfield suitors, the Panthers have the inside track to trade for him (sorry Robby Anderson!): Browns Insider https://www.cleveland.com/browns/2022/04/of-several-baker-mayfield-suitors-the-panthers-have-the-inside-track-to-trade-for-him-sorry-robby-anderson-browns-insider.html
  2. https://www.instagram.com/reel/CQy_pClgm3l/?utm_medium=copy_link
  3. This week we take a quick look at the New Orleans Saints and the bullet points of their offseason. (Last week we looked at the Atlanta Falcons) The Draft The Saints selected OT Andrus Peat in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft. Peat would have been the Panthers selection according to sources. This was a solid selection that will pay dividends in years to come. The Saints went on to address defense for 6 of their remaining 8 picks. You only need to look at the Panthers at Saints game last season to figure out why. Their second 1st round pick was spent on LB and Clemson alum Stephone Anthony. Anthony is extremely quick and athletic, will probably be starting by mid season if not sooner. The Saints addressed their pass rush in round 2 with the selection of sub package player Hau'oli Kikaha out of Washington. He will play OLB on situational downs where a bit of extra speed is needed on the pass rush (something the Carolina Panthers struggle with) In the third round the Saints showed concern over the diminishing play of Drew Brees by selecting Garrett Grayson out of Colorado State. I like Grayson and think he has a chance to do well in the NFL. Free Agency The biggest loss for the Saints obviously was Jimmy Graham. Graham was the life line the Saints needed in many games against the Panthers over past seasons. The Saints also lost WR Kenny Stills, C Ben Grubbs, and RB Pierre Thomas on offense. Their biggest offseason acquisition was RB CJ Spiller who should do well on the Saints fast home turf. On the defensive side of the ball the Saints lost one of the only bright spots in Curtis Lofton and his 144 combined tackles in 2014. Overall, the Saints took a net loss in free agency, that fact would be difficult to argue against. Drew Brees 2014 marked the first season of any real noticeable decline in the play of 14 year veteran Drew Brees. As the season went on, the physical toll on Brees became more apparent. The Saints organization also took notice. The majority of draft picks being spent on defense signifies that. The days of the Saints simply out scoring opponents may be over. A NFL caliber defense is probably needed now, and the Saints know it. Throw in the fact a 3rd round selection was used on a QB, and well, it is easy to read the writing on the wall. Can you imagine the controversy if Carolina spent a 3rd rounder on a QB? Yet barely a mention of it in New Orleans. The Saints fan base may be in a bit of denial. Conclusion Jon Beason once told me "If you aren't getting better, you're getting worse." The Saints.... they aren't getting better in 2015. They are in real danger of finishing last in the division. But what do you think? Next week.... Bucs. View full article
  4. With less than a month to go until NFL training camps open, I thought it may be helpful to take a look at the Carolina Panthers southern rivals and start a dialogue on their offseason changes. First up, Atlanta Falcons. Here are the important bullet points of the Falcons offseason... COACHING Atlanta has a new head coach. Those words should concern any Carolina Panthers fan who has paid attention to Ron Rivera's record against rookie head coaches. Adding insult to injury, the Falcons hired former Seattle DC Dan Quinn as Mike Smith's replacement at head coach. Quinn obviously has had success against the Panthers over the past two seasons. Panthers OC Mike Shula will have his work cut out for him. If Quinn can improve the Falcons defense in his first year, Atlanta could contend for the title in the NFC South. IN THE DRAFT The Falcons addressed their need for defensive improvement in the first two rounds of the draft. Falcons first round pick DE Vic Beasley should improve Atlanta's pass rush from day one. He was used mainly on the left side in Falcons workouts last month, but did switch to the right occasionally. Beasley's game is speed, how well the Panthers counter with Remmers and Oher remains to be seen. In the second round the Falcons selected CB Jalen Collins. This was a good value as many had Collins as a first round talent. Collins will most likely catch on quickly as he faces guys like Julio Jones in practice, helping him prepare to defense Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess. Collins was a good pick for the Falcons and should help them at depth initially, with Collins taking over a starting role later in the season. On the offensive side of the ball RB Tevin Coleman and WR (and Huddle favorite) WR Justin Hardy. Coleman could see increased playing time as the season progresses while Hardy looks to have already earned the #3 WR spot. Overall, Atlanta had a solid 2015 draft based on early reviews. FREE AGENCY The Falcons released a few names Panthers fans were used to seeing, Harry Douglas and Steven Jackson the most notable. The loss of these two players were addressed nicely in the draft. Negative impact should be minimal. OLB Brooks Reed was added from the Texans and could be a real impact player for the Falcons. How much did he benefit from playing with JJ Watt? We will soon see. Reed will not be playing behind anyone of Watt's caliber anytime soon in Atlanta. The Falcons extended S Charles Godfrey which is excellent news for the Panthers. Godfrey's best days are well behind him. The Falcons signed a couple of new tight ends, Tony Moeaki and Jacob Tamme. Could they be an adequate long term replacement for Tony Gonzalez? Clearly, Toilolo last season was not. OTHER TIDBITS Apparently, the Falcons are trying to move QB Matt Ryan out of the pocket more often. This is an interesting development to keep your eyes on. If the Falcons can give a few looks a game of Ryan rolling out of the pocket to throw it could change how aggressive the Panthers pass rush can be. CONCLUSION Like it or not, the Atlanta Falcons improved a good deal this offseason. Mike Smith was not a good head coach. This was obvious to anyone that watched "Hard Knocks" on HBO last year. Dan Quinn will bring a tougher more hard nosed attitude to the Falcons. What say you? View full article
  5. By now it has become clear to most Carolina Panthers fans that again this season the free agency frenzy that applies to the rest of the league won't be entertained in Carolina. This may be upsetting to the casual Panthers fan, but for people who are really paying attention... this is no surprise. Jon Beason once told me "If you aren't getting better, you are getting worse". He was speaking about his offseason regimen, but I think the same principle applies to the Panthers this offseason. And guess what, the Panthers are better... much better... than at this point a year ago Here is how: 1. Cam Newton is healthy. How quickly we forget that Cam Newton is a year removed from ankle surgery. Last season he didn't take a legitimate practice snap until training camp. At this point last season, Cam had zero receivers he had ever thrown a pass to and zero opportunity to remedy that situation. This year... the opposite is true. 2. Those rookies. What other team in the NFL can say they made the playoffs with 8... yes 8 rookies making major contributions to the team? Kelvin Benjamin, Andrew Norwell, Trai Turner, Corey Brown, Bene Benwikere, Tre Boston, Adarius Glanton, Kony Ealy... All stepped in and not only played, but played well. These young guys should be even more improved in 2015 having benefited from actual playing time including post season snaps. That experience is invaluable. 3. Remmers and Oher. I know, I know, you are concerned about the offensive tackles. So am I. But I am not nearly as concerned as I was last season. I am not expecting this to be a pro bowl caliber combination, but I am expecting at the very least for this to be a significant improvement over the Chandler/Bell combination from last offseason. Remmers has already proved he is a marked upgrade over Chandler. Oher is the only question mark here. Put all of those things together, and the picture becomes much clearer. The Carolina Panthers do not need to rush and overpay in free agency for players that aren't the perfect fit. The areas of need that remain on the Panthers roster at this point can easily be addressed in the NFL draft in May at a fraction of the cost. Considering the number of starters GM Dave Gettleman found in last season's draft, asking him two find two or three more this year doesn't seem too daunting of a task. My advice? Sit back, relax, and enjoy the fact that the Panthers aren't a team that overpays for other team's players. It is much nicer drafting the players that other teams covet, isn't it?
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