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The Big Picture, The Panthers Draft, and You - A Synopsis


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7 hours ago, TheRumGone said:

I think 10-7/9-8 is our ceiling right now which is really good all things considered. Our team is still extremely young, talented but young. We keep adding talent over the next two years and if this qb situation gets taken care of whether it’s Darnold or a draft pick we’re gonna be a force in the playoffs.

Whether we make the playoffs is going to be on Darnold. I know everyone wants to pretend that’s not the case...but it is.

We were a one possession away kind of team last year...bc of the QB. 
 

We get CMC back. We added a lot of defensive talent. As was mentioned in OP the OL is good enough...not great. But good enough. 
 

The missing piece is the QB. Let’s see what he can do....if he’s not the answer then we’re probably looking at 2023 before we potentially have the answer bc it’s unlikely a rookie is going to come in and start next year. 

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We were not far from winning last year---we had a good DL most of the time and WRs balled out.  We had no CMC.

We had no LG, our LT was injured, our QB had no sense of urgency or willingness to demonstrate ballhood, and our TEs were like movie extras.  We had no 3techniques, could not press man cover, and our MLB was a pimple.

We now have a stable full of guards, some options at T, a QB ready to show what he can do with support, and we have DBs who can keep up with the Joneses--and the Thomases.  CMC comes back, we have 2 stud RBs and 5 stud WRs.  We have a TE that can knock your head off and another who is a pass catcher.  We added red zone threats.

Analytics.

Marty Hurney was worried about his draft record in round 1-Fitterer put us in position to be #1.  I think we can win the division next year.  Remember when Seattle won the super bowl and re-signed their entire team to ridiculous contracts?  That is what TB just did.  Let's take them out and run over NO and ATL.  Easy Peazy.

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Sam has a lot to prove not only to the fans but to himself as well .  Hope he comes in with a chip on his shoulder  and let his former team they just made a big mistake .

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15 minutes ago, unicar15 said:

Whether we make the playoffs is going to be on Darnold. I know everyone wants to pretend that’s not the case...but it is.

We were a one possession away kind of team last year...bc of the QB. 
 

We get CMC back. We added a lot of defensive talent. As was mentioned in OP the OL is good enough...not great. But good enough. 
 

The missing piece is the QB. Let’s see what he can do....if he’s not the answer then we’re probably looking at 2023 before we potentially have the answer bc it’s unlikely a rookie is going to come in and start next year. 

For sure. I’m not as optimistic as some with darnold. They’re gonna be situations like last year where darnold needs to make a play to win games. I still think he’s gonna have a career year here because of Brady’s system and our weapons but that’s not saying too much.

the likely scenario that I’ve said before is we keep building this team up and draft a qb next year or the year after. 2023 is the pivotal year for this staff imo.

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Just now, TheRumGone said:

For sure. I’m not as optimistic as some with darnold. They’re gonna be situations like last year where darnold needs to make a play to win games. I still think he’s gonna have a career year here because of Brady’s system and our weapons but that’s not saying too much.

the likely scenario that I’ve said before is we keep building this team up and draft a qb next year or the year after. 2023 is the pivotal year for this staff imo.

I think Sam makes more big plays than Teddy.   I think he makes more negative plays too.  Will just have to see what that looks like. 

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Someone in another thread stated that Sam has 16-6 record against the NFC. And outside the Pats, and the Phinns, who are pesky Divisional teams, he has done well against the AFC.

 

If true. It is the first real evidence I've heard, that maybe Sam can be good here.

 

Right??

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1 hour ago, iamhubby1 said:

Someone in another thread stated that Sam has 16-6 record against the NFC. And outside the Pats, and the Phinns, who are pesky Divisional teams, he has done well against the AFC.

 

If true. It is the first real evidence I've heard, that maybe Sam can be good here.

 

Right??

13 wins in his career 

4 wins over NFC teams

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1 hour ago, CRA said:

I think Sam makes more big plays than Teddy.   I think he makes more negative plays too.  Will just have to see what that looks like. 

More negative plays than tb5 last year puts him in Jameis Winston territory.

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10 hours ago, Zod said:

Good day fellow Carolina Panthers fans. Today I would like to take a step back and look at the 2021 Carolina Panthers draft in a big picture context and try to uncover why things transpired as they did. Won't you join me? 

The Problems

The 2020 Carolina Panthers were a rag tag group of players that put together an admirable effort that inevitably ended in a season we all thought they would have. However, not every aspect of their game was an issue. 2020 yielded some very good things. Unfortunately, the problem areas contributed to the EIGHT losses incurred by a score or less. 

The most glaring problems were as follows:

- A QB unable or unwilling to push the ball down field. 

- A defensive secondary unable to challenge better wideouts

- An offense unable to impose its will on short yardage situations

- An inability to score touchdowns when in the red zone

You add this all up and you get a 5-11 team. A team that really isn't horrible, but a team that just can't win close games. 

 

The Solutions

Unlike in years past, Matt Rhule and Scott Fitterer have actually tried to find solutions to he problems stated above via sweeping personnel changes. The following solutions correspond to the aforementioned problems. 

- Sam Darnold has the ability and willingness to push the ball down field. At 23 years old he now has, for the first time, adequate coaching and supporting cast at a professional level. There is some concern about his offensive line. But remember, even last season the offensive line was ranked smack dab in the middle, perfectly average. It has improved slightly from there this offseason. 

- Obviously, Jaycee Horn is an instant and significant upgrade to the cornerback position. The Panthers can now press some of the better receivers in the league and not simply pray for a misthrow or drop. But it is so much more than that. Horn provides a trickle down improvement to the entire defense. Edge players will not have a half second more to get to the quarterback. Linebackers won't have to overcompensate on helping the corners and will be able to focus more on their own assignments. The defense is an organic living thing and such a drastic improvement in one area is far reaching to the entire body. 

- Last season, when Teddy Bridgewater reached over the goal line and fumbled he cemented his future, or lack thereof, on this team. He broke a golden Rhule. The Panthers head coach had warned him that is something we just don't do. Now the issue of being unable to impose our will when needed was addressed in round 3 of the draft with the selection of Tommy Tremble. Alex Armah was decent for a converted defensive player, and Chris Manhertz was always below average to terrible on any given play. In Tremble, the Panthers now have the best blocking H-Back in the draft that has drawn comparisons to George Kittle. Paired with a healthy CMC and a strong young QB and 4th and 1 should be nearly a guaranteed first down. 

- Scoring touchdowns in the red zone was a two prong problem. One was the quarterback just not seeing the field or making the wrong throw. The other was receivers just not getting open. Lock down Robby Anderson in the red zone and the others were easily handled. That is what we saw. So, Joe Brady and the Panthers drafted one of the best red zone threats in the draft, LSU's Terrace Marshall. You can safely expect to see him in the game whenever the Panthers are on the fun side of the 20. 

What about the rest?

The rest of the 2021 Carolina Panthers draft was not to address any significant problems per se, aside from possibly 3rd round tackle Brady Christensen who could develop into a starter this season. The rest of the draft was mostly about increasing the physical talent of the Panthers depth this season and possibly a starter or two moving forward. If you take a gander at the Panthers roster last season and compare to now, one could argue the biggest change is the quality in the depth. This exponentially increases the chance of finding a future reliable starter and also drives up competition, demanding even better from the starters entrenched in front of them. 

Conclusion

It has been interesting to watch a front office recognize and address glaring deficiencies so quickly and efficiently. I have heard talk of "a process" for decades in the organization but have seen little evidence to back it up, until now. 

Will it work? We will soon see. Nothing is a given. There is a chance that the Panthers again fall well short this season. However, If I had to predict the future I would say a significant improvement is in our future resulting in a winning season. 

 

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9 hours ago, WUnderhill said:

I really hope so. I was on board with picking up Darnold but would really love for that second we gave up to not turn out to be at the top of the round.

I don't even care about that pick or others.  I don't.  

I also believe we won't be drafting in the top half of any draft for a long time. 

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1 minute ago, pantherclaw said:

I may end up being wrong about this, but I believe Darnold will win all of you over.  

I also feel the floor for the Panthers season is 10 wins. 

Right now I say it's a .500 team with potential.  Ask me again at the quarter mark.

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