This Sunday’s Tremendous Bowl marks the top of one other season, and one other offseason full of questions for our in-state group.
The Panthers’ proprietor was very clear when he purchased the group from Jerry Richardson that he has a must-win method to working the group, which is how Ron Rivera was proven the door in the course of the 2019 season, regardless of beforehand incomes two coach of the yr awards. (And now Ron has received the award for the third time, which makes the transfer look even dumber than it did on the time.)
So, if the Panthers completely should win in 2021, what should the entrance workplace do to enhance the roster?
• First off, don’t draft a quarterback.
Sure, I do know there are some QBs within the draft class this yr, and any one in all which may make a giant distinction in the midst of the franchise. Nonetheless, in case you are seeking to win this yr, you don’t begin a rookie quarterback.
I wasn’t bought on Teddy Bridgewater by midseason. He was nonetheless getting quite a lot of reward by announcers and the speaking heads within the studios till the top of the yr, however I noticed loads of pink flags all yr.
The worst? In 15 video games, Teddy threw 13 TD passes within the first half. Not unhealthy. Looks like he could be midway to 26 TD passes.
Besides, Teddy threw precisely two TD passes within the second half of those self same 15 video games. That’s proper, two. That’s mainly seven and a half complete video games’ price of taking part in with solely two scores.
That’s why I name him Teddy Chokewater.
Commerce Teddy someplace else or minimize him and signal one other. Heck, bench Teddy and provides P.J. Walker a complete offseason to prepare. He confirmed a giant arm and athleticism.
who would may need been an awesome alternative proper now? The man Carolina mainly gave away in Kyle Allen.
Sure, I do know Kyle had ups and downs, however he was additionally simply 23 years ending his first season. Did you see what he did in Washington earlier than he was injured on a unclean leg whip? He was averaging proper at a 100 QB ranking. Cam Newton by no means had a 100 ranking, even when he received league MVP in 2015. Teddy had a 92.1 ranking (artificially inflated by a excessive completion price primarily based on check-down throws).
• Please, please, please search for Luke Kuechly’s alternative within the draft. The worst roster transfer of 2020 was bringing in Tahir Whitehead to play center linebacker. Coach Matt Rhule went with one in all his former school gamers, however Tahir simply didn’t make performs all season and was lastly benched by the final couple of video games.
Kuechly’s identify could be mentioned by the announcers 10 occasions a sport, however Tahir may go a complete sport and not using a single point out. The run protection and quick move protection each suffered due to his horrible play.
• It appears yearly I say the group wants to have a look at the offensive line, and it’s nonetheless true — however worse this time. Heart Matt Paradis is the one common starter beneath contract subsequent yr.
I’m okay with a few of that — I’m you LG Chris Reed and LT Russell Okung — however the correct aspect with RT Taylor Moton and RG John Miller gave the impression to be fairly good.
The unhappy half is that the group did make investments two draft picks on guys who confirmed good potential, however have been injured quite a lot of their two years with the group. Greg Little and Dennis Daley break up time at left sort out in 2019, typically going forwards and backwards due to accidents. They each completed 2020 on injured reserve.
• In 2016 the Panthers used three of their prime 4 draft picks on cornerbacks. Just one panned out (James Bradberry), and he left with a giant contract a yr in the past.
The group desperately must draft no less than one if not two corners.
Donte Jackson is among the quickest guys in the entire league, however spent the entire season hampered by a toe damage. Tony Delight Jr. was a rookie who acquired picked on so much. The opposite choice, who began 11 video games was Rasul Douglas, who was good towards massive, slower possession receivers, however not fast wideouts.
In truth, Douglas is admittedly higher suited as a free security who can even cowl receivers and tight ends one on one when wanted — quite than each down.
Jackson ran a 4.32 time within the 40 on the mix. Douglas ran a 4.59. That may be a full quarter of a second slower.
Rasul was within the thirty second percentile for CBs within the 40 time and shuttle run and twenty sixth percentile on vertical soar (yikes!). However he scored excessive for weight/peak, arm size and bench press. In truth, when his measurables had been in comparison with different previous contributors within the mix, his greatest matches weren’t corners in any respect. His greatest match was former two-time Professional Bowl security Michael Lewis.
Juston Burris began 13 video games at security and had 53 tackles. Douglas began simply 11 video games at CB and had 62 tackles. Think about if you happen to re-signed Rasul and put him at Juston’s spot. Oh, and slicing Burris would save the group $3.8 million towards the cap.
• I’ve been saying this for 2 years: signal or draft a man to do nearly all of carries at working again. Let Christian McCaffrey spend extra time as a slot receiver.
The group is prone to lose Curtis Samuel, a receiver who can break up time within the backfield, as a result of he had such a pleasant yr he shall be too costly to re-sign.
So shift McCaffrey extra towards that function. Get McCaffrey 1,000 yards receiving and fewer rushes the place he takes such a pounding. I used to be saying this even earlier than he missed nearly all of 2020 with accidents.
• One nice benefit for the Panthers is that Coach Rhule acquired the chance to teach one of many groups within the Senior Bowl, with a number of the greatest school seniors throughout the nation.
He not solely acquired to see their bodily abilities up shut, he had an opportunity to see how the gamers accepted criticism and training.
James Hudson is a former defensive lineman who switched to O-line. Some scouts had been very impressed along with his Senior Bowl practices. What did Rhule suppose? Quinn Meinerz is a Division III O-line stud within the mildew of Tampa’s Ali Marpet. Did Rhule suppose him ok to draft within the second or third spherical?
• Lastly, it’s time for the group to chop former star DT Kawann Quick. At one time Quick and Star Lotuleilei shaped a formidable tandem within the center. However, Quick has performed simply 5 of 32 video games the previous two seasons with solely seven solo tackles, zero sacks and just one sort out for a loss.
And this season Quick is scheduled to make a whopping $20.84 million. His cap hit is $11.02, so slicing him would save $9.82 million in cap area.
One other potential payroll minimize could be DE Stephen Weatherly, who is about to make $7.9 million, however solely $2 million would rely towards the cap, so slicing would save $5.9 million. He solely performed in 9 video games with simply 17 tackles and nil sacks.
The group hoped he would make a giant leap after ending his rookie contract in Minnesota with simply six sacks in 4 seasons.
— to www.mtairynews.com