Whether You Oppose or Support Gettleman's Firing, You May Be Right

Whether You Oppose or Support Gettleman's Firing, You May Be Right

The firing of Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman came as a surprise to just about everyone on Monday. People will say that the warning signs were there and that there were whispers, but anyone saying that they 100 percent knew this was coming just watched their nose magically grow. 

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Former Players Are Talking About Gettleman's Firing

There's been more talk from past players about Dave Gettleman than most GMs. It says something given these guys are generally careful in order to not warn off any suitors. Here's some reactions from former players who may hold Gettleman in the highest regard.

Jordan Gross retired early citing Dave Gettleman's handling of the contract as his reasoning. He's off the grid it appears, but he doesn't work with the Panther media anymore as far as I know. 

Jon Beason was traded soon after Gettleman's arrival. Today, he remarked about the way he parted ways with the organization, stating, "But for me, it kinda came full circle," he said. "The way that the trade went down between the Giants and the Panthers when I moved on from the Carolina Panthers, it was done in a way that wasn't classy. I didn't want to be the disgruntled player who's saying this, saying that because he was traded. But at the end of the day, you're a first-round pick, you played extremely well for an organization, you're one of the key guys on the team, a new GM comes in and doesn't even give you a handshake on your way out the door."

Listen to the full interview below:

Steve Smith was the most controversial of Dave Gettleman's decisions, and one that many have said did not sit well with Jerry Richardson. It clearly didn't sit well with Smitty, who has been waiting to press send on this tweet for a minute.

Then came DeAngelo Williams, which at first looked as if Gettleman had learned to better handle a long-term vet who had deep ties to the organization. Williams held on to it for a moment, or maybe Gettleman got ahead of it, but it didn't take long for Williams to start firing back at Gettleman and the Panthers. Today, he took the team off his hitlist, indicating it was really Gettleman who was the problem. 

Carolina went 15-1 in the 2015 regular season the next year and made a Super Bowl appearance. All was forgiven and forgotten by Panthers fans when it came to Gettleman's turbulent first two years. He seemed to have the master plan until he butted heads with Josh Norman's agent and rescinded the franchise tag. The move left the Panthers secondary in shambles and then forced them to draft three corners, back-to-back-to-back in the 2016 draft. The team stumbled and fumbled through the most severe of Super Bowl hangovers.  Josh Norman is still keeping an eye on the situation from Washington.

Back-peddling from the Norman debacle, Gettleman cut Bene' Benwikere after Julio Jones torched the Panthers secondary to the tune of 300-yds. Benwikere was coming off a major leg injury and was tasked playing the league's best wideout. He didn't have any help either. The move looked like Gettleman needed a scapegoat, while removing some of the blame from his newly drafted corners.

We found a Gettleman supporter. Colin Cole appreciated the second opportunity given to him by Gettleman.

Philly Brown was friendly on Twitter, stating, "before y'all start making stuff up this has nothing to do with my guy Getelmen." He has his account locked to prevent retweets, but I'm thinking he won't mind me quoting him here. 

Hit me up @Cat_Chronicles or CarolinaCatChronicles@gmail.com if you run across any other player reactions. 

By Tony Dunn
Follow @Cat_Chronicles for the latest Panthers news and opinions from the fan perspective. 

Do These Prospect Visits Show Carolina Panthers Want To "Evolve?"

One word has summed up the Carolina Panthers off-season for fans, media, and analysts alike... "EVOLVE." Ever since Rivera muttered the phrase in regards to the offense at the end of the season, the outside world has been trying to figure it out. As we have gotten closer to the draft, we may be getting a pretty good idea judging by a few of the prospect visits the Panthers have brought in.

Each season NFL teams are allotted 30 draft prospects to bring in for visits and/or workouts at the team facilities. In most cases, in the Panthers case anyway, these are the players you can start getting the best judge of interest in. There have been three particular players the Panthers have shown interest in that fit roughly the same mold and could help "evolve" this offense and give Cam Newton another weapon. They are RB/WR Christian McCaffrey, RB/WR Curtis Samuel, and RB Alvin Kamara.

In a year where Jonathan Stewart is turning 30 and has battled injuries, seeing Dave Gettleman and Ron Rivera hosting running back prospects isn't surprising. But each of these running backs offer something new to the Panthers offense, and that's the ability to line up outside or in the slot at receiver.

Having a running back with the ability to line up as a receiver can create all kinds of mismatches for opposing defenses. Many question whether offensive coordinator Mike Shula can properly use a player like this, but who really knows as the most versatile player he has had with Carolina was Ted Ginn, who now resides with NFC SOuth rival New Orleans. Between Shula and Cam Newton, Ginn has had the best years of his career in Charlotte. During the 2015 season Shula constantly used Ginn's speed to create mismatches. Like the one here (fast forward to 1:55) where a linebacker was covering Ginn. Good times.

With Ginn in the slot and the Falcons sending a blitzing safety from the left, it left Ginn matched up alone with the linebacker. There was one safety left up top, but Ginn is the only receiver on the three wide set who crosses field, leaving the safety in no man's land with two other receivers to his right. As soon as Newton realizes the safety doesn't adjust, he lofts it up downfield for Ginn to use his speed to go get it. 

Now, I'm not comparing Ginn to prospects like McCaffrey, just simply showing what the use of proper mismatches with players who create separation can do. The hottest name surrounding the Panthers draft right now, Christian McCaffrey, has been a master of this in college. You can look up highlights all day, but here's one where he runs a route out of the back field and breaks a linebacker down one-on-one and takes it all the way after finding the seam.

Alvin Kamara shot up teams boards after posting explosive combine numbers. His versatility in both the running and receiving game is what helped land him at Tennessee. That along with his combine performance is what will help him in the NFL as well. 

This isn't the big play like McCaffrey's above, but it's a good example of the mismatch caused by the running back motioning out of the backfield. Tennessee scored twice in this game on this exact same play. You'll notice two defenders on one receiver near the back of the end zone leaving Kamara wide open. 

Chances are you saw Curtis Samuel of Ohio State play at some point last season. He dominated the final drive in double overtime that propelled the Buckeyes over arch rival Michigan.

Another play where the linebacker matches up with the running back coming out of the back field. The quarterback slightly under-throws the pass here causing a contested catch that Samuel still comes down with. A little more on the pass and it's an easy touchdown catch.

The Panthers have visited with all of these running backs along with Leonard Fournette, who is another hot name associated with the Panthers. These takes here are not a spite to Fournette and his game. I still like Fournette and think he can be successful in the NFL. I also believe he has better hands than many anticipate, but the Panthers need versatility if they are going to truly "evolve" the offense. Having another power running back wouldn't really do that. 

With that said, it's also entirely possible Carolina brought in the likes of Curtis Samuel and Alvin Kamara in case they chose not to go McCaffrey at eight. It seems pretty evident the Panthers like Fournette just as much as they do McCaffrey and if he falls to eight, we could see them take him and get either Samuel or Kamara later. They could also go defense at eight if a guy they really like is still there and get one of the two later. The only problem with that is McCaffrey is much more polished in running, receiving, and returning than the other two. Not to mention you are then tying up two draft picks on running backs.

When it all boils down to it, we can only guess what Rivera meant by "evolve." Hell, Gettleman said in his post season presser that it wasn't really the proper term to use, so who knows? Nobody but the people in the front office really know what direction they want to go a week out from the draft. Even they probably still don't know. It could all come down to who falls and who doesn't. 

Written By Tripp Morgan

Follow @TrippMorgan6 and @Cat_Chronicles for the latest news and updates on the Carolina Panthers.

Article thumbnail photo by Jesse Fraetis. 

 

Like it or not, Leonard Fournette is the First Round Target

Like it or not, Leonard Fournette is the First Round Target

Okay, so I should have known NOT to try to communicate anything of any substance via Twitter. Explaining reasons for anything doesn't work well among that Short Attention Span Theater crowd, who would rather click and "like" a pretty picture than actually go click and have to truly READ WORDS, so I'll have to write this article to spell some things out.

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Could the Panthers Trade Kawann Short to San Francisco?

Could the Panthers Trade Kawann Short to San Francisco?

Post-UFA signings and pre-draft days make for a long, roughly six-week wait, and every possible scenario gets discussed ad nauseum to the point where we fans just want the dadgum draft to happen already!

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Leonard Fournette Will Visit Panthers Next Week.

The Panthers will meet with top running back prospect Leonard Fournette out of LSU next week. 

Things started stirring on Wednesday when neither head coach Ron Rivera or Dave Gettleman showed up at LSU's pro day. It seems now that's because they knew they would be bringing him to Charlotte to meet. Running backs coach Jim Skipper and offensive coordinator Mike Shula both made the trip to Louisiana for the pro day.

Fournette made another impression when he weighed in at 228 pounds, down from 250 at the combine and back to his college playing weight. When asked about the weight at the combine, Fournette said it was "water weight" and he would be losing it. Fournette commented on this to Charlotte Observer's Jourdan Rodrigue later.

“I think some (teams) wanted to see if I could get down to that size. I think it was a plus for me. ... I might be 250 playing, so I just wanted to show them that I can do what I need to do to get my business in order.” 

It seems the closer the draft gets, the chances of Fournette being around at eight are getting slimmer to many. Carolina has stated all off season that they want to be able to run Cam less to help preserve him for the long haul. Jonathan Stewart's recent one-year extension was more of a cap space move than anything else and Fournette could be a bruising replacement when Stewart is gone. But then again.

Then with all of this you have the Christian McCaffrey rumors at an all-time high and he could be a big help in "evolving" the offense and be a key weapon to Cam Newton as well. Buckle up Panthers fans, the next few weeks are going to be interesting.

Written By Tripp Morgan

Follow @TrippMorgan6 and @Cat_Chronicles for the latest news and updates surrounding the Carolina Panthers.

Article photo by Jesse Fraetis.

 


 

Why OJ Howard is not the Best Pick for Carolina at Eight Overall

Why OJ Howard is not the Best Pick for Carolina at Eight Overall

Rampant speculation is the name of the game at this time of the NFL calendar every year...that "dead time" when most of the free agents have been signed and the NFL Draft. Since teams have solidified their rosters as much as they're likely to before the draft in a month, there's not much else to look at.

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Philly Brown Signed by Buffalo Bills

Philly Brown Signed by Buffalo Bills

Carolina's parting with Philly Brown reminded of the colder side of the NFL. Brown didn't take the news easily, immediately scrubbing his Twitter bio of any Panther forensics. Some have talked of an Instagram live video where Brown vented on the situation, and reportedly Brown was upset by coverage of his video by Bill Voth.

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Panthers are set for Fournette

Panthers are set for Fournette

By now, every free agent acquisition the Panthers have made this year has been already posted about whether on here, facebook, twitter, or dozens of other sites. I'm here to look at the bigger picture going forward and what all these signings mean for the draft.

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