Carolina Panthers: The Need for Cohesion and Unity Along Offensive Line

Carolina Panthers: The Need for Cohesion and Unity Along Offensive Line

With Panthers fans hoping for a 2017 Championship run, so many things must go right. But the for the Offensive Line this is especially critical. Here are some of my thoughts concerning the 2017 Panthers offensive front.  

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Two Signings Carolina Must Make

                 

Allow me to say I know this idea and any type of negotiations are years away, nevertheless this idea needs to be brought up.

We all know they type of player Kelvin Benjamin is. We saw that his rookie year when he burst into the NLF for 1009 yards and 9 TDs, seemingly smirking when he would catch a ball over the coverage of a rival CB. It was not until the NFC championship game in Seattle that we really saw who this kid was and learned he was something we had never seen before. A giant standing as tall as any WR the NFL has ever seen at 6’6” and as wide and as girthy as most NFL TEs at 250 lbs. The size of a giant and the attitude of one former Panther “Steve Smith”. This became evident when he caught a TD on Richard Sherman looked up at him and said “I’m gonna keep coming all day!” and then caught another one. Now after missing a year due to a knee injury, he looks ready to come back and continue his dominant ways.

                 Devin Funchess is much harder to read; he took till week 7 to even have an impact game as a rookie but after that he went off. In the following weeks he went on to become a more consistent target for Cam Newton. He is big 6’4” and 230 lbs and he plays the game fast. He runs good routes and highpoints the ball very well. Recently it’s being said Funchess is “light years ahead of last year “, this makes me happy. Funch and KB have similar skill sets, yet each one stands out. The one area Funch could improve in is his self confidence vs top corner. KB is able to dominate a top CB or FS, even both at the same time, and he knows he can make the play because he is relied upon to make the big play, that is confidence.  On most teams Funchess would be a number one receiver, but the Panthers are not most teams and Kelvin is not most players.

Now this being said, why should we lock up both?

 

It’s simple Cam will be able to count on both! Kelvin commands a double team in coverage no matter how much talent is on him (just check his stats when covered by both Sherman and Thomas), KB still gets the job done. Funchess is a physical mismatch for some elite NFL corners but we haven’t yet seen Funch vs top flight corners. And now with KB around, Funchess will rarely have to face top corners. Now this idea makes it so that lower level guys and lower paid guys in the depth chart look so much better because they are not relied upon as heavily and also do not have to face top tier cornerbacks. The versatility of Funchess allows the Panthers to bring in players to be nitch guys. Guys with blazing deep speed or 3rd down conversion guys. There are both among the 14 receivers we have in camp.

As far as the running game would be concerned well this idea can save you money! We don’t live in an NFL that has many elite backs and finding one is very hard. Even more difficult is keeping one without breaking the bank. I do not believe in paying running backs big money, they are hurt to often and when one goes cold it ruins your game or games. I believe in the idea that you keep 3-4 backs and ride the hot hand (much like how the Patriots do it), this saves money but it can also be bad if the rest of the team is not set up right. The Pats are able to get away with this because they have a top level QB and having two quality receivers who can create space. The idea of using multiple backs allows the offense to keep the defense guessing as to what the offense will do. Its not as simple as one back to carry the load and a switch on 3rd down. Defenses against Carolina will have to put 6 in the box vs Carolina because that defense has to cover guys like Kelvin, Funchess, and Olsen.

 

Cheap vets and rookie contract RBs are the way I would build a team, big receivers can provide significant downfield blocking which is necessary for big run plays. Not to say I wouldn’t draft a RB high but once he starts asking for 13 mill a year we know Dave will let him walk.

One player doesn’t make a team but a duo like Kelvin and Funchess will make so many mismatches for Cam, that he will be able to use the entire offense as weapons for attacking the opposing defense. Also these, Twin Towers, will make it so teams shouldn't blitz but should they try to blitz, take a look at Cam’s numbers from last year and tell them to with KB back, those numbers are expected to go up. It will be costly keeping both but at the end of the day I think they will end up being the best WR duo we have in the NFL, and potentially the best duo in Panthers history.

JP aka The Pope

Two Elusive Goals For the 2016 Panthers

Two Elusive Goals For the 2016 Panthers

The Cam Newton-led Carolina Panthers are now viewed as one of the best teams in the NFL.  In their/our 20 year history, the Panthers have six Division Titles.  Five from the NFC South and one from the NFC West.  And even though they have won the NFC South three years in a row now, the Panthers have yet to put it all together...

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Tis the Season For Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers

Tis the Season For Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers

It’s Cam Newton’s world, we’re all just living in it.  The frontrunner for MVP strengthened his claim with a game for the ages.  According to Elias Sports Bureau, Cam Newton is the first player in the Super Bowl era to throw for 5 passing touchdowns and rush for 100 yards in the same game.  What he and his team are doing this season is nothing short of spectacular.  The Panthers at 14-0, are on the verge of finishing the regular season undefeated.  

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Big Plays and Big Penalties the Story of Carolina's Win Over Saints

Big Plays and Big Penalties the Story of Carolina's Win Over Saints

Carolina’s defense really couldn’t have played much worse today. With Drew Brees out and Luke McCown behind one of the league’s worst offensive line, most thought the defense would be the hero’s this week. Certainly, few thought that it would be the offense and big plays downfield would be the story of the game. 

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In The NFC Driver's Seat

In The NFC Driver's Seat

Inevitably the first question everyone asks during the offseason is: “What will it take for the Panthers to repeat as NFC South champions and continue to the Super Bowl?” For a question that is very open ended and riddled with stipulations, the Panthers aren’t as far off as it would seem.

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The All Important Saints Mock Draft

The All Important Saints Mock Draft

This has been a pretty wild and exciting offseason for the Saints and there are still possibilities looming for even more excitement before draft day.

The direction the Saints are taking is bold and it’s needed because there was some complacency, which happens when you have been with a team for a few years.

 

The result of being comfortable last season was a 7-9 record for the Saints and massive under performance from every player on the team. Trading Jimmy Graham, Ben Grubbs and Kenny Stills, then cutting Curtis Lofton surely had to make a lot of players pretty uncomfortable, which is the best thing that can happen to them.

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Open Mic: NFC South Bad Enough to Win?

Grab the mic Panther fans and let the nation know!  Open Mic is an open discussion thread. Just drop a comment in the comments section below.  Respond to other fans, and as always #KeepPounding.

With Atlanta's loss to Green Bay and the Panthers win over the Saints, Carolina is a half game back from the division lead.  Here again.  Can the Panthers pull it off?  Will they?

NFC South Power Rankings (It's Ugly)

NFC South Power Rankings (It's Ugly)

The truth is the NFC South is ugly, Panther Fans.  But there is a pecking order.  Power rankings and the NFC South is an oxymoron.  None of these four teams are worthy of a playoff spot.  However, I decided to break down who I think is the least unworthy to represent the NFC South in the playoffs.  And I went ahead and stack-ranked the rest of the division.

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Open Mic: Is Steve Smith Greatest Receiver Under 6'?

Grab the mic Panther fans and let the nation know!  Open Mic is an open discussion thread. Just drop a comment in the comments section below.  Respond to other fans, and as always #KeepPounding.

It's been tough watching Carolina's greatest offensive player ever rip it up on another team. If there is one consoling aspect, it's that he has devasted the NFC South, and somehow simultaneously kept the Panthers in the division race.

It's his play this season that has C3 asking, "Is Smitty the all-time greatest receiver under six feet tall?"

Open Mic: How many games will Panthers win?

Grab the mic Panther fans and let the nation know!  Open mic is an open discussion thread. Just drop a comment in the comments section below.  Respond to other fans, and as always #KeepPounding.

Right now the Panthers sit at 3rd place of the NFC South at 3-7-1.  Who many games will the Panthers win in 2014?  Can they realistically win out and repeat as NFC South Champions?

A Look At The NFC South Playoff Picture

A Look At The NFC South Playoff Picture

With just six weeks remaining, and with the division leader two games under 500, (unbelievably) any of the four teams can still win. Three teams still control their own destiny. Win more remaining games than the other NFC opponents and you are in the big dance. 

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NFC South Bound and Down Episode 8: In the Thick of It

South Bound and Down round-table huddles up to discuss Week 9 and the NFC South.  Join the crew as they talk about the wins, well ties, losses, injuries, and match-ups facing the NFC South.  We'll be doling out the typical banter topped off by our picks for the week.  Tweet the show at #SouthBound  

Panther Nation Holds Monday Night Mental Health Meeting

Boy did I need something to pick me up after two demoralizing Panther losses.  We all know the deal, Carolina gave up 70 points in two weeks falling to 2-2.  So, #C3 scheduled an emergency mental health meeting Monday night. The meeting helped, if you didn't make it.  Here the bullet points:


Basically, we hugged it out and regained a little composure. Oh and boy did we laugh.  So put your smiles on and enjoy!