Several beat writers want to straddle just how well *everyone* expects Bryce Young to play, “bringing great skills to the quarterback role Charlotte has lacked for a while, IF…” Okay, I understand not wanting to gush like a homer every day, OTAs start shortly in the still sweaty cauldron that is Spartanburg, but c’mon, even if there are question marks, its the NFC South.
When 2010 draft produced Cam Newton here, I said let alllll the stuff about his Dad offering Cam to high bidder go, he’s here/ours – just Root for Success. Drew Brees was me, my same size, an over-achiever you could appreciate. I’ve been tired of ‘Bama games, but what’s not to like about Bryce?— Me, and 5 million other guys who made him -1250 DraftKing favorite.
“Everyone on the Brain Trust agreed,” huh? No way it was Richardson or Levis. 5/8/23
Consider reasons to be jazzed up
Whether you felt Steve Wilks deserved to get the Head Coach role, Frank Reich brought the best kind of people with him, including Duce Staley, who he teamed with offensively during Eagles 2017 Super Bowl season.
Christian McCaffrey, that 1000-1000 young man some thought broke too easy, was gone mid-season and almost won a Super Bowl already, but the kid from ‘Bama has a TON of accolades (ie. Heisman) and leadership props himself. Okay, he didn’t save a guys life (yet) or get engaged to Miss Universe like McCaffrey, but he ain’t just ANY rookie.
Lets admit that #MrTeppersmoney $$$ will make a difference, with quality, certifiably good coordinators and assistants to coach up Panthers everywhere. When the organizations biggest Gotta Fix has been a lackluster offense lacking specific, productive leadership at the helm, how can even casual fans NOT recognize they’ve gotten better?
The practice facility and stadium situations are still out there, but you haven’t heard the words, ‘up against the cap’ in a long time. #GM Scott Fitterer gets credit for putting deals together, VP of Football Administration Samir Suleiman is the ‘cap guy’. Most people thought Shaq Thompson, after his best year (135 tackles, 8 for loss) was a goner with a $24.46MM cap hit, but Panthers managing to keep him on a reworked two year deal is good for everyone.
With a proven offensive line, bringing in Miles Sanders stats to Charlotte https://www.espn.com/nfl/player/_/id/4045163/miles-sanders and his history with Coach Staley in Philadelphia, on a 4 year/$25,400,000 contract ($5.9MM signing bonus, $13MM guaranteed, according to spotrac.com), and an opportunity for frequent carries by hard-running Chuba Hubbard (95 rush/466 yrds./2 TD, 171 yds. receiving), the ground game is solid.
Hayden Hurst (TE, 3 yr./$21.75MM, $6.17MM signing bonus, $13MM guaranteed) fixes another significant hole in the Panther offense, one that’s existed since Greg Olsen left for the Seahawks and then announcers booth.
When Cam Newton came to town, the Panthers invested in two All Pro TEs, Jeremy Shockey (past) and Greg Olsen (legendary) to give Newton a check down receiver. Hurst brings credibility to the position as a key target for Joe Burrow during two AFC championship runs by Bengals. If 52 receptions for 414 yards and two touchdowns isn’t world-beating, it beats what’s been the norm.
Panthers wouldn’t listen to anyone about trading Brian Burns, there’s another run stuffing big-body free agent to put with Mr. Brown on the line, and Defensive Coordinator Ejiro Evero is going to make S Jeremy Chinn an All Pro, someone other teams will have to account for.
‘We got Joe’ – Guys you don’t bet against
There’s a huge influx of young guns in the NFL, with Mahomes the current lightening rod for a force you don’t want to bet against. The Buffalo Bills will never forget how a few seconds makes all the difference with a QB you WOULD want to bet against, like Herbert, Jones of NY, and Josh.
The word on Young is a WISE HEAD – with a shift protection the freshman called as example – and props comparing him with Peyton Manning for knowing what to do with a specific situation. There’s no reason to throw ‘if it works out’ caveats on his size at this point.— #gshorkonsharonroadseam 5/8/23 I’m not just a homer sportswriter, hated Manning’s constant ‘OMAHA’ checking, but he KNEW.
Joe Burrow at LSU was/is All That, mostly got Joe Brady, his OC at LSU, a top college coordinator (Broyles) award and good job in NFL with Rhule’s Panthers, but they obviously out-personneled everyone with pass catchers. Joe kept his part going with Bengals, Brady’s system didn’t impress at pro level.
Aaron Rodgers, iffy a character as he sometimes seems, *still* isn’t someone you blow off until final whistle. Will NY get the full benefit of his expertise, if he can’t be bothered with some good will at OTAs?
It’s the NFC South folks
Is Young worth three games? because 10-7 could win the division in 2023. Tampa took it with 8-9 record last year, a year after Brady led them to a 13-4 record, and everyone else tied at 7-10,
ATL has two names for QB room – Logan Woodside and Desmond Ridder- and maybe Taylor Heineke (2 yrs./$20MM?); Tampa has maybe Jacoby Brissett, who was steady with Browns, and Saints Derek Carr (4 yrs./$150MM) rode the wave of QB uncertainty best by signing in early March.
Despite 1-6 start, Panthers were a helmet off penalty on Moore causing a missed PAT, and a lousy quarter defending Mike Evans (10 catches/207 yds./3TDs) as Brady went 34/45/432 yds/3 TDs to officially eliminate the Panthers. Tom is officially (at this time) still retired, so nobody in division has a better documented QB than Panthers, period.