One of the major rules changes that occurred this off-season at the league owners meeting concerns the removal of the "wedge" on special teams. This article at NFL.com talks about the significance of the move:
I'm not certain how often the Panthers have chosen to implement the wedge in their return game. I don't recall seeing it in use all that often...or as often as other teams. But the overall consideration that faces most special teams coaches now is to ensure they've got the most athletic players on the field who can play "match return" coverage...both on returns and coverage units.
Given that, it makes me wonder how that might change the Panthers coaching staff decisions around which players to keep on the roster for special teams. If we want the most athletic "burners" possible to keep up and take advantage of the match coverage, that might mean dropping some of our traditional special team aces in favor of guys who can run better. Generally, that might mean some of these rookies could stick and displace a special teams veteran we typically kept when "wedge" returns were still allowed.
Does anyone think this will affect the Panthers...either in our return game strategy or in determining what players we choose to keep on the roster? Why or why not?