We have progressed from Denial through Anger and past Bargaining. I think most of us are either in Depression or slowly moving onto Acceptance. Some thoughts to help with this process:
1. We cannot run the ball effectively or pass the ball effectively. This means the entire offensive unit is a pile of crap. To clarify, the people responsible include the following:
Various Assistant Coaches
We start by making changes at the top. Our mistake during off-season was NOT letting go of veterans. The mistake was keeping John Fox around when the youth movement began a year too early. I think Panthers have done very well in drafts and they deserve credit for it. However, with some foresight they would have seen that John Fox was not the guy for the task at hand. Fox has never had the patience to let young players make some mistakes and under the circumstances, that was not going to change. He never had the flexibility to adapt to the personnel at our disposal which was essential in order to let rookies gain some confidence which is essential to their development. As it stands, Fox looks like he will be around until the end of the season.
2. We are not rebuilding at the moment - we are in rebuilding limbo, so to speak. The rebuilding resumes when the new coach is hired. Until then, the lack of energy on the offense is inevitable.
3. This follows from points above: we can play any quarterback we like for the rest of the season whether it is Tony Pike, Jimmy Clausen or Vinny Testaverde and we are unlikely to know whether we have a franchise QB or not. In other words, our offense is so bad as a unit that we cannot evaluate individual positions. For the sake of developing chemistry between the players, it would be ideal if we stuck with one QB. However, at the end of this season, don't be surprised if we don't have clear starters at 4 or 5 positions on offense.
4. Players need to be nurtured. It's not just about whether they "have it". It is also about the organization's ability to develop the player. Ideally we acquire coaching personnel with the credentials to develop our offense - particularly the players involved in our passing game, something we have struggled with under Fox and his assitants.
5. The most critical step following the impending coaching change is to add veterans with strong leadership qualities via Free Agency to bolster the offense.
6. Signing DeAngelo Williams to a 4 year deal is a no-brainer. There is a difference between college football and pro football, his yards at college are not going to matter as much as advertised. While I can't argue with decision to let go of Moose or Hoover, going even younger at skill positions on offense would be a bad move.
7. On the flipside, the ineptitude of the offensive unit is likely to have an impact on whether some players that choose to stay here and those who choose to leave. I can see Kalil and Williams both considering a change of scenery.
8. Next year we will have football, but players are unlikely to have OTA/TC and preseason they way we have to come to know it. This is not ideal for the new coach or for the younger players/rookies. This could even have some impact on how we approach the draft.
9. The draft is where you go for shiny new soldiers. Shiny new soldiers invariably take a while before they can contribute at a high level. We have 1 pick in the first two rounds in a draft that is not very deep. If we have top 5 pick, trading down might be the clever thing to do.
10. When "fans" of a team complain about "the product on the field" I am not sure I can appreciate the thought process. I reckon that you are either a fan of the team or you buying a product. If you are a fan you either grin and bear it, rant about it, or reach for the remote, spend time with your girl, get a hobby. If you are buying a product, go with the Patriots/Steelers/Colts - they all are pretty consistent. If you are a PSL owner, I feel bad for you. But hey, sometimes, life can be unfair.