It’s been a tough season, but I believe that we have seen the worst football the panthers will play for the next 5-8 years. I know a lot of fans are angry with the organization, you have reason to be. However, I think the fortune of the panthers will turn this offseason. I’m getting really tired of the national media calling the panthers cheap. In the past, JR has always been committed to spending money to win. Just look at the past few seasons, the panthers have always been up against the cap. I blame the uncertain CBA for the panther’s season, not JR. From what I’ve been reading, the owners/union will come to an agreement before the April draft. If this is the case, here are some moves the panthers should make during the offseason. I will outline these offseason moves into 3 posts: Coaching, Draft, and Free Agency. I hope what I write will be thought provoking and generate lots of comments.
I read that the panthers are planning on hiring Ron Rivera. I think this will be a homerun. I know a lot of people want to bring in an offensive minded coach, but keep in mind the old clique “Defense wins championships.” I have been very impressed by the job he did in Chicago/San Diego. I feel that with a defensive genius like Rivera on our sideline, along with our talent on defense and a couple more pieces, we can build a defense similar to the Ravens D.
- I think Rivera would bring in his old teammate from the 1985 bears Mike Singletary as his DC. I know Singletary kind of sucked as a HC, but he’s a solid defensive coach and a great motivator
- At OC, I would love to see the panthers bring in Josh McDaniels. He’s a really good teacher/motivator that could potentially wake up our dead offense. He can teach our young qbs how to be a quarterback at the NFL level.
Sign a blocking tight end like Desmond Clark.
Our offensive line should be solid next year with Travelle Wharton and Jeff Otah returning from injury. However, we have a big hole at Guard. We should go after the big FA Logan Mankin, who McDaniels coached in New England.
Sign CB Nnamdi Asomugha – He is the shutdown cornerback we have lacked in Carolina.
Bring in FS Darren Sharper, another veteran presence that knows the NFC South.
Bring in a Veteran QB – I think we should take a chance on QB Donovan McNabb. The fact of the matter is, even with Shanahan, the deadskins are still a dysfunctional organization with no running game. I think that with the running game in Carolina, McNabb can be successful again. I think that even if McNabb isn’t good, he will accept his role as a backup qb and teach our young QB corp.
Trade Clausen for a 2nd round pick. If we invest our future in a QB in this draft, there is no need to keep Clausen around. His value will only go downhill beyond this offseason. I think some team will be willing to take a chance on Clausen, maybe even the patriots.
- 1st round pick – QB Cam Newton, Auburn – In my post last month, I preached patience with Jimmy Clausen. At this point, my patience with J. Clausen has ended. It seems like his performance has deteriorated as the season progressed. He will need a lot of time to learn how to be an NFL QB. After watching the BCS Championship game, I was very impressed by Newton. He reminds me of a better version of Vince Young. He has the size of Ben Roethlisberger with speed. He has good leadership skills and can make all the throws. This may be wishful thinking, but hopefully he grows up once he gets to the NFL. As far as his mental toughness is concerned, consider this: He won 2 national championships in college, the Heisman, beat Alabama, and lead his team to an undefeated season in the SEC while constantly being criticized by the national media and being under scrutiny by the NCAA. We will have to see how he performs in the combine.
- 2nd round pick – OG Orlando Franklin, Miami – Potentially the best guard in the draft. He played LT at Miami, but I don’t think he has the speed to play that position in the NFL. I feel like we need some more size on our O-line. Franklin stands at 6’7, 318 lbs.
- 3rd round pick – DT Marvin Austin, UNC – It might be wishful thinking to hope that Austin falls this far in the draft. His ability/potential is definitely first round material. He is a poor man’s Ndomokung Suh with a bad attitude. His value at this pick will be worth the risk.
- 3rd round pick – OT Marcus Gilbert, Florida – Hard-working lineman that can play both tackle and guard. Will bring depth to our O-line.
- 4th round pick – DT Sione Fua, Stanford – Outstanding player from Stanford. He’s a big guy with great quickness and initial burst. Pair him with M.Austin/C.Johnson/G.Hardy/E.Brown and you have a strong D-line for the next couple years.
- 5th round pick – MLB Nate Irving, NC State – This might be a bias pick because I go to NCSU, but I gotta give some love to my man Nate. Hopefully, he will last past the 4th round. I think he is one of the most underrated linebackers in this draft. He came back from a devastating car accident to be a 2nd team All-American. He’s a quick with great size. He will be a great addition to our LB corp.
- 6th round pick – TE Zack Pianalto, UNC – Talented but injury-prone tight end. He will definitely be an upgrade from Jeff King. Another weapon for Luck to utilize in the passing game.
- 7th round pick – QB Greg McElroy, Alabama – I really like his ability to manage a game. Could be a great backup for us in years to come.
Now look at our new depth chart for this year. It is without a doubt a championship caliber team (with the right coaching)
o Donovan McNabb
o Cam Newton
o Greg McElroy
o DeAngelo Williams
o Tyrell Sutton
o Steve Smith?
o Travelle Wharton
o Ryan Kalil
o Orlando Franklin - R
o CJ Davis
o Jeff Otah
o Marcus Gilbert-R
o Desmond Clark
o Zack Pianalto-R
o Gary Barnage
o Charles Johnson
o Marvin Austin - R
o Sione Fua – R
o Dan Conner
o Nate Irving -R
o Thomas Davis – WS
o James Anderson – SS
o Nnamdi Asomugha
o CJ Wilson
o Darron Sharper
o Charles Geodfrey
o Rys Lloyd
Well thats all I got. I know this is super long, but I think its worth the read. Hope this generates a lot of comments. Please let me know what you guys think.