With the announcement of Sean McDermott, Rob Chudzinski and Brian Murphy as the DC, OC and STC respectively, Carolina Panthers fans wait with bated breath to see how they will rebuild the team and return them to relevance. In the next few months we'll have plenty of time to analyze, and over analyze the schemes and tendencies of the new coaching staff, but today we'll be doing a 'quick hits' to look at three current Carolina Panthers who these new coordinator hirings will effect the most.
Sean McDermott's effect: Charles Godfrey, SS- In the last two seasons SS Quintin Mickell has been the #1 tackler for the Philadelphia Eagles. On average he had 89 tackles per season (Godfrey had 84 last year) and averaged 14 passes defended per year (Godfrey had 8 last year). From this we can see that McDermott places a premium on having a strong safety that can both be a big factor in the run game, as well as play the ball very well in the air.
What we can't fully ascertain though is how much Mikell's role was required due to a injury wrought linebacking corps, what we do know is that while McDermott is working on the blitzes with Rivera he will rely heavily on Ron Meeks moulding Godfrey into a more complete SS. Godfrey needs to become a better tackler, and play the ball better in the air. As most know Godfrey has the gaudy stats, but in reality many of his 5 INT in 2010 were a product of 'right place, right time' rather than truly making solid plays on the ball.
After the jump we look at Chudz effect, and Murphy's
Rob Chudzinski's effect: Gary Barnidge, TE- Since being drafted in 2008 Barnidge has filled the role of 'Jack of all trades, master of none', but even so, of the three TEs the Carolina Panthers have utilized he is the most complete. We know Chudz TE pedigree with such names as Jeremy Shockey, Bubba Franks, Kellen Winslow Jr and Antonio Gates being some of the tight ends under his tutelage, so it should come as no surprise when Ron Rivera said that finding a 'do everything' TE will be of importance.
As it stands Barnidge is not that player. He is still too much of a liability as a blocker, and lacks the initial speed off the line to be held in the same regard as those aforementioned TEs who Chudzinski has worked with. However, he has promise. There have been times we have seen flashes of this ability from Barnidge, but they have been few and far between. When the OTAs roll around it's my belief that on offense Barnidge will become focus 1-A, and will likely be fighting a draft pick or free agent for the starting job. It would very much surprise me if either Jeff King or Dante Rosario returns to the Carolina Panthers.
As it stands Rosario has the most receiving yards by a TE in the last five years with 313. Chudz will want that number up over 600, and it remains to be seen if Barnidge is up to the task.
Brian Murphy's effect: Armanti Edwards, WR- At least for the time being Armanti's role wont be in the receiving corps with Steve Smith, David Gettis and Brandon LaFell it will be on special teams that he'll need to become a factor. In Minnesota Murphy's 'X-factor' on special teams was another sub 6 ft, under 190 lb WR in Percy Harvin, and it's undeniable that he will want Edwards to become his 'poor mans' Percy Harvin. Yes, I understand that Captain Munnerlyn has done a fine job filling in, but he still lacks to top end speed that turns a good receiver into a great one, furthermore, with Richard Marshall gone Munnerlyn is sure to play a bigger role on defense and as such be too valuable to risk in the return game. Edwards has the speed, but has to improve the basics of returning to be a factor.
If Edwards is able to become the kind of wild card in the return game that Murphy was able to make Harvin, and Chudzinski is able to get some production out of him on the offensive end it will go a long way to help fans embrace the #10 jerseys they bought and not curse the draft pick that was given away to acquire him.
What do you think? Do you think there are other players who stand to be effected more by the new coaches?