For the most part I'm a positive poster on CSR. I'm optimistic that the Panthers will get 6 wins this year, make the playoffs next year, and compete for a Super Bowl spot in 2013. But tonight, we are 1-5, and I feel like griping. Gripe, gripe, gripe. Here are my 5 gripes for the Panthers after losing our 5th of 6 games so far this year:
1. One of the contributors to our losses is our poor return teams. The field position that our punt and kickoff returns are giving us, make it harder to score touchdowns, because we rarely start further downfield than our own 25 yard line. If it's blocking, then fire the coach. If it's Armanti, then put Captain back at PR. Something has to change in our return game. This part of special teams (as well as a few big plays of coverage teams) is killing us!
2. Speaking of which, Mike Goodson has too much talent to be in a T-shirt on Sundays. He has shown the potential to break long returns in previous seasons. He has proven his ability as a good pass catcher out of the backfield. He is one of the fastest players on the team with corresponding big play ability. Pilares has not shown any flashes at KR, so get Goody back on kickoff returns, and get him some reps on 3rd downs as well. Get Mike Goodson a uniform on Sundays.
3. We are playing better in the first half than the second half. We are getting outplayed consistently in the 4th quarter. Part of the blame has to go to the coaching staff for not making better halftime adjustments, or anticipating our opponents' adjustments. Our coordinators need to do a better job equipping our players to win games in the second half. And, I wish Coach RR would be less concerned about keeping a cool, head coaching demeanor, and give us some Cowherish fire on the sidelines; emotion plays a part of football and it wouldn't hurt us for our head coach to show some more emotion on game day.
4. I know it's usually not a good idea to question a player's injury status. But I'm going to do it anyway. Jeff Otah practiced on Friday. I am questioning his toughness. Play on Sunday, rest during the week, take a week off on bye week. But play on game day. We needed him today, and he sat it out. Unless there is risk of furthering an injury by playing, Jeff needs to get on the field and play through the pain even if he's not 100%. He is that important to our team.
5. This one sounds silly, but I'll say it anyhow. The NFL shouldn't punish the previous year's worst 2-14 team with a schedule that begins like ours: In our first 6 games, we faced: 1) The Super Bowl Champs, 2) Last year's NFC #1 seed Falcons who went 13-3, 3) Last year's NFC championship runner-up Bears, and 4) Last year's 10 win Wild Card New Orleans Saints. Balance out the schedule better than making sure a young, growing team has to play the previous year's 4 top teams of the conference in the first month and a half of the season. If we play a more balanced schedule, we're probably 3-3 and growing in confidence for making a playoff run. No team should have to open with that schedule, let alone the team that is "supposed to" have the easiest schedule.
Those are my gripes for week 6. What about you? What are your gripes Panthers fans??