The Carolina Panthers’ organized team activities and mandatory minicamp — the first on-field rumblings of the football season — are now in the books for 2018. Tweets, interviews, and clips have been pouring out of the Panthers’ practice fields. If those reports are all to be believed then sunshine and roses will be the theme of the Panthers offense in the coming season.
D.J. Moore is already Steve Smith. Jarius Wright might also be Steve Smith. I don’t think Torrey Smith is related to Steve Smith, but he still looks pretty good on the field. Amini Silatolu has once again finally put it together, while Matt Kalil is once again healthy for the first time in years. In short, the offense is set to be the best it can be. Or maybe that’s supposed to read “the offense is set to be the best it can be in shorts.” Either way, we haven’t heard any negative reports so far.
What does any of that actually mean? That we haven’t really learned anything. There isn’t much bad news that you’ll hear out of a disciplined team during the spring. The Panthers have enough veterans and have been under Ron’s leadership for long enough that there are very few chances for somebody to really rock the boat and we won’t see any fights until the players get locked into the Spartanburg heat.
We’ll hear about good plays and good efforts from players who will get the fan base excited and that’s about it. There wasn’t going to be much for fans to learn here in the first place. This isn’t, after all, the Ravens camp where we could have a young and talented player like Lamar Jackson in the wings ready to threaten the once invulnerable Joe Flacco.
In reality, the only concerning news would be if we didn’t hear positive stories about D.J. Moore or Matt Kalil. The best interpretation to be made is that the Panthers aren’t down playing the guys that fans want to be excited about. Maybe some of our hopes are within reason. Maybe.
I would like the left side of the Panthers offensive line to be the under dogs that shock the world in 2018 as much as the next guy, but we’ll have to wait for training camp to start to build any real hype.