If you really thought the Panthers were going to be magical Super Bowl Champions overnight, you have no clue what hard work looks like. It takes years upon years of hard work and patience to become elite. Panthers fans have to be patient. It is the second year into Matt Rhule's coaching career. He could become a great coach. He sucks for now. But that is only temporary. Guess what? The same is true for the owner. If you're patient with David Tepper after three years of trading for CJ Henderson, signing Eric Reid, firing the best head coach in team history, firing the best quarterback in team history, having zero patience with any young quarterback on the team at all, actually trying to make an offer for DeShaun Watson, and even listening to the Charlotte media without slapping someone's mouth closed, then why can't you be patient for a little while until the Panthers get their young leadership in the qb position developed? It's not like the team is built to be all about the offense anyway. It's probably going to be about 2023 until Sam Darnold can learn and grow well enough to become a Pro Bowl Quarterback. It took two horrible seasons before Terry Bradshaw could become Terry Bradshaw. Even Peyton Manning had growing pains.
With the poor offensive line, how is any quarterback supposed to express confidence? Sam Darnold is halway through the season and already has twice as many wins as he had last year. It's not a high bar to reach. But it is something to consider. Here's something else to consider. If Tom Brady was in Carolina, the team would be losing top dollar to get him knocked out by week four with the offensive line.
Don't give me the "No. No. He's Tom Brady." excuses. He didn't want to come to Charlotte and that's because of what is on the team. Not much.
It doesn't matter if the quarterback of the future is Matt Barkley or PJ Walker or Sam Darnold. If David Tepper continues to listen to the impatient stupidity of Panthers fans who quit on quarterbacks way too early for the past twenty years, this team will never be good. I know we want to win. But that starts with changing our mindset, not just changing our personnel. It is the community's team, not the players' team only.
If the fans are going to be a bunch of crybabies wanting their toy (wins) now, then the fans can start their own league, where they have no opponents. Yeah it's a hard game. Guess what? Making it harder doesn't actually get your team to win. It took five years for Steve Smith to turn into an elite wide receiver. It took three years for the guy to turn into a reliable receiver. Why can't we be that patient with quarterbacks? It's not just Darnold. The Panthers fans and media were too quick to quit and/or too impatient to build on Randy Fasani, Dameyune Craig, Matt Moore, Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke, Will Grier, and others. They didn't even want to trust Jake Delhomme until the team was forced to risk making mistakes just to score at all. Rodney Peete wasn't getting turnovers. But he was going three and out forever. Do you remember that? I'm not suggesting holding onto Darnold for too long. If he can't develop and learn after a while. Then so be it.
But we are waiting on Matt Rhule to trust his own team more aggressively and less predictably. As long as he remains stiff in trying to avoid mistakes, this team is going to continue to lose games they should win. That's because when you make mistakes while trying to avoid them, it ruins a team's rhythm and confidence. Darnold has the ability to make his own success happen. He just needs patience. That's fine. The Panthers fans will need to be patient for another two to three years anyway just to wait for the new gm, new coach, and new owner to finally gel.