No Where To Go

By: Joe Delaney news services

No where to go but up?

Well, actually, the Panthers could lose 2 more games in 2024 than they did last year. Carolina went 2-15 last year and looked absolutely horrible doing it.

This franchise has issues that start at the top and that is never a good thing.

Panthers owner David Tepper has blown through coaches at an alarming rate. He has fired 3 different coaches in five years during the season. It is the main reason they are where they are today. Good luck to first year NFL coach Dave Canales. He’s gonna need it.

In 2023 the Panthers traded up to take Bryce Young with the number 1 pick. He was a great college QB at Alabama, who was literally thrown into the fire in Carolina.

At 5’10” and 200 lbs with a very average pro arm, he was ill equipped to lead a horrible offense into the NFL wars as a rookie.

The result was a sub 60% completion rate for around 2900 yards and 11 TDS and 10 interceptions. Then take into account the second pick in that draft was C J Stroud. He ended up as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. You get where this is going…..

Eleven games into the season Tepper fired Head Coach Frank Reich. The Panthers were 1-10 at the time.

As we move into 2024, the Panthers have made some solid moves that may help them move out of the NFL cellar.

They begin on offense. Here is where they suffered the most last year. They brought in Will Harriger to coach the QBs. He has the tough job of trying to revive Bryce Young. The kid was both mentally and physically crushed last year. Take into account he was sacked SIXTY-TWO times last year.

In an effort to keep Young upright the Panthers brought in two solid guards in Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis. These might be the best team acquisitions period. A reworked and improved O-line could be the key to the season in 2024.

The Panthers didn’t stop there. To their credit they went out and got WR Diontae Johnson. He brings something the WR room desperately needed. The ability to separate.

Next the Panthers made a great pick in Xavier Legette, the WR from South Carolina. Teamed with Adam Thielen, these guys give Bryce Young some weapons.

In the running back room, Chuba Hubbard, Miles Sanders and rookie Jonathon Brooks will be better with the improved Oline.

In 2023 the Panthers fielded an above average defense headed by Derrick Brown, one of the best players in the league. The guy is a monster. And when paired with A’Shawn Robinson and Shy Tuttle, this is a team strength.

At LB the Panthers went out and got Jadeveon Clowney and DJ Wonnum to run with the great Shaq Thompson. If these guys can play up to their potential then there will be no drop off on defense.

The secondary is led by Xavier Woods and Jaycee Horn, who are very good, although Horn needs to stay healthy.

Special teams are solid with Eddy Pineiro handling the kicking again and Johnny Hekker the punting. Hekker should have gotten overtime pay in 2023.

And finally, where do the Panthers go in 2024? My call is nowhere. The offense should be better and if it can keep the defense off the field it will help.

Keeping the offense somewhat balanced and giving Bryce Young time will be the key. But as I said the problem in my mind is at the top.

The next time David Tepper wants to fire someone, he should look in the mirror.