Panther Thoughts From The Offseason
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I was out of town for a few days this week for a family matter and no one there wanted to hear what I had to say about the Panthers. I had to hold it in. Until now.
1) Rivera says Panthers only have to replace 10 catches a game from WRs. Statistically that is correct. But, can the group we have next year make the big catches that Steve Smith made on 3rd and 4th down? Can they block downfield like Smitty and Brandon Lafell. Will anyone bring the on field swagger that Smitty brought?
2) Rivera says it could be Bell at LT and G. Williams or Chandler at RT. Makes me hope the Panthers take an OT early in the Draft. That lineup could result in the Cats getting worse at LT, RT and RG. And, this O-Line was already a weakness a year ago.
3) Roman Harper can at least tackle. For all my worries about Harper in coverage at safety, I am damn sure he can handle the in the box tackling. According to Pro Football Focus, he is the only Defensive Player with more than 15 tackles who did not miss a tackle. But, can he stay healthy?
4) This Hardy thing could get sketchy. Sounds like there hasn’t been much movement in long term deal talks with The Kraken. That is bad on multiple fronts. One, it could help free up more cap money right now. And, two, if you have to franchise him again next year, the fee goes up 25 percent to almost $16 million.
5) Those comments by Rivera about Smitty were honest, but I don’t know if they will help the cause next season when the two parties meet in Baltimore. Questioning his speed and whether or not he will wear down, seem like they could lead to some extra “blood and guts.”