A new era is among us with uncertainty, confusion and even anger from some fans not happy with the perceived direction of the franchise. It’s important to remember the Panthers haven’t won a playoff game since that glorious night of the NFC championship game of the 2015 season. A breathe of fresh air was needed for a franchise stuck in neutral. I must admit I was skeptical and pessimistic about some of the decisions my favorite franchise made over the past 8 months.
Allow me to explain my new found optimism and why reports and news out of training camp has me on board with direction of the 2020 Carolina Panthers and beyond…….
- Offensive Weapons
An explosive group of young weapons and arguably the best collection of skill players ever assembled here in Charlotte has me optimistic that the offense will be able to score with anyone in the league. Joe Brady has the best running back in football, an emerging star at receiver and one of the best deep threats in all of the league. I expect Brady’s influence and genius to pay dividends on all the talent at his disposal.
Studying Phil Snow’s defense in preparation to his arrival in Charlotte, I wrote down the two words to explain his defenses which is “Fast and Violent”. After going all defense in the 2020 draft, along with the departure of beloved veterans the Panthers have one of the youngest defenses in all of football. While that youth may show early on, I except steady improvement from a unit that won’t have much experience, but they will fly around and hit you in the mouth.
- New Four Man Rush
Young talent along the defensive line was much needed on this team. Long gone are the days of Charles Johnson, Greg Hardy, Mario Addison, Jared Allen etc. A youth movement among the defense is here. Most importantly, along the defensive line, Panthers were able to grab my #2 overall edge defender from this years’ class in the 2nd round. Pairing Yetur Gross-Matos with first round pick Derrick Brown, the Panthers have a good young core to surround around 2019 1st round pick Brian Burns and seven year veteran Pro Bowler Kawann Short. Assuming this group continues to get better on a weekly basis, I fully expect this defensive front to be among the league’s best for years to come.