Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2 Panther questions and answers

I get these two questions more than any others these days, so here is my take on two pressing Panther issues.

1) What should the Panthers do with their No.28 overall draft choice?

A. It has to be an offensive tackle or a wide receiver. The No.2 defense in the NFL is far closer to set than the inconsistent Panther offense, which only scored 10 points in the Panthers' playoff game and has taken two big blows in the past two months -- one self-inflicted (the mistaken release of Steve Smith) and one retirement (Jordan Gross).

The Panthers will have to stay flexible, given they are picking so low in the first round. Although choosing a wide receiver is the sexier selection, if all things were equal (and they rarely are) I would go for an offensive tackle in the first round and a receiver in the second.

Although the Panthers seem determined to give Byron Bell the first shot at left tackle, I am not sure he is the answer there. And even if he is, who is going to play right tackle? The Panthers absolutely must find at least one offensive line starter in this draft.

2) What do you think of Dave Gettleman?

A. He can be cold-blooded in his decisions (see Smith, Steve). He also can be exactly what the Panthers need in terms of a man who doesn't let his hands get tied due to loyalty or "I drafted this guy so I'm never going to cut him" pride.

Gettleman had a great rookie year as Panther GM in 2013. I disagreed with the Smith decision, but I have found it hard to disagree with most anything else he has done. He's not going to let Cam Newton get away, that's for sure, and his general football principles are very sound. Criticize him for the decision on No.89 all you want -- and note that Ron Rivera said Wednesday that Gettleman had "taken the hit" for the Panthers in public, implying a lot of other people agreed with this decision inside that building. But also don't forget how much good Gettleman has done in less than 15 months.


Greg said...

With all due respect Scott, you're not privy to both sides of the story so to speculate on whether it was wrong to cut smitty is, wrong in itself.. The Panthers did him a favor. He's making more money and doesn't have to be #1 in Baltimore. The Panthers are trying to get young. Smitty was alos a distraction from a leadership role. DG wants Newton to be the guy everyone looks too as their leader and not have players look at Newton and then smitty to acknowledge with smitty that its ok. But I guess thats why they have journalists, to create a "story" based on specualation rather than facts. The facts are that smitty was not productive. 1 TD last year. They brought a leader in with Jericho that won't compete with Newton. Jericho is also very productive, 10 TD's last year.

Anonymous said...

deepenwide says...

Smith had 4 td's last year not 1. Smiths stat line was 64-745-4.
In comparison to other Panthers:
Lafell 49-627-5
Ginn 36-556-5
Olsen 73-816-6
Smith's stats actually compare to Tiquan Underwood's stats last year. Underwood's stat line last year was 24-440-4 in only 12 games. Underwood only had 46 passes thrown to him from a rookie QB.
The Panthers should have used Ginn as the primary WR last year. Ginn's 36 catches came on only 68 attempts at getting him the ball. Smith had 110 passes thrown to him resulting in his 64 catches.
Ginn was not a starter and out performed Smitty and Shula should have benched Smith and used him in 3 receiver sets. Can you imagine how well that would have went over with the fan base?
The Panthers had no choice but let Smith go if they wanted to bring the Lombardi trophy to Charlotte.

Brandon said...

Spot on, Greg.

Anonymous said...

I would have been fine with keeping Smitty. But I am also ok with Smitty being released. But Your basis for making Ginn the #1 over Smitty is a little off. Given the numbers you posted Ginn had nearly a 53% catch rate, while Smitty had a 58% catch rate. So, that doesn't suggest putting Ginn ahead. Ginn did have slightly better yards per catch (15) than Smitty (11). But both were first down makers. And they only had one TD difference. To me, Ginn has issues with route running and position within a route. And also locating the ball. He did an ok job, but not irreplaceable. And certainly not a #1 receiver! Brandon Lafell had a 56% catch rate. Either way, they're all replaceable.

Alex Whisenant said...

Hi Scott,

It is funny with all the whining,
our "new" wide receivers had as many td catches (14) combined as our "old" wide receivers did last year. Must replace Ginn in the return game though. Panther Draft Strategy:
#1. OL (a starter)
#2. WR (a starter)
#3. OL (more OL to protect Cam and make run game go)
#4. CB (need depth)
#5. WR (take a flier)
#6. WR (return man)
#7, WR (best available)

That would give us 2 more good O-Line and 4 new receivers plus DB help. Gettleman needs to also sign 2-3 more free agents and cut Godfrey to free up some $. Go Panthers, keep the faith!

Anonymous said...

Smithy is gone!......GET OVER IT! This will force others to step up or els, they are next out. Depending on Smitty to carry the team got old and teams love it, cause it has been sooooooo easy to take him out of the game. If letting him go is going to cause this team to fail, then why 10 points in the play offs as if keeping him the results is gonna change. Give me a dog-on break! Let a team u coach punch u in the gutt like that and see what u do. I'm glad I'm glad I'm glad time to spice up the offense!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous, (which one, the latest post). None of the remaining receivers were indispensable if they were DG would have tried hard to keep them. Smith hurts a little only because he seem to light a fire under the team with his passion, but that can be a double edge sword. Lafell dropped too many passes for my taste and definitely could not hold on to Newton's hot passes in the slot. Ginn was a speedster and it was much harder to complete those long passes but he also dropped alot of cathable passes. I miss Ginn and Smith moreso that Lafell but they can all be replaced.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you'll have to post about this nonsense over the next few days, especially after Rivera's "intrigue" in him, but let us learn from Crittenton - don't get Desean Jackson. Innocent or not, it's about the company.

"Crip" from L.A. landing in Charlotte? Sounds like a great idea...

Just a hot-headed young guy with a lot of talent and money that will keep playing with fire.

Just search his "rap song" with Snoop. (It has extreme language which is why I'm not adding a link.)