Panthers One and Done What’s Next?

By PFC Panthers Writer Brian Wyant

The Carolina Panthers were dismantled Saturday night by an average Arizona Cardinals team 33-13.  What happened?  The Panthers were out coached, out prepared by, out strategized, and out emotionalized by the cards.  Similar to the Panthers of 03 no one was giving the Cardinals any respect, they were given no chance well, look at them now people, they are on a short run towards the NFC Championship thanks to the ineptitude of the entire Panthers organization to close the deal.

We were embarrassed Saturday night and exposed for every single weakness we have.  let’s start with coaching, all year the defense has been slowly regressing, adjustments that should have been made during games have gone unmentioned by coaches.  Here we are Saturday night Fitzgerald running all over the field basically uncovered.  Where was coach Fox when a possible solution would have been double team him everywhere he goes on every play and let the other receivers go one on one and take our chances.

The Carolina Panthers coaching staff did not have the team prepared and did not call a good game, got out of their game plan early and seemingly forgot about the running game when it was still feasible to work through the deficit.

We don’t have corners who can press, and man up with a bump off the line, consequently all good wide receivers run wild after a 10 yard head start, the NFL is evolving with faster players everywhere (including the wide receivers) bump and go D Backs are a Must get in the off season.  Dump these supposed “Finesse” Db’s we have and pick up two strong shut down corners.

Julius Peppers, a no show once again, get rid of him, he doesnt have a killer instinct, he doesnt have the right attitude or effort to deserve being a Carolina Panther.  Trade him for a D Back, and free up the $ for 1 to 2 very high quality defensive backs.

Jake Delhomme, bad game, very bad game, won 12 games so he’s not terrible but he is now 34 what will this game do to him.  It will either go one of two ways.  One way he can’t recover and flops in 09, the other way (we are hoping for) he gets better, stronger, invests time with improving his accuracy and timing.  He can use this to build character, and fight to be determined for this kind of a game never to happen again.  Hey Jake, speak with Deangelo Williams about determination and growing from adversity as he did from last year to this year.

Wide receivers, it’s time to add and adjust, my opinion let Moose go and turn up the heat on Jarrett to step up or be out of here.  Secondly look for a great college wide out to compliment Smitty and give competition.  Moose is not striking fear in any defense we need a double threat, where defenses have to consider which one do we double up on.

Within the next 2 years this team will need to have a replacement for Jake Delhomme.  This could come sooner rather than later if Jake doesnt rebound from this terrible performance.  We “Must” pick up a QB with great upside potential either via the draft, bringing up Matt Moore to a higher level, develop him into a strong competitor for Jake or possibly even look to Brett Basanez.  Whatever happens we need one to two QB’s in camp this summer who will push and compete with Jake.

08 Panthers grade out as a good team, not so many teams won 12.  However I would take 9 wins a playoff birth and a super bowl win over 12-4 and staying home in February.   Without a top 3 or 4 defense we will not win championships and without an extremely effective QB we stay home in January next year.  2008 exceeded many expectations and ended in extreme disappointment, let’s grow from this, dig in a learn, and come back stronger than ever in 2009.