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Smurfville :: The Smurfs (Everything Smurf) :: Smurf Talk :: www.thepanthersclub.com - View Topic
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www.thepanthersclub.com (5th Jun 19 at 3:48am UTC)
Monday Morning Optimist: There are still reasons to feel good about the Panthers’ offensive line The story of the Carolina Panthers’ 2018 season could very well be the story of how healthy their offensive line is. We were prepared to talk about depth after the team let an all-pro offensive guard walk in free agency and then Youth Daryl Williams Jersey , wildly, did not address the position in the draft. However, injuries quickly ran rough shod over any other narrative as every projected starting offensive linemen with the Panthers has dealt with one issue or another this off season. Don’t worry, though, this column is about optimism and I’m here to tell you that everything might be just fine.The hits started back in 2017 when Ryan Kalil slept funny on his neck during week 2 and Trai Turner suffered a knee injury during an embarassing week 7 loss to the Bears. Both issues apparently lingered through OTAs this year. Then, both Amini Silatolu and Daryl Williams went down with knee injuries in training camp. Finally, Matt Kalil had his own knee injury followed by a small operation. Matt Kalil was the only one of the starting offensive linemen to end up on injured reserve. That is, of course, if you don’t count Jeremiah Sirles, who looked like he might become the Panthers’ starting right tackle — following the injuries to Williams, Kalil Stitched Daryl Williams Jersey , and Silatolu — before he went down with his own season ending hamstring injury.This all sounds like a whole mess of bad news, which it was. The offensive line is everything to how any offense runs and there just aren’t that many good lineman in the NFL. Whether or not you agree with former general manager Dave Gettleman’s decision to pay Matt Kalil $55 million is irrelevant. Matt Kalil was paid that much money because he might have been great and could reasonably have been good. The list of guys who fit that description as free agents last season had his name and his name alone on it. Keep in mind that the Vikings paid Mike Remmers $30 million and most Panthers’ fans were glad to be rid of him at the time. You pay what you have to for the players that actually exist. There is no summoning ‘quality veteran depth’ out of thin cap space.I promise the optimism is coming.Christian McCaffrey can’t run circles around all 11 defenders all by himself on every play, no matter how electric he has looked this off season. Cam Newton can’t chip a blitzing linebacker and throw a touchdown pass on every play. Newton’s health, too, is highly dependent on an offensive line that can provide him with even a few seconds of protection. As with offensive linemen, so to with quarterbacks: there is only so many guys with whom you can consistently win. Taylor Heinicke probably isn’t one of them. He is here because he knows our freshman offensive coordinator and because he can kind of run the way Cam does. In the way a Big Wheel runs the way a Ferrari does. There just aren’t many quarterbacks out there who could fit in this offense; who can pass and run; who have a consistent history of winning; who have starting experience in a Super Bowl. So you trade for or sign the Brett Hundleys and the DeShone Kizers and the Heinickes of the world and you roll the dice.Where’s the optimism? It’s in guys like Taylor Moton, the second year tackle who has looked both competent and confident playing both tackle spots in his preseason appearances so far. Right now there is every chance that Matt Kalil could come back from injury to find himself working as a very expensive back up instead of the franchise cornerstone he was drafted to be. The optimism is in guys like Brendan Mahon who went from being undrafted this year to making the Panthers roster at least as much for his play as for the number of injuries in front of him. He might be the metaphorical little brother to the last undrafted free agent guard success story. The Panthers’ can only hope that he will be half the Norwellian nightmare that his ‘big brother’ and predecessor was for the rest of the NFC South.The optimism is in Daryl Williams and Amini Silatolu both making the final 53-man roster because they were healthy enough to not go on injured reserve. The Panthers expect them back in short order and haven’t even ruled them out for week 1. The optimism, such as it is, is in guys like Corey Robinson existing at all. The Panthers gave up essentially nothing to get him, a conditional 7th round pick in next year’s draft. He wouldn’t have been available at that price if he was going to bulldoze lanes that McCaffrey could drive a truck through, but he has actual starting experience as a right tackle. Finding that Youth Michael Palardy Jersey , this late in the season, is a rarity in today’s NFL.The Panthers’ have had their hands full this off season with the injuries on the offensive line and they’ve done as much as they could to address them. The return of Williams and Silatolu, while still not a guarantee, would be huge. If Moton and Mahon can seize their opportunities then the Panthers might come out of this whole mess with more than just a taped-together offensive line. They might have a unit that Newton and McCaffrey can trust. You can’t ask for more than that to start a season.Panthers 2018 season opener countdown: 75 days to go We are 75 days away from the beginning of the Carolina Panthers 2018 season. That means today we take a closer look at our de facto left tackle, who is supposedly going to be better than ever this year, number 75 Matt Kalil.Matt Kalil, Offensive TackleBioHeight: 6’7”Weight: 315 lbsAge: 28College: University of Southern California (you’re welcome Gamecocks)NFL Experience: 6 yearsMatt Kalil is a common topic here on CSR for all kinds of reasons. Debates over whether he gets too much shade from fans or not enough, whether he will be better this year due to finally being healthy, all sorts of things. But in the end, the fact remains that he will be out starting left tackle for the upcoming season, and probably for the next one as well. That is in part due to his contract situation Stitched Michael Palardy Jersey , but also because the Carolina Panthers have no one that can feasibly replace him.Since the departure of Jordan Gross, the left tackle position has been largely ignored by the team, and always to our detriment. Michael Oher did a pretty good job for us for one season, but unfortunately met the end of his career directly following that. Matt Kalil represents the best of a bad situation where the Panthers had to find serviceable help in an inflated free agent market. At the time, David Gettleman took a risk on talented youth that had yet to develop the way he should. Maybe the best days for Matt Kalil are still ahead, and as fans, we should absolutely hope that is the case. If he can at least be average, we can have a great season on offense. However, if he repeats last years effort which was often poor, things are likely not going to go well.
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