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Mushin “Moose” Muhammad and I talk Panthers Football

moose and I

Me: “What do you think about the Panthers?”
Moose: “What do you think about the Panthers?”

Many were the doubters for this past season on the Panthers after the loss of their #1 WR Kelvin Benjamin.
However, the Panthers hushed their critics by having a phenomenal season despite the odds.
After K.B. went down many said the Panthers would be last in their division.
The Panthers made it to the Super Bowl, and all though they did not walk away with their desired outcome, it will and has proven to many on the team to be a stepping stone for growth.

Ron Rivera, who has earned the nickname “Riverboat Ron,” did not get the title over night but through his growth as a coach. With the Super Bowl loss, it will continue to further his coaching as he looks back and finds areas in which to get better. Rivera has already taken this step.

Don’t forget the growth of the QB sensation that also runs the helm of the offense, Cam “Superman” Newton. The Media pounced on the QB’s reaction after the Super Bowl loss, but as GM Dave Gettlemen has pointed out, “I’d rather have those types of players on my team—those who hate to loose.”

Want further ammunition to drive off of when beginning the season? Look no further than a Super Bowl loss. Cam Newton has already set his sights on Denver and he will remember the loss with the drive and motivation to further advance his overall skills at QB.

Could the season without K.B. have actually benefited the Panthers and the #1 Wideout?

Yes. Without the return of K.B. last season benefited the offense. It might sound ridiculous and the outcome of the season may have turned out differently if the stand-out WR was on the field, but I think it will propel this year’s season.

Without K.B. it forced Cam’s growth as a QB to spread the field and find other targets. Cam was forced to improve and progress through his reads finding an open WR instead of relying on Benjamin who, because of his tremendous talent and mismatches, was able to come away with the ball.

Rivera has also commented on this fact and will push Cam to continue to progress through his reads and “spread the ball around,” which will benefit the offense and the QB.

K.B. was not the only WR who shows promise for next season. Stephen Hill also suffered an early knee injury and had to sit out for the season. Despite not being able to play on the field, off the field, K.B. and Hill both worked hard and inspired each other in their treatment and rehab, pushing each other to get better. And because of this I expect great things for them this year. With those two receivers, coupled with the expectation of Devin Funchess and the rest of the WR core, the Panthers can look to have an even more explosive offense.

Can the offense get better? Is there an area of concern? Room for improvement?

Moose believes there is.

Moose: “They need a RB.” (running back)

Moose may not be too off base here. It may not be the first concern that comes to everyone’s minds.

The Panthers Needs: DE (defensive end), a dynamic pass rusher. Kony Ealy showed that he has taken the next steps in development at the position but, as the Panthers know, competition always brings out the best in players.

OT (offensive tackle), Can OT Mike Remmers handle the load? The Panthers have shown confidence in Remmers, although many fans were baffled when the Panthers signed the RT to a new contract. For now, it is his job to loose.

Secondary, a possible Corner to complement J No.? Another Safety to fill the void and compete with Trey Boston?
J. No. is looking for a contract that puts him at the top of his game and that is worthy of the top paid corners in the league. Negotiations and talks continue.

As far as Trey Boston is concerned, many like his talent, but as in the case with the DE and other positions, competition brings out the best in players.

Everyone loves Jonathon Stewart and he proved he was up to the task last season. But as other sports analysts have noted, Stewart’s contract is running out (no pun intended) in 2017 and will eventually save the Panthers cap room if they were in the hunt now.

The Panthers have set their standards on averaging 100 yds. a game. And want to continue with this ground-pound approach.

Behind Stewart are F. Whitaker and C.A.P. (Cameron Artis Payne). Both have shown some promise and had a few notable bursts in last year’s games but regarding their potential, especially that of C.A.P., it may be to early to speculate.

Drafting another RB could be beneficial and lessen the uncertainty at the position.

Why does Moose think the Panthers could use a RB?

Is it because of Stewart’s history of injuries?

With the draft just a few weeks away, the Panthers boards are set. Gettlemen has been true to his philosophy, that is, to draft the best player available and not to base it off needs.

For this year’s draft, it is deep in DE’s.

@PanthersDrafter, Panthers Analyst is sticking with defensive players at Pick 30 for the Panthers, with DE Kevin Dodd (if still available) and Alternate Pick, CB Eli Apple and Alt. Pick #2 Emmanuel Ogbah.

The question is would the Panthers grab a RB in the 1st round? Ezekiel Elliot is one of the most talented RB’s in this years draft, and for that reason is to be an early pick in the draft. But I take the Heisman winner out of Alabama for when the Panthers pick (30th overall).

Derrick Henry (RB) Alabama


derrick henry


OT’s might not be the best bargain and may have to wait. Many do not favor this years OT selection (at least early on). Look for the Panthers to develop the players that are on the roster or maybe grab one and develop later in the draft.

It is not out of the question that the Panthers move up in the draft. But I do think it is unlikely.

Panther’s Draft Picks, (6 Total)
Pick 30
Derrick Henry

“Running-backs need to be oldschool. Pound you.”—Derrick Henry

A few mock drafts are in agreement:‘s Jason McIntyre: No. 27 overall (first round) to the Carolina Panthers
“How scary is a Cam-Henry backfield? … Yes, Henry played behind a beastly offensive line. Yes, the last few Alabama RBs to get drafted have been up-and-down. Yes, his speed at the Combine will be important.”‘s DJ Boyer: No. 31 overall (first round) to the Carolina Panthers

Derrick Henry has visited with the Panthers.
ESPN’s David Newton believes Henry could be a “natural fit” for the Panthers.

The question will be, IMO, if the Panthers feel that they can get more for the buck in Henry—developing his skill to become more versatile, and use his size and strength to beef up the O-Line.
Can Henry be a good blocker, pass protector, RB/ TE for their high-powered offense?

CBS Sports, Will Brinson, says the Cowboys have too expressed an interest and are also in the running for the RB.
But as CBS reports, the Cowboys taking the RB in the first round, unless making a trade, is not a “viable option” for the team.

The only other team, who has also held a meeting that may snag him before the Panthers, would be the Seahawks, showing their interest, with the 28th pick.

As Pantherswire.usatoday has noted, Henry outperformed current RB J. Stew’s numbers at the Combine. And Stewart was selected 13th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Draftwire’s Jon Ledyard, also has the Panthers selecting Derrick Henry in the first round. And he has the Panthers using the second pick on an OT, Germain Ifedi from Texas A&M.

Are the Panthers sold on Henry? Is there enough player upside?

Draft Date: April 28

nfl 2016 draft

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