It is no secret that as long as the Carolina Panthers have Cam Newton under center, the team is only going to get better with time. Panthers center Ryan Kalil thinks it will take less time than most people think.
Kalil bought a full page ad in the July 25th edition of the Charlotte Observer promising fans that their loyalty and dedication to the team would not be in vain this year. He promised that this year would end in “sterling-silver victory” in New Orleans.
Now lets break this down. Quarterback Cam Newton as a rookie, with no true experience of the benefits of the NFL off-season, seemed to be the best thing on the field for the Panthers.
Carolina finished 3rd in rushing yards, 5th in points, 7th in total yards, and 13th in passing in the NFL. They added wide receiver Louis Murphy to help in the passing game, traded oft-injured right tackle Jeff Otah, and will have more time to develop their timing as an offense.
That is not a bad place to start building a championship team, but that’s all you have got so far: a starting point. Kalil, however, feels much more confident in his peers than the stats would indicate.
There’s a sense of urgency, a winning attitude that I haven’t seen before. And it’s in the way we prepare. It’s in the way we approach each work day, and I think fans will see it in the way that we play.” – Ryan Kalil
They will need that urgency in their first five games when they play the entire NFC South plus the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Even after their bye week they have to face Chicago, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Washington just to name a few.
Even if they do manage to put together a winning season, they will have to contend with the Packers, Saints, 49ers, Lions, Bears who will most likely be turning up the heat as the playoffs begin.
Last season we had a pro bowl player claim that his team would be a force to be reckoned with and they ended up 8-8 to end their season. That is much better than the Panthers 6-10 and for now they may want to temper their expectations to just winning their division.