Browns Vs Panthers: Behind Enemy Lines


With the Cleveland Browns and the Carolina Panthers on deck today we went back Behind Enemy Lines to learn a bit more about the Panthers. We got together with Cat Crave to learn more about the team’s current issues and possible future concerns as we prepare for Browns Vs Panthers.

Head to their site for our answers to their questions.

Now we cross that line and go Behind Enemy Lines with the Carolina Panthers:

What is worse: Panthers Offensive Line or Receivers?

The offensive line has been ineffective and injured for most of the season.  During the two months the Panthers went without a win, they never started the same five guys in consecutive weeks.  Watching them finally get some consistency as a unit has helped immensely, and is the only reason that this team has any shot at a postseason spot.

The receivers haven’t been quite as bad as many expected.  While Kelvin Benjamin’s inexperience can readily be seen whenever he doesn’t finish a route or complete a routine catch, his physical skills and talent are apparent.  Moreover, Greg Olsen (who I’m lumping in to this group because of his prolific year) has made the strongest statement of his eight year career for a Pro Bowl bid.

The Carolina defense was elite last year but seems to have come back to the pack a bit, any reason why?

Not having Greg Hardy really hurt this team. He was a guy that demanded a double team every snap he was on the field.  Charles Johnson was hurt to start the season, and Frank Alexander is just now coming off suspension.  The best part of the defensive line was its depth, and ability to bring in fresh and quality pass rushers continuously all game.  With guys ailing or unavailable, suddenly a strength of the team turned into a weakness.  Moreover, the Panthers relied on its front four to pressure the opposition last season.  That has been nearly impossible this year, forcing Carolina to blitz more and expose a shaky secondary.  The defensive line issues reverberated throughout the entire defense, and the team is just now getting its feet under itself as a result.

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Any doubt about Cam Newton as the Franchise Guy?

None from me.  Unfortunately, I’m not in the front office.  The offseason decisions management made (demolishing the WR corps and neglecting to replace the Left Tackle position) make me wonder what they think of Cam Newton moving forward with the franchise.

Will the front office and/or coaching staff be cleared out this off-season, even if they make the playoffs in the dreadful NFC South?

I can’t think that a franchise notorious for its frugality would can a coach it just gave an extension.  To me, it’s that simple.

How is the Panthers cap space and where do you hope they are active in free agency?

Any cap space questions will obviously have to wait until Cam Newton’s contract becomes clearer, but the organization isn’t one to make a big splash in free agency.  The Panthers have always felt comfortable adding low-priced veterans and building primarily through the draft. I’d look for more of the same, regardless of what happens to Newton.

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What are you most surprised by as you prepare for Browns Vs Panthers?