Every since the Panthers were humiliated on a Thursday night in Pittsburgh, it’s been hard to find any glimmer of hope going into the 2019 season. If there is any, they’re usually heavily out weighed by the surplus of negativity being built around this team. The recent suspected news that beloved veteran linebacker, Thomas Davis, wouldn’t be returning to the team next season turned out to be true and Panthers nation has been in disarray ever since.
They have all the right to be. Their franchise quarterback’s health is of high concern. They’re returning a head coach who has three winning seasons in his eight years with the organization. The general manager who was once ran out of town is now back and here to stay for the foreseeable future, and now we have a gaping leadership hole with potentially four of the six captains departing the team.
This morning however a ray of hope shined through the dark clouds. That ray coming in form of a David Tepper interview with Bill Voth. An interview in which he didn’t really say anything too out of the ordinary yet it was refreshing to here someone from the front office say the things a good portion of the fans are thinking.
Ever since Tepper came to Carolina he’s done nothing but win over the fan base. Granted, one could only go up after the reputation that previous owner Jerry Richardson had. Either way, Panthers fans have been excited with what the new boss is bringing to town.
The interview wasn’t much, but what stood out to me is that Tepper knew exactly what went wrong with this team and wasn’t playing blind eye to the issues the team had.
“After a few games it became apparent that there were a few issues with the defense.” Tepper said. “With how they were communicating on the field and different things that were going on. Some of those things were addressed with the coaching changes that came maybe a little bit too late.”
This highlighting Rivera taking over defensive play calling for defensive coordinator Eric Washington, who is set to return in 2019 with the same title. However, Rivera will still call plays and Washington will look after the front seven.
Tepper also states there are no secrets with the offense that Cam Newton’s injured shoulder was an issue for the unit during the second half of the season. Had that not been the case the Panthers more than likely would have found themselves with double digit wins and at the very least a wild card berth.
Tepper also pointed out the importance of time management, the offensive line, the young duo at receiver, and the “selective-aggressive” approach he plans to use in free agency this season. The Panthers sit around the middle of the pack in terms of cap space and can certainly bring in some quality talent if the price is right.
The Panthers are going to look a little bit different next season, but at the very least we know we have an owner who wants to be a winner and is willing to do what it takes to get this team pointed in the right direction.
I mean it only took a month for him to put the Panthers logo is at mid-field.