Carolina Panthers, Uncategorized

Coach Rivera the Conductor

What a difference a year makes for the Carolina Panthers and coach Ron Rivera. Last season we were just starting our magical run just realizing our potential and proving to the NFL that we were a team that needed to be taken seriously. Fast forward a year we are chasing perfection and have a legitimate shot at the Lombardi trophy! The players are the ultimate deciders of what happened with game by game, but I feel when coach Ron Rivera adopted his alter ego riverboat Ron taking chances going for it on fourth downs, putting trust in his guys to make the plays and ready to take the criticism if they didn’t work out.

It showed the players that he trusted their abilities they are in the NFL for a reason and will do anything to win. I think the players were able to relax and began this magical run that’s seen a professional sports team have more fun than ever. The 2015 Panthers are a brotherhood, not just a football team and Rivera has instilled that into every player fan and coach as we continue to the ultimate goal.

One of my favorite things about coach Rivera is he allows the players to keep their personality and the fact is, our roster has many with quarterback Cam Newton and Cornerback Josh Norman to name a few not only does he embrace it he defends it and reprimands it when needed. He understands doing your job you can have fun when doing your job, but he also is big on maintaining your focus and handling success! After Sunday’s near debacle against the New York Giants that saw us almost blow a 28 point lead and get into a few scuffles that were out of character for our entire team he laid into his team for not focusing and keeping their composure.

We may be 14-0, but he understands this is the National Football League and anyone can come back and he relayed that message very clear in the locker room after the game safety Roman Harper said  “it was the most disappointed 14-0 locker room he’s ever seen”. Coach Rivera has the pulse of this team and knows how to handle  every situation. I have the ultimate respect for him and the winning culture, he has built in the Queen City.

He is one of the classiest men in the NFL today after the scuffles the team was involved in Sunday against the Giants he apologized to coach Coughlin for his team’s behavior I don’t know many coaches that would do that right after a very competitive game. This team’s motto is Keep Pounding and our coach has embraced that on and off the field dealing with a house fire death in the family and despite all that; he has gotten this team prepared each and every day and put them in the best position to win every single game.

That is the leader I want for our football team not taking mediocre play and not afraid to call guys out for that. He’s an awesome coach and a great man I’m glad we gave him the opportunity to grow with this organization to see what it can become it’s been awesome to watch and I can’t wait for more!!

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Carolina Panthers, Uncategorized

The 5 Most Under-appreciated Panthers in 2015

The Carolina Panthers now stand alone atop the NFL ranks at 13-0! This has been a magical season that just keeps getting better and better; it’s been a total team effort from top to bottom of this organization. Here are five people that are very under-appreciated, but are key cogs in helping this team chase both perfection and more importantly the Lombardi trophy.

 

Kurt Coleman

 

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This first year Panther has been absolutely outstanding making big play after big play. He is one of the smartest football players we have in his ability to read the quarterback’s eyes pouncing on every opportunity he has been given the season. With shutdown corner Josh Norman on the other side opposing quarterbacks are wary of throwing his way and now they have to account for Coleman has been patrolling the middle of the field.

This season he has 57 combined tackles and five interceptions for the ball hawking secondary that we’ve become. He signed a two-year deal worth just 2.8 million an absolute steal with his production on the field in 2015! A guy didn’t know much about coming into the season is quickly becoming one of the best safeties in the NFL! This guy has helped make our secondary stingier and allows other guys to take chances and force quarterbacks into bad decisions.

Dave Gettleman

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He is the mastermind behind the roster and how it is constructed he has brought consistency and a winning attitude since joining the Panthers in 2013. The team has won back-to-back division titles and collected their first playoff win since 2008 last season under Gettleman’s watch. In 2015 he has once again worked his magic adding veteran guys that were sort of cast-off with their former teams and now a thriving with the Panthers.

Those guys include Ted Ginn, Charles Tillman, Kurt Coleman, Jared Allen and another solid draft class that have all contributed to the team’s 11-0 start. He has done a masterful job of seeing the team’s weaknesses and addressing them with the best players possible for our system. He has also shown loyalty to his players and showing how important they are to this organization and its success signing them to long-term deals.

He is everything you want in a general manager putting the best 53 guys on the roster without mortgaging the future having the ability to compete for a Super Bowl year after year; he has done that and more since he has arrived in the Queen City there is just one thing missing and that is a ring. We are really lucky to have brought in such a  smart football man that understands what a winning team and organization looks like.

Ron Rivera

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Ron Rivera is one of the most underrated coaches in the league with his ability to get the most out of his players while still allowing their personalities to come out and be themselves. He has brought a winning culture and attitude willing to take chances and will stand up for every decision he and his players make from the football field. Honestly, when we brought him on in 2011 I knew little about him, but I have so much respect for a guy that had gone through so much in his personal life over the past year and a half with his house fire and the passing of his brother and still getting his team best prepared to win games.

He expects the best out of us every snap of every game, but he is, he also understands these are humans and it’s always good to have a little bit of fun while doing your job. Just a great coach person and leader keeping this team focused on the ultimate goal every week!

 

The Offensive Line

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A perceived weakness coming into this season has become a great strength a big reason why Cam Newton has had an MVP caliber season allowing many explosive plays to take shape. This unit ranks 10th in the league the most impressive stat for me is the fact that Cam Newton has only been sacked 24 times and hit just 67 times that number is probably a little low considering Newton is a dual threat, rushing as well, but it’s still impressive considering Newton has been sacked 500+ times since entering the league in 2011.

The line has also opened up huge holes for Jonathan Stewart and the rushing attack as we are second in the league in rushing, averaging 141.9 yards per game the cherry on top is we are first in the league averaging 31.9 points per game that’s what I call a complete team doing on both sides of the ball. These guys protecting Newton might not be well known and don’t get the recognition they should, but all they care about is winning games and protecting their field general!

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Kawann Short

Another key cog to this defense is the breakout season that third-year pro Kawann Short is having in 2015. He has nine sacks 44 tackles and three forced fumbles just another headache for opposing offenses to deal with. Many people questioned this draft pick because we had already selected Star Lotulelei in the draft, but Short has proved he was the right choice at that moment and continues to develop into one of the most feared pass rushers this game has seen. He just adds an extra person for teams to plan for creating more opportunities for all of our other defensive stars. It’s great to see that our core team is so young and still developing and short is one of many guys that make our defense as well as it is!

All of this team is under underappreciated, but these are the guys that I believe people need to realize we would not be chasing perfection or more importantly the Lombardi trophy! I hope these guys agree Go Panthers!

 

 

 

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