We are off to a quick start. Tolbert is sticking it to his old team!
We are off to a quick start. Tolbert is sticking it to his old team!
Can someone please explain to me why Cam is still labeled of having a ''Sophmore Slump''?
Because he had a poor/slow start.
But these last 6 games he's been top 5.
BRING BARRETT TO CAROLINA, GETTLEMAN!
MMA FIGHTERS: WERDUM, JONES, SONNEN, MAYHEM, BELFORT, HENDRICKS, MAYNARD, ALDO, WINELAND
We are winning too much!
I hate to say it folks, but if we win out the coaches are staying... And I will have no problem with it. This team has really come together and is playing as well as anyone in the league.
Cam has now thrown ~160 passes without being intercepted OR fumbling. He's gone five games without a turnover. He's averaged 3TDs per game over the last four. As long as Cam plays well and the coaching stays consistent, the sky is the limit for this team.
Why I've changed my mind on the coaching staff? We're succeeding (and dominating some games) without a good portion of our important starters. Today Jeff Byers played center for us (3rd option). We only had one spare OL in this game. J-Stew has been injured, Gamble (our best, and arguably top 5, DB) has been out for the season, Beason out for the season, both Edwards DTs are out, and both of our top two FSs are out (though Campbell has done very well). For a team this depleted we're playing lights out.
My guess is that this isn't some sort of miraculous turn-around. The coaches started calling good plays and Cam has been playing like a top 5 QB the past few weeks. Both are things we lacked early in the season.
If we can get a couple of starters in the draft/FA we'll be in pretty awesome position for next year (barring no injuries, which is something we can't hope for given our past).
It's looking like we'll be picking around 12, so we'll probably be picking the best lineman (D or O) available or a CB.
Didn't Richardson word it something like he better see improvement for Rivera to stay? If we still only win one more game then we finish the same as last year. I don't see us winning in New Orleans and I wouldn't be totally surprised with a loss at home to the Raiders.
I agree with Manbearchef here. This team is finally coming together, but I think it's for different reasons. It's pretty obvious that Chud was experimenting (and failing) early in the year, for whatever his reasons. Now that they've gone to a more traditional gameplan, this team is playing up to its potential. The Chiefs game, at this point, is an anomaly.
The "well, the Falcons had nothing to play for" line is ********, honestly. They had nothing to play for so they were okay with losing to a division rival... oh, and I'm guessing they had nothing to play for against the Giants either. They're playing for that first-round bye and that home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They're playing for pride. They're playing because they're professionals and that's what professionals do. If you don't think they're pissed off that they lost to us, you're only fooling yourself.
Fans have been calling for a signature game for Rivera and Co., and now that it's presented itself, y'all want him out so bad, you're not willing to give him credit for it. That's truly what you're doing. You don't want Rivera coaching here next year, so you're looking to discredit anything that goes right. Let me guess, the Saints aren't going to have anything to play for when we beat them to close out the season and go 3-3 in the division.
Come off it. If this coaching staff has truly realized the errors it made with its experimentation earlier in the year, then this team is best-served by having Rivera and Co. stay around for at least one more year. Having the entire team -- including Newton and a lot of other young guys -- learn an entirely new offense and defense next year will only set the team back. Oakland has tried that approach and look where that's gotten them.
More importantly, it's abundantly obvious that Rivera hasn't lost this lockerroom. In my (amateur) opinion, losing the lockerroom is the single most important sign that a coach needs to go. If the players are still willing to go out and work hard and do battle, they can grow into the rest.
If you truly thought that a rookie head coach bringing in an entirely new system on both sides of the ball with a rookie QB could, in two years, completely turn this team around, then you're mostly right -- that's what they've done. Both the offense and the defense are much better than 2010 and the special teams is vastly improved over last year. These guys have earned one more year.
For what it's worth, there were as many of us Panthers fans as Chargers fans at the game today. It was pretty exciting.
My big worry now is the draft pick. It appears it is mostly LB's around where we are projected to pick that and Milliner, the DB from Alabama. Some project Star Lotulelei could even go #1 overall now depending on who gets the 1st pick so I am over that but now we are probably out of line to draft Hankins too, it will be interesting to see which way we go in the first round.
Ultimately, it's most important that:
- Newton continues to improve.
- Play-calling continues to be reasonable
- Guys keep working hard and fighting.
- Younger guys/backups step up when called upon.
- And most importantly, that this team finds its identity -- and I don't think that's too far off.
As N.E. mentioned, the Falcons and Chargers games aren't as bad as you're saying. The Falcons were simply dominated in that game. They barely had any production out of their offense in the first half (a big part of that was from our offense not letting them have the ball). And the Chargers aren't a top 10 team or anything, but they're not terrible, just inconsistent. They destroyed PIT last week, and we came close to shutting them out in their own stadium.
Yeah, it sucks that the team does it's best after they're out of the play-off hunt, but a lot of that has to do with them being a young team and misfortunes. Once Kalil went down, if you had told me we'd win 4 more games I'd have never believed it. If you'd told me that Beason, Gamble, both Edwards, and Hangartner would also go down and we'd win, I'd have laughed in your face.
I'm not saying that RR is the answer at HC, but if he's improved each season I don't see how we can justify letting him go. Of course, in the end it'll probably be the new GM's decision, but I'll probably be okay with whatever direction we go.
I don't want a signature game from him. I don't want anything from Rivera other than him to pack up his office after week 17 and walk out of the BoA Stadium offices forever. Nothing he does or says between now and the end of the year should save his job. The Panthers will regret it if they do keep him around. When the team hires a new GM, that GM should have the option to hire his own coach rather than being forced to start his era with a mediocre holdover staff.
Like I said above, the Panthers had an extreme emotional investment in that game and it made the Panthers season. For the Falcons, it meant nothing. The Chargers are really bad. They beat Pittsburgh (who isn't really that good either), but the Chargers have been awful this year. The OL is garbage.
Winning after you're already out of the playoff hunt is irrelevant. Who cares? All you're doing is hurting your draft pick. You aren't playing for anything expect to put tape on the reel for evaluation this off-season.
I don't think this team has shown improvement. It has just shown it can't win when it matters. Improvement is winning games that matter, not irrelevant ones. It doesn't really matter what you can "justify," you just have to make the best move from the team. That is cleaning house and starting over on the coaching staff. And the new GM deserves to be able to hire his own coach, you're correct from that angle.
The way I see it is like this: Rivera and staff are adequate at best. Who wants to settle for that? Not me! We're so used to losing now that a few wins make us feel pretty good about another sub .500 season. F' that! We need a proven winner at the Pro level IMO at HC. We'll know soon enough where this team is headed after they hire the new GM.
The Chargers aren't an upper tier team, but when you shut down a team 31-0 it doesn't matter how good the other team is. Our team played extremely well and that's why they won. You can think that about the Falcons all you want, but they didn't have a first round bye locked up at that point in time. Based on their schedule they could've lost to NYG after our game, so why would they be slacking off in week 14?Like I said above, the Panthers had an extreme emotional investment in that game and it made the Panthers season. For the Falcons, it meant nothing. The Chargers are really bad. They beat Pittsburgh (who isn't really that good either), but the Chargers have been awful this year. The OL is garbage.
I feel the same way mostly, but I'm not going to complain that we're winning. I'd much rather see Cam continue to develop and the team play well. We're obviously going to miss our top 5 pick, but oh well.Winning after you're already out of the playoff hunt is irrelevant. Who cares? All you're doing is hurting your draft pick. You aren't playing for anything expect to put tape on the reel for evaluation this off-season.
So the DL hasn't improved? Or the CBs? Or the defense overall, for that matter? How about our atrocious OL that has looked almost serviceable the last few weeks, despite missing two of our three veteran OL? Cam not having a turnover in 5ish weeks isn't an improvement? The coaching was awful to start the season, but has progressively gotten better. This team has absolutely improved over last year's team.I don't think this team has shown improvement. It has just shown it can't win when it matters. Improvement is winning games that matter, not irrelevant ones. It doesn't really matter what you can "justify," you just have to make the best move from the team. That is cleaning house and starting over on the coaching staff. And the new GM deserves to be able to hire his own coach, you're correct from that angle.
You guys can say that we need to hire an HC who has proven success, but what does that matter if we end up tanking another season due to changing coach philosophies? I personally don't care how things unfold; I can see where the staff deserves one more shot, and I can also see where they've failed. You just can't expect a coaching staff to turn a 2-14 team into SB contenders (like we were advertised) in one season. Most expected Cam to be absolutely awful in his first few years of pro football, so I'd imagine most people didn't expect us to make playoffs for several years, especially given our tough division.
But what exactly about the staff do you want gone? HC? DC? OC? All of them?
Well, for whatever it's worth, Rivera seems convinced that it will be the Big Cat himself who makes the call on Rivera's future, not whoever they hire as GM.
I continue to prefer Rivera being given one more year before pulling the plug. I don't necessarily agree with the "momentum" argument, but I do think that he and his staff are learning and growing into their positions. They're making more good decisions and fewer bad decisions. Even if the "snowballing" momentum of wins doesn't really carry over, the lessons learned do, and this team will be better off for it. Rivera has had this team for less than 2 years and only one off-season. This for a rookie head coach. He's definitely made mistakes, he knows it, and he's used that as an opportunity to get better.
You claim that we'll be sorry if we keep Rivera around, but one could argue that we could be equally sorry if we let him go and he goes on to be successful elsewhere. You might argue that one is statistically less likely to happen than the other, but you don't really know that and you can't create a good-faith argument at this point because you're so dead-set on getting him out of here.
Who cares about winning after you're eliminated from the playoffs? Oh, I don't know... fans? THE PLAYERS?? The person paying the players??? I mean, do you REALLY want to be mentioned in the same breath as the Jaguars or the Raiders or the Browns?
Improvement is winning. If you aren't playing games that matters, you can't win games that matter, but you can still show improvement. By your logic, no team that has a ****** start to a season can show improvement during the same year -- either you start well or "oh well, your season's over, no improvement for you, new coach please". That's how the Raiders are born.
The best move for the team is unequivocally keeping Rivera and his staff here for another year. Scott Fowler's article mirrors my thoughts on the matter. Some players will end up being cut (James Anderson), others will have to restructure (Jon Beason, Chris Gamble, Deangelo Williams), but the core should be kept together.
What if Chud had been calling better plays all year like he has been recently? What if Rivera had been doing a better job of clock management all year like he has been recently? What if Newton had been on fire all year like he has been recently? What if Rivera understood the management part of coaching all year like he's now coming to understand? These are all areas of ENORMOUS improvement that can only carry over into next year.
And like Manbearchef said: there are TONS of areas where this team has improved tremendously since Rivera and Co. took over.
Most importantly, the players still support Rivera AND THEY'RE PLAYING LIKE IT.