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Monday, July 7, 2014

Short Time!

There are two weeks left until camp opens, and there's a month until the
preseason starts (8/8 v/s Bills at home).

So, there's two months until the season opener - 9/7 v/s the Lovie
Smith-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Suddenly, it's all coming up, and quickly.

All of the talk in the offseason is done, meaningless. This pundit
thinks Carolina's WRs aren't good enough, this one thinks the new
secondary isn't as good as the secondary from last year he didn't like
either. This other guy can't stand Cam Newton. Write it all off, right
now.

One thing I think is interesting? This time last year, or roughly,
Carolina players were talking about how the defense could - in a way,
should - be #1. First, the departed Captain Munnerlyn, and then Thomas
Davis a few times. No talk this year. It's not as if they can really
improve on it much, and while the naysayers are saying it quietly,
they're anticipating a small regression.

Of course, so much of the talk is looking at the additions and
subtractions, and judging on that. So short sighted. I really doubt
there'll be much change there. It's going to remain a near-dominant
defense, at least. That, plus a running game that'll be top 15 by
default and might improve with better run-blocking bodies in the middle,
is going to benefit from reps, at the very least. The two do work hand
in hand, and while it'd be great to be back to top 5 running the ball, I
can't expect that - I do expect a ton of attempts, and moving the
chains. It's not always pretty, but it'll win.

That's why I can't worry as much about the DBs, or the WRs. The team
just doesn't ask them to do much. It'd be awesome to have better, but
if you're going to get away with any deficiency in either spot, you can
get by with the way Carolina does it.



For those checking the calendar, it's also 8 days until Greg Hardy's
court date. 7/15 is also the last day Hardy and Carolina can negotiate
on a contract to replace the franchise deal, and the irony of that
situation seems to make it unlikely anything happens there. Hardy got
hot at just the right time, and it seems to lessen the chance that he'll
still be around in a year. But, that's next year, isn't it? This year,
we'll see how Hardy does with increased expectation and vastly increased
paychecks. All I know? I wish Dave Gettleman had filled out that $8
million a year offer (reportedly, anyway) to Hardy last preseason with a
little extra; right now, $10 million would be a bargain, and yet
Carolina can't really afford too much more.
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