Panthers, Norman hit camp looking to reach next level

Lions Panthers FootballAfter making back-to-back playoff trips for the first time, the Carolina Panthers will be extremely disappointed with anything less than a third straight postseason appearance. And even that comes with a caveat.

Carolina believes it’s good enough to go deeper than the divisional round, where each of its last two seasons finished. This season isn’t necessarily NFC Championship or bust, but it’s time for the Panthers to prove they can beat the conference’s big boys.

The roster may not be good enough to win a Super Bowl, but there’s no question it’s better than last year’s roster, which featured a renovated receiving corps, offensive line and secondary.

“We’re not in the situation where we had to remake three positions,” general manager Dave Gettleman said when asked what excited him the most ahead of this week’s training camp kickoff. “We addressed all our stuff through free-agent signings and the draft and we had a real solid spring. We’re healthy going in, so we feel like we’re ready to go.”

When the Panthers arrive in Spartanburg later this week, they’ll have a healthy, $100 million quarterback, not one still rehabbing from ankle surgery. Cam Newton also has more receiving weapons and an offensive line with better depth.

Defensively, the Panthers still boast one of the strongest front sevens in the league, and former Coastal Carolina standout Josh Norman could be a rising star in the secondary. Plus, Carolina’s offseason was a breeze compared to all the work their NFC South rivals had done.

Yet it’s not like a third straight division title is a given. The Panthers still have plenty of question marks. Who can take over the load at running back if something happens to Jonathan Stewart? Is the offensive line truly that much better than it was a year ago? Does anyone want to start at defensive end across from Charles Johnson? What happens if the latest batch of Band-Aids in the defensive backfield doesn’t hold?

“I’m not up nights worrying about position groups. I’m just not there,” Gettleman said. “I like our depth. I like the position battles we’re going to have. I feel really good about this team.”

But how good is this team? That’s the key question. It’s better, but by how much? Can it make a run to and perhaps even win the Super Bowl?

“We’re good enough to compete, absolutely,” Gettleman said. “You can plan, but you can’t foresee everything. There’s so many variables in this.

“Year in and year out you’re going to see teams that get into the playoffs and go further than all the brain surgeons that think they’re going to. Anything can happen.”

Photo courtesy of Carolina Panthers

Comments

comments

Conway sweeps Socastee; NMB, SJ games postponed

Conway sweeps Socastee; NMB, SJ games postponedThe Conway High boys and girls basketball teams swept visiting [more]

Boys Hoops: Green breaks CA record; Braves beat CF

Boys Hoops: Green breaks CA record; Braves beat CFChristian Academy of Myrtle Beach junior Michael Green reached another [more]

Lady Panthers' second-half surge knocks off Socastee

Lady Panthers' second-half surge knocks off SocasteeThe Carolina Forest High girls basketball team broke up a [more]

Coastal adds Michigan OL transfer to recruiting class

Coastal adds Michigan OL transfer to recruiting classCoastal Carolina head football coach Joe Moglia announced Sean Fitzgerald, [more]

Earnhardt clears air about interest in buying Panthers

Earnhardt clears air about interest in buying PanthersRetired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he is interested [more]

CCU's Ruiz picked to play in Latin America Amateur

CCU's Ruiz picked to play in Latin America AmateurCoastal Carolina junior golfer Luis Ruiz has been selected to [more]

CAC swimmers clean up on medals at Tiger Invitational

CAC swimmers clean up on medals at Tiger InvitationalThe Coastal Aquatic Club (CAC) sent 37 swimmers to compete [more]

MB grad Sessions waived during 11th NBA season

MB grad Sessions waived during 11th NBA seasonFor the first time since his high school days at [more]

Horry/Georgetown Invite: CF, NMB, MB finish 1-2-3

Horry/Georgetown Invite: CF, NMB, MB finish 1-2-3The Carolina Forest High wrestling team captured the bi-county championship [more]

Battle at the Beach: MB makes it rain 3s; CA falls

Battle at the Beach: MB makes it rain 3s; CA fallsOn Friday night, a leaky roof forced the Myrtle Beach [more]

CCU Hoops: Coastal splits with visiting Georgia State

CCU Hoops: Coastal splits with visiting Georgia StateArtur Labinowicz scored a career, team and game-high 32 points, [more]

Hoops: Chiefs, Tigers use last-second shots for wins

Hoops: Chiefs, Tigers use last-second shots for winsNorth Myrtle Beach High's Cooper Chandler picked the right time [more]

MB Winter Bump tourney expects record crowd, field

MB Winter Bump tourney expects record crowd, fieldThe annual Myrtle Beach Winter Bump Volleyball Classic, hosted by [more]

Knaffle garners SCCAWS Player of the Year award

Knaffle garners SCCAWS Player of the Year awardSt. James High junior Smith Knaffle may need to add [more]

CCU Hoops: Chants split Sun Belt twinbill with GSU

CCU Hoops: Chants split Sun Belt twinbill with GSUJaylen Shaw moved into 13th place on the Coastal Carolina [more]

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls cruise past St. James

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls cruise past St. JamesThe North Myrtle Beach boys and girls basketball teams swept [more]

Wrestling: Locals earn top rankings; Chiefs take two

Wrestling: Locals earn top rankings; Chiefs take twoThe latest rankings were released Tuesday for SCHSL wrestling, but [more]

Boys Hoops: Socastee, Conway win region debuts

Boys Hoops: Socastee, Conway win region debutsThe Socastee High boys basketball team won a thrilling Region [more]

Girls Hoops: Seahawks knock off No. 1 Wilson

Girls Hoops: Seahawks knock off No. 1 WilsonThe Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team saw region rival [more]

CCU student-athletes post top semester in classroom

CCU student-athletes post top semester in classroom A record 264 Coastal Carolina student-athletes posted at least a [more]

Riptides make successful plunge at Polar Bear meet

Riptides make successful plunge at Polar Bear meetRiptides Racing's swimmers braved the cold weather and icy roads [more]

Local teams break ice with region rivals, reschedules

Local teams break ice with region rivals, reschedulesThe new year is only one week old and already [more]

Panthers suffer tough loss to Saints, face uncertainty

Panthers suffer tough loss to Saints, face uncertaintyThe Carolina Panthers' season ended in a heap atop sacked [more]

Ragin' Cajuns sweep CCU in Sun Belt doubleheader

Ragin' Cajuns sweep CCU in Sun Belt doubleheaderCoastal Carolina faced the top men’s basketball team in the [more]

Moglia announces return to role as CCU head coach

Moglia announces return to role as CCU head coachCoastal Carolina’s Joe Moglia announced he has been medically cleared [more]

Conway sweeps Socastee; NMB, SJ games postponed

Conway sweeps Socastee; NMB, SJ games postponedThe Conway High boys and girls basketball teams swept visiting [more]

Boys Hoops: Green breaks CA record; Braves beat CF

Boys Hoops: Green breaks CA record; Braves beat CFChristian Academy of Myrtle Beach junior Michael Green reached another [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach