2014 Season Preview: 5 Questions with Cat Crave
By Mike Praser
Nov 10, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers fans celebrate after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. The Carolina Panthers defeated the San Francisco 49ers 10-9. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
To preview the upcoming season we have reached out to our fellow Fansided sites to get the inside info on the 2014 Chicago Bears opponents. Today we tackle the 5th opponent on the Bears schedule, the Carolina Panthers. Check out how Bryan Palmese from Cat Crave answered our infamous “5 Questions”.
What did you like and/or dislike about what the Carolina Panthers did in free agency and the draft?
Jun 17, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin looks to catch a pass during the minicamp held at the Carolina Panthers practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
"Despite a lot of reports and outcries from around the league, I was impressed with GM Dave Gettleman’s approach. Being a cap-strapped team, we didn’t have a lot of wiggle room, but made some great “prove-it” 1 or 2-year deals with veterans like Jericho Cotchery, Jason Avant, Thomas DeCoud and Antoine Cason. Roman Harper is on the wrong side of 30, but brings a veteran attitude to the back end that will help enforce our style. I was happy with most picks during the draft, starting with Kelvin Benjamin and ending with Tyler Gaffney. Benjamin gives us a huge target like a Brandon Marshall or Plaxico Burress that we have never had in Carolina. He is raw and has to do some work, but if he hits his ceiling, he will be the next AJ Green or Josh Gordon that the rest of the league will wish they had. We got great value with Kony Ealy in the 2nd and Trai Turner in the 3rd. The Tre Boston pick doesn’t wow me in the 4th, but maybe he will surprise us. Everyone will say that we have a gaping hole at OT that wasn’t addressed, but we have a couple of younger guys that are worth a look. Nobody that we could have drafted or gotten in our price range in FA would be better than what is currently on our roster. Granted, if there is a veteran LT that gets cut between now and September 7 that presents value and is a good fit, I could see us adding this player."
Which rookie are you most looking forward to seeing this season?
"Kelvin Benjamin is an exciting outside threat that will excel from day one, but my favorite pick in the draft was in the third round, when we snagged an OG out of LSU – Trai Turner. The kid is athletic, strong and is a rolling force that no defensive player wants to meet head on, once he gets his steam pumping. He is a day one starter and he helps make our interior very strong next to Ryan Kalil, and Amini Silatolu at the strong side guard spot."