2014 Season Preview: 5 Questions with Cat Crave
What do you feel the Carolina Panthers weakest link is going into Training Camp?
Dec 15, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) tries to run away from New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
"Even though I am more optimistic than most about our OL, I would say Cam’s blind side scares me the most. We have potential players that can come in and protect him, but at this point, it is a leap of faith. A converted DT, yet athletic Nate Chandler is battling Byron Bell. Bell played mostly RT and was serviceable, but if he uses the experience he gained in 2013 to his advantage, he could be a good player. Protecting a dynamic franchise quarterback like Newton is of the utmost importance, so until either player steps up, this is my biggest concern."
Can you tell us about a player on the roster who hasn’t reached the spotlight but you feel will be a difference maker in 2014?
"I’m really high on WR – Tavarres King. I think he will grab the #3 spot and separate himself from the logjam at WR, but I don’t think he is capable of being a difference maker yet. So I will go with DT – Kawann Short. He was ‘the other’ defensive tackle drafted in the 2nd round after Star Lotulelei was stolen at #14 in the 2013 Draft. Short is the rotational guy now behind veteran Dwan Edwards, but the former flashed a lot of potential last season. Our GM said he was the best interior pass rusher to come out of the draft, and I fully believe the light gets turned on this year. He is a perfect compliment to Star and I think he will be a breakout player this year as part of our ‘Monsters, Inc.’ defensive line."
I know it’s ridiculously early, but I know everyone looks at the schedule in the offseason trying to predict wins and losses. How do you feel about the matchup(s) against the Bears?
Oct 28, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) rushes the ball against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Soldier Field. The Chicago Bears defeat the Carolina Panthers 23-22. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
"The schedule has your Bears coming to Charlotte in early October, so the weather should be perfect for football. Looking at the depth chart and expectations for Chicago this year, I feel like it is a pretty even match up. Most teams fear Forte’s dual-pronged attack on the ground and as a receiving threat out of the backfield. Our front seven is more than capable of neutralizing his abilities, and forcing Jay Cutler to beat us. Our secondary looks average on paper, but Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery will have to earn their production. Weems could be an x-factor, but he will have a hard time getting around in the slot against our D. We have height now at CB and veteran depth behind them roaming the backend. I am interested to see how we fare on offense. Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston pose potential hazards, but I think that opens Cam Newton up to have a big day through the air, and on the ground. Depending on how much gas Allen has in the tank, he could have a big day against our offensive line. I think Newton has a big day and I can see someone like Jericho Cotchery having a productive day. At the end of the day, I see a grinding kind of game with Cutler coughing up the ball late. FINAL SCORE: Carolina 24 Chicago 17."
What do you think Bears fans? Will Cam Newton have a big day against the Bears? Will they be able to stop the two headed monster attack of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery? How about Jay Cutler? Will he run for more touchdowns than Newton? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.
I want to thank Bryan Palmese from Cat Crave for taking the time out to answer our 5 Questions about the matchup between the Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers. Make sure you check out Cat Crave for all your news and info about the Panthers.