Can the Carolina Panthers Live Up to Ryan Kalil’s Ad?
Ryan Kalil knows that. Kalil knows a thing or two about winning having been a part of a couple championship squads at USC. Having ‘been there and done that’ you’d think he knows a little about what it takes to get there.
Then again, that was college; this is the NFL we are talking about.
If you are a fan of the NFL I am sure that you’ve heard what Kalil did early this past week. In case you haven’t–the 3X Pro Bowler pulled the football equivalent of Babe Ruth calling his shot. He claimed that the Carolina Panthers would be the next Super Bowl champions.
Of course he had to do it in style by taking an ad out in the newspaper.
Saying it is kind of foolish, even if your team is expected to be a contender. The Eagles were supposed to be one last season—a Dream Team—but the dream ended up being a nightmare. So what makes Kalil so confident that his Panthers are contenders this year?
Carolina is going to have one of the better offenses in the league. As a rookie Cam Newton showed the promise that made him a No 1 pick, and without the benefit of training camp to learn the offense. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are one of the best running back tandems in the NFL. To make the running game even better, Cam Newton chimed in more than 700 yards himself!
Steve Smith is still one of the best wide receivers in the league; Cam Newton helped him prove that last year. The team lacks a real standout as a second option. With five players recording at least 400+ yards receiving that may not be a problem.
If there was going to be something (besides the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons) that could keep the Panthers from following through on Kalil’s claim it would be the defense. Anytime you average giving up more points than you score (26.8 to 25.3 points/game) — that’s not a good sign. The team was not very good at stopping either the run or the pass either.
In all fairness, the unit was a little beaten up last year, but it wasn’t so beaten up to make up for being ranked 28th in total yards allowed. The addition of linebacker Luke Kuechly and defensive end Frank Alexander should help as should the return of Jon Beason and Thomas Davis. Chris Gamble is still a tough guy to beat, but the rest of the secondary really needs to step it up.
So is Ryan Kalil nuts? Sorry Big Man, but yea, maybe a little. I can see the Panthers contending in the NFC South this season, but the Saints and Falcons are still the teams to beat. The Saints are prime for a poor season with all the trouble they’ve had, but Atlanta had Carolina’s number last year.
Making the postseason is within reach, but the Super Bowl—sorry, but no. However, I applaud Kalil for having the guts and confidence to say it. Should the team prove me and every other talking head/keyboard wrong I will be more than happy to eat my words (as long as I can dip them in ranch).