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Panthers know what they have to work with on offense

Marty Hurney, Ron Rivera, Bill Polian AP

As unspectacular as Cam Newton’s first quarter of work was (2-of-6, 17 yards passing, 2-16 rushing and a field goal drive), Panthers fans can take solace in the fact he’ll have plenty of time to get acclimated.

That’s partly because with this afternoon’s five-year, $36.5 million contract extension for backup running back Jonathan Stewart, this is the Panthers offense for at least the next three years, as constructed by General Manager Marty Hurney.

Every Panthers offensive starter is under contract through at least 2013, and nine of them through at least the 2014 season. With only right tackle Byron Bell and second wideout Brandon LaFell having as few as two years left on their deals, the Panthers are assured a degree of certainty until it’s time to write that big extension for Newton two years from now.

So as much heat as they’ll take for spending so much money on running backs, the reality is, there’s a cost-certainty for an offense that ranked fifth in points and seventh in yards with a rookie quarterback and no offseason with which to work with him.

The offensive line will be the next area to get retooled, but that’s with left tackle Jordan Gross and right guard Geoff Hangartner’s deals expiring in 2014.

All the ball-handlers other than Newton and LaFell (which means Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams, Stewart, Mike Tolbert and Greg Olsen) are under contract through at least 2015.

That’s quite a departure from the John Fox years, when the big investments were on the other side of the ball, and offense was something they tolerated because they had to. This team, as presently constructed, is more like the Peyton Manning-Bill Polian Colts, where the big money’s on offense and you hope for enough defense to get by.

It’s a departure from what the Panthers have put on the field in the past, but at least they’ll know what to look for the next several seasons, and can only hope Newton continues to improve.

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16 Responses to “Panthers know what they have to work with on offense”
  1. hulkhogansays says: Aug 11, 2012 8:05 PM

    Redskins by 15 on November 4th. All we gotta do is stop the run and the rest will be easy peasy brother!!!

  2. cletusvandam says: Aug 11, 2012 8:10 PM

    Ask Jacksonville how having guys under contract is working out for them.

  3. coastiejoe says: Aug 11, 2012 8:40 PM

    God forbid you give the Texans D some credit.

  4. jason1980 says: Aug 11, 2012 9:38 PM

    Rebuilding in Pantherland continues. Newton was uninspiring is an understatement. Gotta love Panther fans, they’re making lemonade out of what has to be a dismal performance. What’s up with the sparse stadium, is there no support for this team in NC? Guess you gotta win more than 6 games to fill their stadium, make sense.

  5. panthersftw says: Aug 11, 2012 9:57 PM

    Its the preseason. No stadiums are full

  6. 23tarheel23 says: Aug 11, 2012 10:04 PM

    Are we seriously judging 2 series of preseason performances?

  7. sportsmeccabi says: Aug 11, 2012 11:02 PM

    Cam newton looked very unspectacular during last years preseason too. Plus this was the texans, arguably the most talented defense in football.

  8. southcakpanther says: Aug 11, 2012 11:17 PM

    I was there… Until halftime. Preseason is a JOKE Goodell!!!! Why do I pay full price for this garbage In my season ticket plan?

  9. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Aug 12, 2012 12:13 AM

    Rebuilding in Pantherland continues. Newton was uninspiring is an understatement. Gotta love Panther fans, they’re making lemonade out of what has to be a dismal performance. What’s up with the sparse stadium, is there no support for this team in NC? Guess you gotta win more than 6 games to fill their stadium, make sense.

    ***

    i can’t wait until school starts back. that way you and hulk hogan can go back to your real lives as 24/7 wankers, only with homework assignments. here’s a hint. don’t offer a game analysis if you didn’t see the game. it’s idiotic, uninspiring, and ill informed. good try though.

  10. changeup39 says: Aug 12, 2012 12:20 AM

    In an era that has proven there is no need to pay big money for running backs, Carolina now has two. Yikes.

  11. panthersfan83 says: Aug 12, 2012 12:27 AM

    Not at all worried about this preseason game. Chud is holding back just like last year. Cam didn’t do great in preseason last year either. Just trying to make it through the game without injury. Defense looked good with 2 turnovers in 3 series with the starters. Preseason is for figuring out starting lineups and players to cut.

  12. novoodoo4409 says: Aug 12, 2012 12:57 AM

    Panthers will be the 4th best team in the NFC south..lots to look forward to…

    Saints own NFC..fact..

  13. dugganmt says: Aug 12, 2012 3:10 AM

    I am a redskins fan and I enjoy checking PFT everyday to laugh at hulkhogansays. It brings me great joy.

  14. linvillegorge says: Aug 12, 2012 4:23 AM

    Our offense doesn’t concern me in the least. Chud didn’t show any of his cards last preseason either. Hell, we didn’t even know for sure that Cam was gonna start over Jimmy Clausen until shortly before the regular season opener. Cam Newton went on to rewrite the rookie QB record book.

    Now defense and special teams… yeah, I’m worried.

  15. linvillegorge says: Aug 12, 2012 4:25 AM

    Oh, I’ll also say that Gary Kubiak is a douche. It’s pretty much a gentleman’s agreement that blitzing is kept to a minimum in the preseason, especially the first game. That guy was blitzing like it was the Super Bowl. I’m pretty sure I saw a couple of assistant coaches and water boys blitzing at times.

  16. jgedgar70 says: Aug 14, 2012 1:46 PM

    There is nothing about that game to be overly concerned about. Of course, as a Panthers fan, I want the Panthers to win every game. But these games do not matter. While the village idiot was coach, we won 3 or 4 preseason games every year. What did that get us? Just 3 winning records in 9 years.

    In the 2011 preseason, Cam looked like an NFL QB for all of 3 minutes – the first drive of the last game vs Pittsburgh, when we scored a TD. He was a hot mess the rest of the preseason. Why? Because it doesn’t matter.

    From this game, we only learned that the Texans still have a great defense, Carolina still has weak special teams, and that Houston’s 3rd-string guys are a lot better than Carolina’s 3rd-string guys.

    I expect this next game to be a yawner also. Wake me up when it’s time to start the 3rd preseason game.

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