The Panthers clean slate at wide receiver has gotten more attention, but the bigger issue this year will be who ends up starting at tackle, and whether that person can keep Cam Newton upright.
But Panthers coach Ron Rivera is confident he’s going to find an answer among what is on hand.
Via the Charlotte Observer, Rivera said he expects to find a left tackle among existing options Byron Bell, Nate Chandler and Garry Williams.
“We think those three guys give us an opportunity to find a starter out of that group,” Rivera said. “But it most certainly is going to be a competitive position. It will be one we will watch for obvious reasons.”
Bell has started at right tackle the last three years, but wasn’t particularly good at it. Chandler is a converted defensive tackle, who they signed to a cheap contract extension betting on his upside. Williams keeps getting hurt every time they give him a chance to win the job.
In short, they’re going to miss the retired Jordan Gross, regardless who ends up starting there. The top tackles were gone long before they picked in the first round. They inquired about free agent Anthony Collins before he signed with the Buccaneers, but they were otherwise limited in what they could do to fix the line.
Now they’ll go to camp, and wait, and hope.