It was just a month ago that we were talking about whether their offensive line was in trouble. The Carolina Panthers suffered about as many injuries as they had in 2014 when they went 7-8-1, won themselves a wild card, and won their first game against a popular Arizona Cardinals team. After their 31-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Panthers roll into their bye week at 2-1.
This is good for a few reasons. Let’s take a look at them.
Carolina Panthers: Why a Bye Week is Good
Panthers sign Marshall Newhouse
Charlotte Observer’s Brendan Marks said Sept 25 that the Panthers traded a conditional draft pick to the Buffalo Bills for their offensive tackle, Marshall Newhouse. A bye week is good for the Panthers because they get to evaluate who they have. In his eight years in the National Football League, he has started for four different teams, two of which had top-10 offensive lines while he was there. As a super bowl champion, Newhouse understands the level a team needs to be at to sustain that level of success.
The offensive line is holding their own in the absence of both Daryl Williams and Trai Turner a surprise for Carolina. The week would give them extra time to get to know each other.
Panthers sign Eric Reid
Sept 27 the Panthers signed Eric Reid to the roster. The free safety posted 10 interceptions, 36 passes deflected, and 264 tackles over his career so far. Carolina signed Reid amid the scandal of him filing a grievance with the NFL, according to ESPN staff writer David Newton. Reid will replace Da’Norris Searcy who was replaced on injured reserve after suffering his second concussion in a month, according to the report.
Adding Reid to the roster is exactly the thing the Panthers need. It adds another veteran component to the secondary and provides coverage in a way the Panthers haven’t had yet. The bye week is good because Reid can get some good practice in before they face the New York Giants Oct 7.
What the two signings mean
Carolina has never put as much emphasis on fixing problems as they have this season, specifically the last two weeks. By signing Newsome, they acquire someone with versatility–someone with the ability to play tackle on both sides. This lessens the stress on head coach, Ron Rivera, to have to move people to spots they aren’t comfortable.
Signing Reid gives the Panthers another veteran voice among the secondary, something they have missed since Charles Tillman and Roman Harper left. Reid represents not only a veteran’s voice but also one that represents change within the team and also within the NFL. David Tepper signing Reid lets the fans know that he is committed to making the NFL, or at least the Panthers, a better place.
Last word on the Panthers
Both signings sound good in retrospect but only time will tell whether they will pan out. Going up against the Giants is a good first test for both guys to figure out how they fit with the team.