The Carolina Panthers faced a lot of backlash when they released long-time receiver Steve Smith. Carolina faithful then hoped their team would be active during free agency, but the signing of career back-ups Tiguan Underwood and Jerricho Cotchery left fans scratching their heads in confusion.
In his first public comments since the release of Smith, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera may have shed a little light on the the team’s rationale for their questionable moves.
“I don’t think you need a true No. 1 that does everything. I don’t think you need to have a guy like Detroit’s Calvin Johnson,” Rivera said Wednesday on the final day of the league meetings. “I think you need to have a guy that’s going to account – if there’s 10 catches in a game by your wide receivers, he gets six of them.”
“Look at it this way – last year we rushed (14) out of 16 games for 100 yards. We were (fifth) in the league in total time of possession. Our receivers averaged – as a group, collectively – 10 catches a game,” Rivera said. “If we are going to continue to run the ball successfully, on the average we have to make 10 catches a game.”
“Could we draft a couple? Well, I didn’t think we’d draft a couple (defensive tackles last year), especially 1 and 2,” Rivera said. “So that’s a possibility.”
Am I the only one that thinks this doesn’t make the most sense? Ron is right, every team doesn’t need a Calvin Johnson, but every team does need playmakers, especially at the receiver position. And right now Carolina has none.
Panthers fans if you hadn’t hit the panic button yet, you might be ready to now.