Just a year ago, the Carolina Panthers had one of the worst offensive lines in the entire NFL. One area that severely struggled was in pass protection, which became a factor in Cam Newton's injury and then the injury of third string quarterback Will Grier.
As we inch closer to the start of the season, being able to protect the quarterback has to be the main point of emphasis heading into the new season. If the unit can cut those sack numbers at least in half, it would be a vast improvement and would likely mean the offense was able to have more success sustaining drives.
The unit allowed the 58 sacks in 2019, which tied the Miami Dolphins for the most allowed in the league. With that kind of production or lack thereof, change was needed. So in efforts to rebuild the offensive line, the Panthers signed guards John Miller and Michael Schofield and traded for veteran offensive tackle Russell Okung. All three should have a big impact on the line's improvement in 2020 and offensive coordinator Joe Brady likes the situation he has with his big fellas up front.
"I'm excited about the acquisitions that we've had in the offensive line," Brady said. "You bring in a guy like John Miller and Mike Schofield, guys that have familiarity with coach Meyer and understanding how he teaches. You have that and the addition of Dennis Daley and Chris Reed being able to form a competition at the guard position, it excites me."
Brady noted a very important nugget with guys having familiarity with offensive line coach Pat Meyer. Michael Schofield, Russell Okung, and Matt Paradis were all members of the Denver Broncos in 2016. With three of your five starting offensive lineman having played together in the past gives the unit a bit of a jumpstart. With that said, it still may be a bit of a sluggish start due to the pandemic keeping the players away from each other more than usual. The good thing is, the Panthers aren't the only team battling with these unprecedented times.
Projected offensive line starters:
LT Russell Okung
LG John Miller
C Matt Paradis
RG Micheal Schofield
RT Taylor Moton
Do you think the Panthers offensive line will improve this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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