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Can the Carolina Panthers Secure the NFC South Title This Season?

Since the NFL season ended, we have arrived at the true lul of the off-season. The NFL Media has been counting out the Carolina Panthers not to win the NFC South. Here are two reasons why the Carolina Panthers can win the NFC South title this season.

A New Regime

On January 25th, the Carolina Panthers hired former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales. If you look back at Canales’ coaching career (both with the Bucs and the Seattle Seahawks), you will see a pattern of quarterback development. When Geno Smith had his breakout year, Canales was his Quarterbacks Coach. This past season, Baker Mayfield had his breakout year; his offensive coordinator was Dave Canales. 

Three days before the Panthers hired Canales, they hired their new general manager, Dan Morgan. Morgan was a former player who had not been with the organization as an assistant general manager (which he had been since 2021). 

Carolina hired another Bucs offensive coach, Brad Idzik. Idzik was the wide receivers coach for the Bucs. Before joining Tampa, he spent four seasons with Seattle. Idzik will serve as the offensive coordinator (maybe he can save Bryce Young’s career like Canales saved Baker’s). 

In 2010, Morgan was an intern in Seattle's front office and was promoted during that season (they won the Super Bowl). After Seattle, Morgan moved on to the Buffalo Bills as a director of player personnel.

What do all three of these front office personnel have in common? First, they all spent time in Seattle. Second, they are part of a new coaching regime that will hopefully be better than the disastrous 2023 season. 

Overhaul of the Trenches and New Pass Catchers

The Carolina Panthers were active in the early part of free agency. They addressed a key position on the offensive by signing former Miami Dolphin Robert Hunt and former Seattle Seahawk Damien Lewis (who was with Canales when he was in Seattle). 

Dan Morgan and his front office then went on and addressed the wide receiver position, which was a monumental issue a season ago outside of Adam Thielen. Kicking things off, he sent corner Donte Jackson and a seventh-rounder to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for disgruntled wideout Dionte Johnson and a sixth.

Then, during the draft, the Carolina Panthers drafted Xavier Legette from South Carolina with the 32nd pick. DJ Moore's absence unequivocally crushed the Panthers' offense a season ago, and now you have a pretty solid group for Bryce Young to work with.

Not going with the typical over-the-hill player acquisitions; this is why the Panthers should have a chance to compete in the South; by bringing in younger guys and positions of need at that.

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