For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, the Carolina Panthers have a ton of questions heading into 2018.
The Carolina Panthers enter the 2018 season with big-time expectations. Simply contending for a playoff spot isn’t good enough for this team. The expectation in Carolina is for Ron Rivera’s team to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender. If that’s going to happen, a lot of questions are going to have to be answered.
Fortunately for Rivera, the presence of Cam Newton on his roster covers up a lot of deficiencies. He may not be everyone’s idea of a perfect NFL quarterback, but he makes the Panthers offense dangerous. Of course, he’d like to have more help this year.
The defense is also loaded with high-end talent, but a change in defensive coordinators will always raise some issues. Eric Washington will do his best to keep his unit at the top of their game, but he’ll need to work his magic with somewhat of a patchwork secondary.
Without delay, let’s start our look at the five most burning questions for the Panthers season with a look at how the team will replace a big star.
5. Who will replace Andrew Norwell?
When the Panthers allowed their All-Pro left guard to head to Jacksonville, most expected the team would move to replace him with a significant free agent or draft pick. Instead, the Panthers chose to try to fill the gap with under-the-radar options.
At the moment, free agent signing Jeremiah Sirles seems to have the inside track. He could be a decent stopgap option, but he’s not going to qualify for any Pro Bowls. Amini Silatolu will also get an opportunity. He has some experience, but he hasn’t shown the ability to be a quality starter in his career.
The wildcard in all of this is second-year player Taylor Moton. He was originally drafted to play tackle, but he’s a very versatile player. Moton might have more upside than any other potential starter at the position. Carolina’s coaching staff doesn’t expect to find another Andrew Norwell this season, but the can’t afford too much slippage at the position.