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    The Panthers didn’t make the mistake the Bengals made this offseason.And it’s nice that they have that luxury now Womens Greg Van Roten Jersey , to make decisions that only pertain to football.According to multiple sources in Carolina’s football operation, the question of whether free agent safety Eric Reid would continue to kneel during the national anthem never came up during their discussions this week. During a free agent visit to Cincinnati earlier this year, Bengals owner Mike Brown asked Reid about his future protest plans. Subsequently, Reid was not signed by the Bengals.In Carolina this week, it was never a factor.Simply put, it’s a move that never would have been made under former owner Jerry Richardson. And while the football operation wants to focus on how much Reid will help a team that lost starting safety Da'Norris Searcy, they know even if they won’t say it that having David Tepper in charge gives them a liberty they never previously enjoyed. (Of course, they haven’t used that liberty to sign the backup quarterback they desperately need, but when you’ve been crawling for 23 years, expecting a sprint is probably unfair.)Richardson had a deeply patriarchal view of his football team, and it reflected in the transactions they made. To call the Panthers conservative understates the case profoundly. Richardson bragged to Charlie Rose (in a visual made ironic given each of their future public humiliations) about No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton not being allowed to get tattoos. A fringe player (defensive back Marcus Ball) mysteriously disappeared from the roster after raising his fist last September at the peak of anti-Donald Trump sentiment. Defensive end Julius Peppers stayed in the locker room that day in his own silent protest, but since he’s a future Hall-of-Famer, he remains employed. Richardson’s desire to not risk offending his Old South base (i.e. conservative and white) was woven into the organizational culture, and the Panthers 192-192-1 record in 23 years was a metaphor for many things.But Richardson’s gone, after selling his team in the wake of allegations of workplace misconduct that included racial and sexual harassment. In his place stepped a man who once called the commander in chief “a demented, narcissistic scumbag” and “the father of lies.” While Tepper’s still very supportive of some of Trump’s policies (no one that rich isn’t), he has also been an active proponent for and participant in their efforts for social causes. This week Youth Ryan Kalil Jersey , the Panthers were packing supplies for flood victims in Eastern North Carolina, and Tepper was elbow-to-elbow with players and staffers in the assembly line. He also impressed his players in his first meeting with them after the purchase, telling them that he cared about the issues they cared about, and was serious about allowing them to work for change.Assuming he’s in football shape, Reid should absolutely contribute to a football team that needs him. But whether he does or doesn’t, he already contributes to a culture that has changed, which certainly needed to.The Panthers need to see more from Kevon Seymour If the TV show Weakest Link was still on the air then Kevon Seymour would be one of next week’s contestants. The Buffalo Bills successfully targeted Carolina’s third-year corner back early and often in the Panthers first preseason game. This is concerning. Seymour is currently listed as a starter on the Panthers depth chart and the team will likely be heavily relying on him this season. Consider the quality of quarterbacks the Panthers will be facing this year: It includes six Super Bowl-winners (Eli Manning, Carson Wentz/Nick Foles, Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, and Drew Brees twice.), 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan (twice), 2016 Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott, and Matthew Stafford who trails only Drew Brees in passing yards since 2011. With those caliber of quarterbacks squaring off against the Panthers secondary, the play of Kevon Seymour and Carolina’s corners has the potential to derail the entire season. Based on what we saw from Kevon against Buffalo, we are justified in being concerned. On the Bills first play from scrimmage Youth Greg Olsen Jersey , Seymour broke too early on a pass and was flagged for a 12-yard pass interference. On Buffalo’s second play Nathan Peterman hit Andre Holmes on a quick comeback route where Seymour was giving Holmes a large cushion. Holmes caught the ball five yards past the line of scrimmage, eluded Seymour’s arm tackle, and picked up 10 yards on the play. Buffalo’s third play was another comeback against another generous Seymour cushion, this time to Kelvin Benjamin for an 11-yard gain. Three plays from scrimmage, 33 yards, all against Kevon Seymour. Later in the drive the Bills faced 2nd-and-7 from the Carolina 30. Rod Streater was split wide left with Seymour in press coverage. Streater ran a streak and Seymour covered him fairly well, but Streater pushed off before hauling in a touchdown. Offensive pass interference was rightfully called on the play to negate the score, but once again the Bills targeted Seymour. Then two plays later, on 3rd-and-4 from the Carolina 28, Buffalo split Kelvin Bejnamin wide left against Seymour who was in press coverage. Seymour tried to jam KB, stumbled, and let the beefy receiver eat his lunch for a 28-yard score. While the first series was rough, the worst play came in the fourth quarter. With Buffalo facing a 3rd-and-22, Seymour understandably gave a huge cushion to rookie receiver Robert Foster. Foster ran a simple streak and somehow managed to get two steps behind Seymour. Rookie quarterback Josh Allen showed off his huge arm by launching a bomb to Foster. Fortunately for the Panthers the pass was overthrown by about two feet. If Allen would have just taken a tiny bit off the throw it would have been a 62-yard touchdown with Foster leaving Seymour in the dust. How a starting corner gets beat on a streak on 3rd-and-22 is beyond me. While this is only the first preseason game, it definitely wasn’t reassuring. With Ross Cockrell on injured reserve and rookie Donte Jackson learning on the fly, Carolina needs Kevon Seymour to take a huge leap forward this year. That didn’t happen against the Bills. If a defense is only as strong as its weakest link then the Panthers secondary might be in serious trouble.
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