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Three Things the Bears Can Learn From the Carolina Panthers

| February 2nd, 2016

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DON’T TRADE GREAT PLAYERS BECAUSE THEY DON’T “FIT”

NFL coaches all think what they do is special. They’re wrong. Football is not a complicated game and winning, by and large, still comes down to which team has the better players.

Greg Olsen is a great player. Anybody with eyes knew he was beginning the process of becoming a great player in Chicago. And trading him away because he didn’t fit the system of an offensive coordinator was asinine then and is even more asinine now. If a coach can’t maximize the ability of a great player then the coach isn’t worth keeping around.

You ESPECIALLY don’t trade players for coordinator fits because coordinators are always a good season away from leaving your organization. Players can only leave if you let them (or if they hate you).

BE PATIENT

Who didn’t look at the Panthers receiving corps at the start of the season, following the injury to Kelvin Benjamin, and expect their offense to struggle?

The answer is Panthers GM Dave Gettleman.

Gettleman didn’t panic. He didn’t get desperate in the trade market. He believed in Ginn and Funchess and Cotchery. And those players rewarded his belief by being the most overachieving unit in the NFL.

SOMETIMES IT’S SIMPLE AS A STAR

There’s one reason the Panthers are in the Super Bowl: Cam Newton.

Sure, the Panthers have a collection of stud defenders (Keuchly, Norman, Short…etc.) but this is not a great defense. Is it championship caliber? Of course. But it has significant vulnerabilities, especially at the back end of its secondary.

Cam is more than a generational talent. He’s playing the most difficult position in sports in a way nobody has seen before. He throws 30-yard lasers with pinpoint accuracy while having no respect for mechanics. He doesn’t just extend plays with his legs. He runs between the tackles, absorbs the contact and bounces to his feet without noticing.

The Panthers have a C+ offensive roster and an A+ quarterback. That’s why they’re favored to win the organization’s first title.

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