The Carolina Panthers should be better offensively than a year ago when then-rookie quarterback Cam Newton set a bevy of records and the unit was one of the more entertaining in the NFL.
The Panthers' defense should also be improved, as it is healthy knock on wood and made some changes that should make for at least a slightly better pass rush, pass coverage and a greater ability to stuff the run and get off the field on third downs more frequently.
They have a new punter and placekicker, dumping older players for younger ones optimistic they will grow in their roles. Even the special teams as a whole should be in better shape.
And head coach Ron Rivera is in his second year. He knows what the deal is now, and he had a full offseason with the team as opposed to last year when a lockout gave him little time to put his finger print on the franchise. That's now five fingers and a palm.
With this, the Panthers should be an improved football team in every conceivable fashion this ...