On the newest episode of “Processing Blue,” Langston Wertz Jr. welcomes back Mike Kaye to the podcast to discuss why Bryce Young is struggling with the Carolina Panthers, how the team can fix its offensive line issues, if Scott Fitterer or Frank Reich is on the hotter seat and more.
By Drew Nantais / The Charlotte Observer
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Hey listeners producer Drew here I just Wanted to drop in and share some really Exciting news with you guys on next Week's episode of processing blue former Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith Senior is going to join the show he's Going to get to talk with Langston about Anything and everything Carolina Panthers so it's sure to be a really Exciting episode so if you haven't Already please subscribe and follow us Wherever you get your podcast and for Those who watch us on YouTube make sure You subscribe to our YouTube channel and Click that little bell icon so you get Notified of whenever the episode drops And as always we appreciate you guys Listening now let's get to this week's Episode okay Mike K we're back for Another episode of processing blue the Pathers are blue right now um one and Eight uh I don't know what what what is The solution for one and eight I mean They're black and blue right now right Like this this is they have been uh Beating pretty head to ly over the last N weeks or 10 weeks I guess bu they got That one reprieve but like Yikes Um you know they entered a three-game Stretch after the buy and I said this The last time I was on the podcast November was November as a month was Huge for this team well you know they
They came out of the win over the Texans And they had Indianapolis who was who had a backup Quarterback and looked Shaky with a terrible passing defense They then played Chicago another Terrible passing defense with the backup Quarterback yes this Cowboys game coming Up is going to be rough and then they Have the Titans who again are dealing with Quarterback Turmoil um not a very good Team and you know you felt like if they Could win three of four this was going To be something that maybe turned around The season turned around the regime made You feel good potentially about the Final stretch of the Season Instead they've lost two very winnable Games that were winnable even in like Defeat yeah uh to two pretty poor teams I mean look Indianapolis is winning Games by small margins and just gritting Through because Shane stens did a very Good job as a coach and and um rallying That team but Chicago with Tyson be an Undrafted rookie quarterback just Defeated this Panthers team on the Road um the offense has produced 34 Points in the last three weeks or sorry Yeah yeah 34 points in the last three Weeks 15 13 and six yeah Yik Yeah I mean t you know Tyson Bean
Outplayed Bryce young in a lot of ways And we you know you saw that all over Social media some the commentators were Talking about it that kind of leads me Into my first question I mean why has Bryce young regressed this season it Feels like he's overcompensating for the Talent around him instead of elevating The talent around him and look that's a Heavy clim or a heavy lift to improve The talent around you I mean outside of Adam th I can't find a consistent Supporting character on this in this Folly of a of a an offense like this Is this is this is not a well- calleded Offense it's not a well-designed Offense and the fixtures in it are not Very good and I think you know Bryce Didn't have the best weapons in college Despite the reputation at Alabama he Didn't have a terrific wide receiver Group that was for Ma Jones that was for Jaylen Herz that was for Tu aonga baoa Well he he had to overcome some stuff Last year at Alabama or the last two Years at Alabama and still play at a High level the difference is the speed Of the NFL the talent level is is you Know equal and it's equal or better and You know he's coming up short no pun Intended when it comes time to really Carry this offense and he looks like a Rookie look CJ stra out there uh setting The world on fire but also remember he
Looked like a rookie against this Panthers defense yes just a few weeks Ago yeah um not everybody has the same Learning curve not everybody has the Same trajectory and I think Bryce is Really regressed because of habits that He has gotten from having an offensive Line that's constantly porous from Having wide receivers who struggle to Get open no matter what Frank Reich says Um and he's made mistakes you're going To overthink think when The Supporting Cast around you isn't you know pulling Their end of the bargain is the bigger Problem the lack of protection or the Lack of receivers getting Open that's a great question I would say It's probably the interior offensive Line crumbling as as as consistently as It does he has no ability to step up in The Pocket and I mean like yes they're Trying to to to solve that problem by Working on precision and timing Routes and that in turn is not working Because wide receivers can't get open so It's all like a byproduct of protection Right like you're you're changing the Way you operate because you don't feel Like guys can ex extend plays with you Know deeper Out Concepts instead you're You're trying to to get the ball out Quick and I just think like it's led to A slinky style offensive effect where
It's like You know it's not that fun scene in Ace Venturo when Nature Calls where they're Going down like the the sanctuary and He's like Slinky Slinky sorry I oh no I know you're aware uh but you Know I I just think there's like this This you know it it's going downhill Because you know it's clustering around This offensive line and and these wide Receivers and it's creating this effect Of you know bringing Bryce young down With it this offensive roster is not Good enough every gamble they've made Outside of theland to improve this Roster is not worth Austin Corbett their Best offensive player last year is three Weeks into recovering from ACL surgery And he hasn't looked apart you could Tell he knows that yeah and that was Never to be expected but the rest of the Offensive line is not held up their own End of the bar I think II uu's played Better than a lot of the perception but He still hasn't played well uh Taylor Moton hasn't been as consistent as he Normally has been that left guard Position is atrocious whether they're Putting Calvin throck Morton uh Chandler Zala Kade Mae whatever um and listen Bradley boseman's a wonderful guy he Does a lot for the community he is not Played well at Center and I honestly Don't know if it's necessarily his fault
He is a traditional power blocking Center they run a lot of inside and Outside Zone they're running a lot of Pistol there is a problem with that Because he's not the most athletic Center and if you don't have a center Who can pull at that position when You're playing Zone Concepts you going To struggle and that's why my Solution uh not to jump ahead here is to Move Bradley Boseman to left guard okay Uh he played left guard a bit in in Baltimore it gives you a sturdier Presence both in run and the pass Because the rock Morton's kind of a Replacement level Player but put Kade Ma at Center that Dude's the most athletic guy in that Entire room he can play all five Positions we even saw him play fullback Last year let him have a turn there Maybe you change up who calls the Protections whatever obviously you need To be able to do that but Kade Ma has Been here the entire offseason he's been Around I actually think he projects Better at Center and Tackle than he does At guard let's see what he's got I I Think There's there's been too much movement Around Boseman as opposed to moving Boseman and I understand James campen Wants to protect his guys and whatever But like realistically he's just not
Working and I think you know you paid This guy you committed to him let's see What he can do at another position and Maybe it benefits the entire Line that's your short-term solution What's your long-term solution for the Slide well they're going to have to Spend in free agency I mean I they they Don't have the the luxury of having all These draft picks because of the trade Up for Bryce young I I I think that Second round pick's got to be earmarked For a tight end or a wide receiver Um probably the third round pick too Whichever position you don't spend Excuse me Um and then look I think good teams Spend money on priority positions I Think you know there's been talk about Potentially heuu moving in at left guard I think that would be a worthwhile Solution if you really committed to it But if you do that you've got assigned a Really good left tackle like a veteran Left tackle to protect this massive Investment in Bryce young um I think you Could see left Guard improve with him there And then I think you know you've got to Find a more athletic center um I don't Know what that means for Bradley Boseman But if you want to run the system that That Frank Reich intends to I mean he Even said the other day they want they
Don't want to be an old school Smashmouth football team well guess what That's the type of CER Bradley Boseman Is that's why it worked last year um and So you have to really figure this out You got to figure out if ausome Corbett's a long-term solution after the Knee injury they restructured his Contract typically you don't do that With guys that come off major injuries But that extends their contract and Gives you less wiggle room to get out of It um and you know we also got to figure Out who's going to be here next Year do you think it's worth waiting on A quano maybe one more year I remember Jordan Gro started out in a kind of Similarly struggling early in his career But then he became the greatest line Lineman in paths History yeah I mean I think patience Look he's a guy who was always a raw Pass blocker and I think you had to know That yeah he was Runa yeah I mean the Problem is is like how much do you think The regression is how much do you think Of this this is on the coaching staff How much do you think this is on the Scheme Change I think there's a lot of factors In in in in that I mean I think we have To wait out the rest of the year's not Going to move to left guard in the Middle of the Season he's just not
Experienced enough at that position uh It's much different than moving a guy From Center to left guard in my opinion Um but they're have to figure it out I Mean like this is not like an easy fix The returns have not been terrific this Year and you know I think you have him Compete at left tackle and left guard Next summer and but you've got to really Commit to hey we know this guy is one of Our best five he's going to be in the Starting lineup but we have to find the Right place right Right um are you the mind the Panthers Need to trade back into the first round Next season to try to get some of this Offensive help that you described they Need well if they continue on their Current pace they're going to Essentially have a first round pick with That 33rd overall pick honestly I think They should do what they should have Done this year and trade back and use That premium pick to gain more assets Like we we look back on this draft they Stayed at number 39 and that led to them Having to force a trade up in the third Round by trading a fourth round pick a Nearly equal asset well to draft DJ Johnson when you don't let your draft Picks and your value work for you it can Lead to a lot of Errors it can lead to a Lot of forcing the issue and really you Know you look at the way Jonathan Mingo
Has kind of rewarded them I mean I think He's like 20th in the league in in Categories like he is not liting the World on fire meanwhile Josh DS who was Available 40 picks later is excelling in Indianapolis granted they they're two Different receivers but like you have to Look at your pick allocation and I think Like you know I obviously I covered the Eagles for several years one of the Things that Hoy Roseman does is one of The more successful GMS in the league is He makes value out of his assets like You know we all know the famous Pre-draft New Orleans Saints trade where They essentially let the Saints borrow One of their draft picks and then he Turned it into several other draft picks That he could then continue to use and Spread out down the road like the eagles Are set on draft picks for years even if They they don't have the numbers they Have the premium picks for years yeah Yeah and I think that was a big mistake That this team made like you know they Went after a wide receiver there's logic In that I think they overdrafted Mingo I Said it at the time I gave the Pick A B Minus because I thought they left value On the table like it that's the reality Of the situation so I think trading up I Mean like if there's a wide receiver That you have absolutely fallen in love With go for it if it's the top tight end
On your board and you think that this Guy is going to be a difference bger go For it it but like we don't know who's Going to be there we don't know what you Know there's a lot coming right like So I'm all for being aggressive uh I Just think like when you have the pick Allocation they currently have it's Difficult to make that type of move Remember and I've reported this before They wanted to trade back into the first Round they really liked Will McDonald They wanted to take an edge rusher he Got drafted way higher than they Anticipated it didn't work out right Um they want to be aggressive and I Commend them for being aggressive I also Commend them for for following trade Charts but here's the thing when you Draft a guy or you spend value on a guy It doesn't matter if you won the trade Via the dra the trade chart if you're Drafting poor prospects or using poor Process like the DJ Johnson pick is one Of the worst processes I've ever seen For a day one or two pick like it didn't Make any sense there was no logic to it It was a forced pick he his his Outlook Didn't make sense like I talked to People around the league who said he Made a ton of sense for evero system but They would have drafted him much much Later yeah and so they they I mean they Ultimately are paying the price we saw
In Chicago he started didn't have much Of an impact uh I think he's played a Little bit better than he did during the Offseason but like IU Leota who they Just oted from the practice squad who Was an undrafted free agent the astral Native was so much better during kame Like so much better and they're lucky That they didn't lose Him because they prioritized a third Round pick over you Know the an undrafted free agent but Yeah yeah okay to answer your question I Think you have to see who's there Because that's so hard to answer what I Would have considered though I'll tell You this if you wanted to be if you Wanted to look like the smartest guy in The room that pick isn't going to get Much better or or or go down much worse If you said to another team hey we'll Give you a player and in our second Round pick for a first round pick you're A contender Uhuh maybe that makes sense but I I I Just that's kind of like creative Thinking that I don't think a lot of GMS Actually have outside of howy Roseman so I can't fault them for not doing I think You're you're sometimes judged on the Moves you make but sometimes you should Be judged on the moves you don't make And I think them not reaching for a guy During the trade deadline even if it was
Out of their own hands yeah would you Good Out who's on the hotest seat Mike going Into the back half of the season and Into the offseason coach Reich or Scott Fitter well I think you have to look at It from the standpoint of scottf has Been around much longer yeah he's also Kind of got the fair or Not the um Outlook of being one of the Last vestages of the Matt rule eror That's always going to make him a Target And he's had opportunities to distance Himself from that but instead he has Said you know he and Ru were all in it Together um how much you believe that That's your call um we'll never know Truthfully and I think You know he's also the guy who said this Was a team that was built to drop a Quarterback in and contend right away he Talked about contending for the division He's part of the reason why there were Such high expectations and I think I've Written this before messaging matters And so I think he deserves all of the Rotten Tomatoes that he's getting thrown At at on on social media um that said I Don't think it's there's a very wide Gap I mean Miss Team this front this organization built Up this coaching staff propped up a Bunch of guys who had great Resumés talked about how this was going
To be a coaching staff that turned Things around and frankly things have Wor look worse than the Matt rule era And you know you've got a head coach in Frank Reich who's already given up play Calling uh he's the first offensive play Calling head coach in team history and That lasted six weeks and by the way They went 0 and six uh I struggle to Understand what half of this staff does It's the one of the bigger and most Highly paid staffs in the league so at Some point if I'm David terer I'm Wondering what am I paying for well um And so I I think it's a lot closer than Than it probably seems on the surface That said you know in a way it's easy to To to forget about this but you know David terer obviously has the reputation Of being kind of knee-jerk and and not Having a ton of patience yeah in a way It's kind of commendable that he is not You know bending over To bending at the will of uh outside Forces you know reactions right like he Is not he is not bending and I think you Know he is taking the right approach in Evaluating the entire season because Here's what I would say look and I'll Probably get BL for this when you trade Up what they traded up and mortgage the Future on the first overall pick you Were doing that and saying hey I Implicitly trust the leadership that I
Have put in place as you see my Indiana Jones original vinyl flowing in and out Of this if you're watching the video um Wow that looks crooked I should fix that Um but Anyway what I'm trying to say is is like If you are a boss You have taken you g every decision you Make is a Gamble he has gambled on having the Right to be Guru and the right GM to Build around this massive asset in Bryce Young and has wager the future and so I Think you have to kind of see that Through I mean that's a decision you Have made and and firing Scott fitter Right now makes absolutely no sense well His job's largely done what are you Going to gain from it what if this team You know surprises all and win six to The last eight games right so then you Fired a guy I bet you Indiana Jones sign Back there oh thank you um but so I I Think Like for him he's waiting out the Process I think Like it's not looking good for either Side here and I I you know for a Collaborative process it seems like this Coaching snap is going against the Strengths of the roster and so that is Troubling in in itself right and if I Were terer I'd have a lot of question Marks for
Both next fall Mike what percentage of The staff do you think will still be Here versus Now what a question because you you know The defense and the special teams have Played relatively well given the Circumstances I think you could see Evero potentially get head coaching Interest yes Uh without knowing what's going to Happen in the next eight games that's Tough I would say 50% wow at best well it's a lot of Turnover back toback is um yeah how long Do you think before or do you think the The Panthers can have the pieces around Bry Young have a playoff team yet is it Two years is it next year well they have A lot of cap room next year and while That sometimes leads to massive Mistakes I think they are built to have Guys come in I think Bryce is really Taking his lumps as a rookie um and that Could help him long Term I think you know this team needs Two much better wide receivers Adam th Should be the number three on this team Correct yeah uh and then I think Defensively you've just got to add to The depth I I I don't know if they're a Year away maybe they are but I mean this Division's terrible it's not getting Much Better um Atlanta's kind of playing
Their them elv out of getting a new Quarterback so it's Tampa which is good For the for the Panthers uh and really DK Carr has Turned out to be a horrific signing so Uh it's just going to continue to be a Lowly division that's the that's what This is this is the NFC South without Tom Brady and so I I think if you're the Panthers you look at the Outlook of you Know if they can bring in five or six Big pieces and really spend now remember I wrote about this Uh after the owners meetings they didn't Feel like they were one player away they Went with like the middling Market yeah Uh I think Now's the Time to be ultra Aggressive and find guys feel like can Change things especially from a wide Receiver in pass rush Standpoint all right let's look atad Let's look atad the Sunday Mike uh the Cowboys look like a Super Bowl team Early in the year they got blown out on National TV by the ners since then They've gone three and one and have Scored more than 40 points in two of Those games lost to the Eagles and the Other one they're looking like a Contender again Um is you know Stephen A Smith likes to Troll the panther I mean troll the Cowboys lot I don't think he's going to Be coming to Charlotte to wearing his
Cowboy had on first take next week what Do you think's going to happen on Sunday yikes uh that that's the off uh Is gonna be very tough to stop I think Particularly uh CD lamb is just going to Be an absolute Force yeah across the Field uh his his lateral quickness is Going to be really tough to contend with I think the defense has done a pretty Good job of holding guys at Bay but he Is a different challenge than DJ Moore Who the defense did a pretty good job Against uh last week right tackle DJ Morin once he catches it right I I think Like with CD the chemistry that he and Dak have is incredible Michael Gallup Starting to show some life after Recovering uh from his major injury they Have guys who can make plays Brandon Cooks is going to be a tough go whether They have JC horn or not um and I think You know they have uh some pretty good Weapons at running back ins tight End it's just going to be a lot I I I You're asking a lowly bottom five team To compete with an offensive Juggernaut Now I'm not saying say the Cowboys are The best team in the NFC I think they're Not as good as San Francisco or Philadelphia they're probably in that Next tier and that next tier has some Pretty good offense I think you know This is like realistically if if the Cowboys don't turn the ball over the the
Panthers are cooked I don't think they Can win a shootout against this team I I Think the did you say that BR has scored In the past three weeks Yeah that's what I'm saying I don't Think that they scored 40 plus last week Right they scored more last week than The Panthers have scored the last three Weeks So you know I expect the Cowboys to Eclipse 30 points I know we the Panthers Have yet to do that this season I don't Expect them to do that against Dallas uh as much as their secondary is Inconsistent this is going to just be One that you kind of gota just grit Through and and throw away the tape Maybe there's something nice to do in Charleston or you know there's an early Tree lighting America Stadium is going To be a cowboy takeover is what you say Well yeah the Lakers don't play until 9:30 so you got to have something to do Uh and I mean you know the Yankees are In their off seon Uh our our producer Drew can look into This does Duke have a game that Day uh so yeah I mean it's going to be All right so we all joking is Cowboy Spans travel really really well they do They do no matter where you are in the Country they're also everywhere in the Country they also don't have to travel Much they're all there everywhere um
Yeah there's a joke there's a joke in New Jersey that everybody's uncle is Miraculously a Cowboys fan uh it's kind Of true Titans Buck Saints next can they Win any one of those three yet Titans They they're GNA beat the Titans I feel Very comfortable saying they're going to Beat the Titans oh according to our Producer Drew who does a top-notch job We should shout him out even more than We do there is no Duke game on Sunday so Get your get your tickets to the Cowboys Home game at Bank of America Stadium um And look I think we should say this I do Not blame C Panthers fans for not Showing up you know Uh that's really how you speak to this This ownership and to this organization Really I mean we saw what happened after That San Francisco game last year Matt R Got fired it was clear David terer felt Embarrassed by the turnout listen the Cowboys and the Packers are still the Next two home games on the schedule they Will be sellouts yes it just won't look Like a sellout for a home team right Like like you remember when the Chargers Were playing in that soccer stadium While they were waiting for Sofi to be Built every game was like a a road home Game yeah that's what this is going to Feel like and justifiably so like this Team has not given this Panthers fan Base much to count on or be excited to
See and frankly Cowboys and Packers fans Will pay a lot for tickets so you know I Mean like that's the reality of this Situation and it will be until they show Otherwise all right well it's time for My favorite part of show when you're on What's all case takes well I I think if You're searching for Silver Linings There's this the defense has played Quite well throughout this three-week Stretch I I wouldn't say they've been Great but you're seeing guys Step Up in Way that I think we would have been like If you said DiCaprio ble was going to Shut down DJ Moore at a go route I think You would be laughed at pretty pretty Hard I mean I think they're starting to Develop some defensive depth and and Remember I was very critical of this Defense for several weeks and I think You know I'm somebody you know we don't All do this but when I'm wrong I admit It and I think they got a lot out of eer GMOs um I think Dante Jackson's look at Like a completely different player post Trade deadline I think there's a lot to Like with Von Bell and Xavier Woods uh They are adjusting the scheme to stop The run a little bit more I I think Things are up with evero and I think if Evero continues to do what he he's doing You don't want to lose him uh if the Offense continues to struggle maybe Evero is that guy who's the a parrot um
In Carolina this team is historically Been run by defensive Minds uh and I Think ever is a very sharp Guy um doesn't really say on press Conferences but I think he knows what He's doing oh um and I think that'll Help you keep the scheme in place Remember they hired evro and completely Changed their scheme knowing that he is A potential head coaching candidate who Could leave after a year you know you Want some sense of normaly and you know Maybe it's that you look a lot of teams Don't want to hire defensive head Coaches because if you hire the right Offensive coordinator that guy's going To be gone a year or two uh but the Reality the situation is you should be Looking for the best head coach possible And maybe that's who evero is and I I I Think you know a lot of it goes Underlooked but Chris tabber is one of The best special teams coaches in the League and I think that his unit has Really shown up and shown out and and Rarely put the offense or the defense in Poor positions this season so I I think There's a lot to like on those areas if This if you have to look at this from a Long-term Outlook again the Silver Linings are very few and far between I I Don't think Bryce young is a proven Product yet one way or another I think To jump to conclusions on a guy after
Nine games at that position when they've Invested what they have and what he's Done in his college career pretty much His entire football life I think would Be a mistake you know I I covered Jaylen Herdz who improved Leaps and Bounds Every year he was in the league and did So in college as well and so I think my Patience is is a little bit uh heavier Than than some others but I I I think to Jump to Conclusions yeah right exactly so I I I Think I think we have to let a lot of This play out I know it's not easy to Hear I'm not giving anybody a pass but I Do think if there was one silver lining It's the way that this defense has Reacted post by all right well there it Is as case takes uh maybe not what the P Par want hear at the moment be more Patient but we'll be more patient and We'll see you guys next week on process In blue if you watching us on YouTube Make sure to like share and subscribe Also other social media outlets and make Sure you download our podcast everywhere You get your Podcast
Living in Charlotte North Carolina
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With a thriving city core and an abundance of outdoor activities, Charlotte is a great place to live for families, singles, and retirees. It’s also a popular spot for young professionals who want to be close to the city’s many Fortune 500 companies, including Bank of America, Duke Energy, Sonic Automotive and Lowe’s.
This affluent city is also known for its premier dining scene, craft breweries, and world-class shopping. Its vibrant nightlife includes a variety of bars, clubs and music venues. Sports fans can cheer on the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets and BB&T Knights, or take in an exciting NASCAR race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to this central North Carolina location because it has so much to offer: 35 miles of greenways, whitewater rafting and rock climbing. It’s also within a short drive of the beaches and mountains, making it easy to switch from one setting to another.
Those who love to drink craft beer will find that Charlotte is home to more than 80 breweries with tasting rooms, brewpubs and specialty bottle shops. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more varied selection of beverages anywhere else in the state.
The burgeoning art and cultural scene is anchored by the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and Levine Museum of the New South, while the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra performs throughout the year. It’s also worth checking out the annual HeroesCon, a comic book convention that invites fans and creators to meet their favorite superheroes each June.