Nice to see some love for the black cats.
I really like the Panthers for this season. Now that key players are back from injuries (Smith, Jenkins, Foster) I really think that this could be the year the Panthers take it home.
The defense is practically untouchable. They have the best front four in all of football with Jenkins and Peppers anchoring the staff. Rucker is coming back from a dissapointing season but Jenkins will make him that much better. The linebackers are also pretty solid. The Panthers took a big loss with Fields missing the whole 05\06 season due to the battle of cancer. Still without him, they are still pretty solid. Morgan, Witherspoon, and probably rookie Thomas Davis will be a nice force to be reckoned with. The secondary looks great with the new additions of Ken Lucas, Idrees Bashir, and Marlon McCree. The Secondary should look like Chris Gamble and Ken Lucas as the CB's, Idrees Bashir taking the FS job, and vet Mike Minter taking the duties of SS. Overall the Panthers defense looks incredible.
I think that the Panthers can mend together an 11-5 season and maybe a 12-4 season.
A nice suprise could be Thomas Davis on defence. He can make an instant impact on the field. I think he will be a force for IDP leagues and will help the Panthers D tremendously.
I agree with you on the running back situation.
Steve Smith will be top 15 WR without a doubt, and maybe even top 10. Some people may write him off there cheat sheets because of his broken leg, but he looks as good as ever. Coaches say he is 2 steps faster then normal. I honestly think he can get 1250 yards easily with about 7-9 TD's.
There will be many Pro-Bowlers on the team most being on the defense. I think Delhomme could maybe get his shot as a Pro-Bowl QB. He proved last year that the Super Bowl game wasn't a fluke.
I'm optimistic for the Panthers this year, and I hope for them to turn in a great season.