If there is one thing for sure about the Carolina Panthers' fanbase and some of its players, self evaluation isn't a strong suit.
After quarterback Cam Newton set a slew of rookie records and walked away with the title of Rookie of the Year in 2011, the fanbase exploded with optimism. Even though this team won just six games in 2011 and still had many holes and question marks, people argued vehemently that this would be a playoff-caliber team in 2012.
Center Ryan Kalil even took a full-page ad out in the Charlotte Observer in July and guaranteed a Super Bowl XLVII win.
The league has now played 12 games and the Panthers sit with a 3-9 record, extremely far from expectations. Even though Carolina has lost three times as many games as it has won, defensive end Greg Hardy told Steve Reed of the Associated Press that his team was better than the 11-1 Atlanta Falcons.
Panthers DE Greg Hardy says Panthers are a better team than the Falcons. No, really. He said it.— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) December 5, 2012
Have the Panthers gone from poor self-evaluation to quite delusional?
Two starters on the defensive side of the ball, safety William Moore and cornerback Asante Samuel, did not practice on Wednesday. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Wide receiver Louis Murphy could be the No. 2 receiver Sunday against Atlanta because of the injury to Brandon LaFell, according to the Charlotte Observer.
The Charlotte Observer lists five players that could benefit because the Panthers plan to get younger players on the roster time on the field over the last four games of the season.
Will Smith told the Times-Picayune that had the players not fought back in the bounty situation they never would have gotten a chance to face their accusers.
The Tampa Bay Times believes that the Buccaneers should sign Josh Freeman to a long-term extension.
The Tampa Tribune is reporting that offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan has denied any interest in the head coaching job at Boston College.