In 2008, the Carolina Panthers appeared to be a team that had all the strength, power, and speed to be a true Super Bowl contender.
However, the buzz saw that was the Super Bowl bound Arizona Cardinals exposed the Panthers as just another also ran.
In 2009, the Panthers return their core members of a team that finished 12-4 and was dominant throughout most of the season.
There are certainly questions. What is going to happen to Julius Peppers? If he leaves, can they find a player who brings both pressure on the field and great leadership in the locker room?
Can Jake Delhomme bounce back from a horrible performance in the playoffs? Can Muhsin Muhammad continue to play at a high level?
This slide show does not reveal my opinion as to whom are the top ten players on the team...just the 10 players that must excel in 2009 for the Panthers to retain their NFC South crown.