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The Carolina Panthers have been through major changes this offseason.
They brought in new head coach Ron Rivera from San Diego.
They drafted Cam Newton with the first pick of the draft.
They have even opened the wallet and brought in a bunch of new faces through free agency to help improve the team.
Needless to say, there are very high expectations for Carolina.
There is no doubt that Cam Newton will become the starting quarterback by season's end. It's not even a far stretch to say that he may be the starter come the season opener.
The real question is, will he be successful?
The Panthers have brought in talent to help including Jeremy Shockey, Greg Olsen, Ben Hartsock and Legedu Naanee. They also re-signed DeAngelo Williams and managed to keep WR Steve Smith.
The weapons are there.
If Newton can show the talent that prompted the Panthers to draft him with the number one pick, then the Panthers could impress many in their first year under the new regime.
The defense has gotten stronger as well. Retaining key pieces such as Thomas Davis and Charles Johnson helped and bringing in DT Ron Edwards and LB Omar Gaither has definitely helped the team improve.
Overall, the Panthers will improve upon last year's struggles, but as a team going through a transition and with the lockout severely limiting the team's chances to gel together, there will still be obstacles that they cannot overcome just yet. But, as always, there is a chance for a team to overperform. Look at the 2006 New Orleans Saints.
Preseason prediction: Fourth in the Division, Record 6-10.