Six short stories from Tuesday at Bank of America Stadium.
1) Plenty of Blame to Go Around
In a 36-minute postseason press conference full of stories and generalities, Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman did his most skillful dodging when asked about Cam Newton.
No fewer than three questions were raised about Carolina’s quarterback, who went from the NFL’s top player to a guy with a worse passer rating than Blake Bortles and Case Keenum.
But Gettleman avoided anything that could make headlines.
Really, he said nothing at all about Newton, who, to be fair, was clearly hampered by a sore shoulder down the stretch and musical chairs on the offensive line.
“I just think the whole offense was out of whack,” Gettleman said.
“Look what happened Sunday. You get the ball and you walk down the field. We’re all looking at each other, saying, ‘Here we (go).’ And then you sputter and things don’t go quite right.”
Which could be slightly disconcerting considering some of what we saw at Tampa Bay were the early stages of the offense’s “evolution.” And perhaps somewhat strangely, Gettleman modified the word coach Ron Rivera started using last week.
“Evolve isn’t the right word. The thing that we all have to understand is maintaining the status quo gets your fanny beat,” Gettleman said.
“Status quo is not going to stay here. We are going to get better.”