AP Pro32 comments about Panthers
NEW YORK (AP)
Comments on the Carolina Panthers by the AP Pro32 panel (ranking in parentheses):
CAROLINA PANTHERS (19)
Chris Berman (ESPN, 17) - Ended season with four straight wins.
Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 17) - They need the right GM to put the right pieces around Cam Newton.
Cris Collinsworth (NBC Sports, 17)
Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 21) - Someone needs to lean on Cam and get him back on track.
Bob Glauber (Newsday, 15) - Plenty to like about the second half of the season. Now we'll see if it's enough for Ron Rivera to get another chance in 2013.
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 20) - If the Panthers had played the first six games (1-5) like they played the last six (5-1), GM Marty Hurney would still have a job and the Panthers would likely be a playoff team.
Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 19) - If Cam Newton is the quarterback he was the last six weeks, the Panthers are OK. One problem: The season isn't six weeks long.
Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 20) - Cam Newton and Co. finished strong, but more playmakers are needed.
Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 19) - Ron Rivera has done a solid job building up this team on both sides of the ball. The preseason hype about playoffs was premature as Cam Newton went thru a sophomore slump early in the season. Newton was solid down the stretch.
John Lynch (Fox Sports, 18) - Their late season surge appears to have saved coach Ron Rivera's job. If Cam can continue to mature and do it consistently, they have a vicious pass rush to match.
Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 17) - Ron Rivera should know soon enough whether a four-game win streak to end the season was enough to keep his head coaching position in 2013.
Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 18) - Ron Rivera and the coaching staff did a heck of a job down the stretch to turn around the Panthers and win five of their last six.
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