Check out the latest spin from Marty “The Lig” Hurney:

“But I do think there is a plan in place and there is a foundation in place. I talked to a lot of people that do what I do in this league and basically if you’re in this (league) long enough, every team is in this situation at some point. It’s cyclical and then you start over.”

Of initial interest is an admission of sorts that Marty — at the behest of the Big Cat — blew up this team to prepare for the lockout. Now on to this “plan” nonsense, Marty:

  • Do you have a head coach? No? No plan then.
  • Do you have an OC? No? No plan then.
  • Do you have a starter-quality QB who fits whatever scheme the OC you don’t have runs? No? No plan then.
  • Do you have a starter-quality QB on the roster, period? No? No plan then.
  • Do you have a starter-quality RT? Not if Jeff Otah doesn’t come back. Is Otah coming back? Don’t know? No plan then.
  • Can you re-sign any of your unrestricted FAs given what they have seen from management this year? Don’t know? No plan then.
  • Is Steve Smith down with this “start over” stuff? Don’t know? No plan then.
  • Are Chris Gamble and Jordan Gross worth what you are paying them? Won’t say? No plan then.
  • Are you willing to pay Andrew Luck $70-75m. as the first overall pick? Won’t say? No plan then.

Clearly, no plan. I doubt even Marty’s own family believes him on that whopper. Next the mythical Foundation. Let’s talk about the clearly NFL starter-quality players on this team, even expand it to the players the Panthers have to keep because they are paying them too much for them to leave.

  • Offense: Smith, Williams, Stewart, Goodson, Kahil, Gettis, Gross, King, and Schwartz now that he is at RG.
  • Defense: Gamble, Marshall, Munnerlyn, Beason, Anderson, C. Johnson, Godfrey, Martin, Landri.

Rock solid, huh?

You could quibble with some — LaFell for example, or Hardy — but those guys of one, two, or three years experience are coming back regardless so no real point in spending too much time on them. Other guys — Wharton and Connor, for example — get too dinged up to be counted on as Foundational in my book, although they too likely come back. As for Otah and Davis, cannot say at what level they will come back and perform at, and in the case of Otah, if he’ll ever play again.

At most then you are looking at maybe 20, 22 NFL starter-quality players on the current Panther roster, some of whom cannot see the field together. Look at successful franchises and you’ll see at least 30 starter-quality players. That is a huge talent gap. Forget the QB position. The Panthers are three OLs, two DLs, two LBs, one CB, and one WR from being competitive in the NFL.

Marty, you don’t have a foundation, you have a mud pit.