The Panthers drafted seven defensive players, and the general reports indicate it was a successful plan, including those from Matt Rhule, the new head coach, and from General Manager Marty Hurney.
Mick Mixon, play by play announcer of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, joined WIZS TownTalk on Monday to discuss the latest NFL draft.
Of the present internal disruption within the Panthers organization, with a new coach, new owner and a lot of player turnover, Mixon spoke also of the present world disruption of covid-19 and said, “You can count on me not to over dramatize athletics…It really doesn’t mean that much when set against the backdrop of nurses and doctors and scientists and healthcare workers and the really essential things in life.
“However, let’s just call this too for what it is. In the south, football isn’t just what we do. It’s part of who we are, and it’s part of how we come together. So, I think we’re kind of starving for a little bit of football. At least that’s the way it feels to me around Panther Nation, and the draft was great. Just to be able to have some new Panthers, how about that? Seven new draft picks, all defensive players.”
With the NFC South loaded with talented quarterbacks like Drew Brees and now Tom Brady, the Panthers’ selections being all defensive, while it was not the plan, indicates the importance of improving the defense now as expressed by the Panthers’ leadership and their draft board.
The NFL logo and the overall organization has to be top 1o in terms of global recognition and branding, but it’s not too big to fail. Mixon said, “I think what we may need to do is be patient. I think the NFL needs to not put a stake in the ground (after a successful draft), and say, ‘Boy, thank Goodness that’s over. Happy days are here again.’ There’s a lot of distancing yet, a lot of work, a lot of sand that needs to sift through the hour glass so to speak, but I know conversations have been held about — What would the world be like with a shortened season? What would the world be like with games with no fans in the stands. These are hard pills to swallow.”
The NFL will figure it out, Mixon said, and right now time is on the side of professional football.
Full Interview Audio: