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Three Questions: Offensive Line

Posted Jul 7, 2016

How will Mike Remmers bounce back? What should we expect from Daryl Williams? How is the depth along the interior?

OFFENSIVE LINE PREVIEW: Not that long ago, this was a position group marked by instability, but now it's among the most stable units on the roster. All five starters return after missing a total of four games last season – a group that paved the way for the Panthers to pace the NFL with 500 points.

THREE QUESTIONS

1. How will Mike Remmers bounce back from the disappointment of the Super Bowl?

The Panthers' starting right tackle came under fire after Denver defensive end Von Miller put his feet to the fire in Super Bowl 50, but Carolina showed faith by retaining the restricted free agent. The Panthers are 22-4, including three playoff victories, since Remmers entered the starting lineup late in the 2014 season, and Miller is an elite talent who is worthy of double-team attention when possible but who found himself one-on-one at times. Remmers certainly has the right attitude about the whole thing, saying he's confident the experience will make him a better player going forward. If he's better than he's been on balance the past two-plus seasons, then right tackle spot is in good hands.

2. What should we expect from Daryl Williams in his second season?

Some view Williams as a possible starter at right tackle, but that should be viewed more as a compliment to him than a complaint against Remmers. Williams suffered a knee sprain early in the season opener that killed the momentum he had built with a strong preseason, but he came on strong down the stretch and even started two games as a sixth offensive linemen. The Panthers are backing Remmers on the right side and rewarded left tackle Michael Oher with a three-year contract extension this offseason, but it's great to have Williams waiting in the wings as a reliable reserve on either side of the line at the least.

3. How is the depth along the interior of the line?

The interior of the line truly came together late in the 2014 season as well, when then-rookies Trai Turner and Andrew Norwell began to blossom into the players they are today flanking perennial Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil. The four games missed by starters last season came along the interior, and the two reserves who started in place are no longer on the roster. But Gino Gradkowski is a proven veteran brought in to back up Kalil, and when Norwell was injured in the Super Bowl, veteran Chris Scott got the bulk on the work. Scott is set to return to Carolina for a fourth season and is the first option behind Norwell and Turner.