The Carolina Panthers have had tremendous success under GM Dave Gettleman, including three straight NFC South division titles as well as a trip to the Super Bowl last year. When Gettleman took the job, he had plenty of work to do with the organization in bad shape in terms of cap space and an aging roster.
In a short period of time, he has changed this roster to the point that it is competitive now and should be for years to come. This is how the opening week rosters have changed over the years under Gettleman's direction.
|Quarterback||Cam Newton||Cam Newton||Cam Newton||Cam Newton|
|Running Back||DeAngelo Williams||DeAngelo Williams||Jonathan Stewart||Jonathan Stewart|
|Fullback||Mike Tolbert||Mike Tolbert||Mike Tolbert||Mike Tolbert|
|Wide Receiver||Steve Smith||Jerricho Cotchery||Philly Brown||Kelvin Benjamin|
|Wide Receiver||Brandon LaFell||Kelvin Benjamin||Ted Ginn Jr.||Ted Ginn Jr.|
|Tight End||Greg Olsen||Greg Olsen||Greg Olsen||Greg Olsen|
|Left Tackle||Jordan Gross||Byron Bell||Michael Oher||Michael Oher|
|Left Guard||Amini Silatolu||Amini Silatolu||Andrew Norwell||Andrew Norwell|
|Center||Ryan Kalil||Ryan Kalil||Ryan Kalil||Ryan Kalil|
|Right Guard||Garry Williams||Trai Turner||Trai Turner||Trai Turner|
|Right Tackle||Byron Bell||Nate Chandler||Mike Remmers||Mike Remmers|
*2016 is projected starting lineup
- One of the reasons Gettleman has been able to turn this team around as quickly as he has is that he inherited a franchise quarterback in Cam Newton. When team's don't have to worry about the most important position on the field, they are able to turn their focus to the supporting cast around him.
- The primary focus for the Panthers' GM over these past four seasons has been the offensive line with only one player still on the original roster, center Ryan Kalil. However, midway through the 2014 season he started to find key pieces with Andrew Norwell and Mike Remmers along with rookie Trai Turner. The final piece was last offseason in left tackle Michael Oher and for the first time in four years the Panthers are projected to have the same offensive line from 2015.
- He also has had to make the tough decision of releasing two long-time Panthers over the past four years, running back DeAngelo Williams and wide receiver Steve Smith. However, he has been able to replace them with players like Jonathan Stewart and Kelvin Benjamin and the offense has been able to improve.
|Defensive End||Charles Johnson||Charles Johnson||Charles Johnson||Charles Johnson|
|Defensive Tackle||Dwan Edwards||Colin Cole||Kawann Short||Kawann Short|
|Defensive Tackle||Star Lotulelei||Star Lotulelei||Star Lotulelei||Star Lotulelei|
|Defensive End||Greg Hardy||Greg Hardy||Kony Ealy||Kony Ealy|
|Outside Linebacker||Thomas Davis||Chase Blackburn||Shaq Thompson||Shaq Thompson|
|Middle Linebacker||Luke Kuechly||Luke Kuechly||Luke Kuechly||Luke Kuechly|
|Outside Linebacker||Jon Beason||Thomas Davis||Thomas Davis||Thomas Davis|
|Cornerback||Josh Thomas||Antoine Cason||Josh Norman||Bene Benwikere|
|Strong Safety||Mike Mitchell||Roman Harper||Roman Harper||Tre Boston|
|Free Safety||Charles Godfrey||Thomas Decoud||Kurt Coleman||Kurt Coleman|
|Cornerback||Captain Munnerlyn||Melvin White||Charles Tillman||Robert McClain|
*2016 is projected starting lineup
- Similar to the quarterback position, Gettleman has one of the best at his position, a key position for this defense: Luke Kuechly. The middle linebacker is essentially the quarterback of the defense and there isn't a better middle linebacker than Kuechly right now. The combination of Thomas Davis continues to make this position the strength of this entire defense.
- The toughest group for Gettleman, and the one with the most turnover, has been the secondary. This defense has yet to have more than two of the same starters from the previous season and Roman Harper and Kurt Coleman have the longest streak of two years. The team drafted three cornerbacks this past NFL Draft and hope this a trend that will hopefully end in the coming seasons.
- The defensive line though has probably the brightest future with young players like Star Lotulelei, Kawann Short and Kony Ealy who hopefully have their best years ahead of them.
*Depth Charts courtesy of Ourlads.com