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Panthers stressing need to fix offensive line

Mike Florio and Mike Golic make their picks for the top performers from an action=packed Week 18.

The Panthers didn’t make a coaching or General Manager change after losing their final seven games of the 2021 season, but they know they need to make some changes to the team they’re putting on the field in 2022.

Quarterback gets a lot of attention after trading for Sam Darnold failed to solve the team’s issues at the position, but head coach Matt Rhule and General Manager Scott Fitterer spent a lot of time talking about a different area at their postmortem press conferences on Monday.

The Panthers allowed 52 sacks and seemed to be starting a different combination of offensive linemen each week, so it wasn’t a great surprise to hear the two men make offensive line improvement a top priority of the offseason.

“Our focus is on building that offensive line,” Fitterer said, via Darin Gantt of the team’s website. “We have to get stout up front, both lines, offensive and defensive line. But we’re not going to be blind to other spots either. We’re not going to be blind to defense, we’re not going to be blind to the quarterback position. But we absolutely know we have to fix the offensive line. We can’t have all this leakage. That’s going to help the quarterback play.”

The Panthers also have to hire an offensive coordinator and that hire will join the moves made to address the offensive line in determining whether the Panthers stay the course again after next season.