5 Things the Carolina Panthers Must Accomplish During OTAs

5 Things Carolina Panthers Must Accomplish

carolina panthers ota
Jeremy Brevard- USA Today Sports

The Carolina Panthers are looking to have another big year in 2014, but that may be a little tougher this time around. After losing a handful of veterans to free agency and retirement, the team has some extra work to do this summer. With that said, let's take a look at five things the Panthers must accomplish during OTAs.

5. Determine Jordan Gross' Replacement

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Jake Roth- USA Today Sports

5. Determine Jordan Gross' Replacement

jordan gross carolina panthers
Jake Roth- USA Today Sports

The Panthers lost right tackle Jordan Gross to retirement and Byron Bell seems to be the frontrunner to replace him. Bell and Nate Chandler rotated with each other last year at left tackle, so Chandler should not be ruled of competition. Regardless, Gross has some big shoes to fill, so determining his replacement should be a top priority this summer.

4. Have Backup Plan For Charles Godfrey

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Sam Sharpe- USA Today Sports

4. Have Backup Plan For Charles Godfrey

charles godfrey carolina panthers
Sam Sharpe- USA Today Sports

After the departure of CB Captain Munnerlyn, strong safety Charles Godfrey will be making the switch to corner. He has the ability to be great at that position, but he is coming off of an ACL tear from last year. Carolina needs to have a backup plan in case Godfrey goes down. Now is the time to get an idea of who should be sitting behind him on the depth chart once the season kicks off.

3. Keep Cam Newton Healthy

cam newton carolina panthers
Kirby Lee- USA Today Sports

3. Keep Cam Newton Healthy

cam newton carolina panthers
Kirby Lee- USA Today Sports

After a surgery in March to repair a ligament in his ankle, Cam Newton is not supposed to resume football activity until at least July. However, he has been throwing the ball at OTAs. Tossing the pigskin around shouldn't affect him, but the Panthers need to make sure their Pro-Bowl QB does nothing more that will aggravate that ankle. With the loss of some big playmakers, he will be relied on heavily this season.

2. Prepare Kony Ealy to Start

kony ealy carolina panthers
Kevin Jairaj- USA Today Sports

2. Prepare Kony Ealy to Start

kony ealy carolina panthers
Kevin Jairaj- USA Today Sports

Trouble with the law hasn't stopped Greg Hardy from participating in team activities. However, if he is forced to miss time this season, the Panthers need to have rookie DE Kony Ealy ready to go when the season kicks. Now is a good time run drills and work Ealy in with the first team.

1. Determine the No.1 WR

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Gary A. Vasquez- USA Today Sports

1. Determine the No.1 WR

kelvin benjamin carolina panthers
Gary A. Vasquez- USA Today Sports

After parting ways with a handful of wideouts including Steve Smith, the Panthers were forced to bring in free agents Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery and draft Kelvin Benjamin. They are likely going to be the team's top three receivers, but the Panthers need to figure out who the number one will be. OTAs will be the first step at doing so.