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Interview with the Enemy: Carolina Panthers

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Our pal Walker Clement of Cat Scratch Reader joins us to preview our final game of the 2019 regular season.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Pardon the old picture from the article, but the Falcons’ dejected expressions warms my heart this cold November morning.

We’re back again with the next segment in the Interview with the Enemy series. This week, Walker Clement of Cat Scratch Reader answers 5 quick questions before the Week 17 matchup on Sunday: the New Orleans Saints traveling to Carolina to face the division rival Panthers.

Does your front office regret burning the Cam Newton bridge now? The former MVP doesn’t seem so bad now after a bad first showing from Will Grier and increasingly poor games from Kyle Allen, huh? Or do you think you can kiss and make up still?

The bridge isn’t fully burned yet, but it is smoking. Rivera is gone and Hurney is essentially be promoted into a comfortable retirement. Tepper has been very public about wanting Cam back if he can come back. Cam has been forthright in his own way about wanting the same. The two remaining factors are the new front office and coaching staff that Tepper decides to bring in and Cam’s recovery from his recent foot surgery.

Cam Newton as Panthers comeback player of the year, eh? Do you think he wins that award for the 2020 Chicago Bears or the 2020 Denver Broncos?

Let’s see. John Fox left the Panthers for the Broncos before ending his career with the Bears. Since Newton is a little more progressive than Fox and Elway is a little bit of an idiot when it comes to quarterbacks I think Newton will skip Denver and end up with the Bears. The wild card in this situation is Los Angeles. The Chargers and former team mate Thomas Davis could be moving on from Phillip Rivers this offseason, which would leave a quarterback sized hole at the top of their roster.

How can your team sleep at night knowing they’re wasting a historically great year from Christian McCaffrey? Shelf-lives for running backs aren’t long, and you’ve taken one of Run CMC’s prime years and thrown it all away.

Sleep? Who’s sleeping? All of Charlotte is up at night drawing spell circles and burning candles while sacrificing feet, shoulders, and everything in between to whatever Gods will listen. We’re trying to keep Cam, McCaffrey, and Sir Purr alive until a new coach rolls into town. Newton burned one life in a truck accident a few years ago while we were sleeping. Charlotte might be a slow city sometimes, even compared to the Big Easy, but we learn from our mistakes.

Is there any chance your team just phones it in for the second week in a row? We could really use another bye week as we get ready for the playoffs.

Yes.

Oh, you wanted a whole answer? Payton should use this week to practice whatever weird wrinkles he has pruned up for the playoffs this week. The Panthers defense is currently very accommodating and their offense is more aspirational than it is present.

Were you happy with the decision to let Ron Rivera go? Quick follow-up: Are you excited to have Jason Garrett as your new head coach?

Yes.

Oh, you wanted another whole answer? The Panthers had a highly respected guy who led a team his grandparents would have been proud of. It is time for the Panthers idea of modern thinking to progress beyond option runs.

As for Garrett, did you not hear the Panthers recently interviewed Mike McCarthy?

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Thank-you, Walker, for taking the time to answer our questions. Saints fans, make sure you check out Walker and the work his guys are doing over at Cat Scratch Reader. You can follow Cat Scratch Reader on Twitter @CatScratchReadr, Walker @MetaphorGuy, and of course you can follow me @dunnellz.