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To say that this Panthers season has been a roller coaster is an understatement. The team raced out to a 3-0 start to begin the season, getting the talks of the playoffs stirred up early on before the team would be brought back to Earth and left searching for answers with a six-game stretch where they lost five games, including four straight after the 3-0 start. The franchise was reinvigorated when they resigned franchise legend Cam Newton prior to the Arizona game and followed that with a big win on the road against the Cardinals, making some reconsider whether the Panthers could make a playoff push. However, those thoughts have seemed to be dashed in a lot of people’s minds after two straight losses, including a blowout loss to the Dolphins on Sunday.

The season has been defined by a fluctuation of expectations and Will Brinson of CBS Sports believes that is one of the big issues for this current rebuild that the Panthers are in the midst of. “Expectations keep getting shifted and not just fan expectations but David Tepper’s expectations,” Brinson told the Mac Attack earlier this morning. “David Tepper accelerated the Panthers rebuild because there were a bunch of franchise quarterbacks available via trade.  I think that Matt Rhule probably had a plan in place in terms of his rebuild. It’s been accelerated and when you start messing and tweaking with those things and trying to force the quarterback issue, that’s where things get ugly. The Panthers are probably right about where they should be win-loss wise, but it feels like they should be further along because of that premature acceleration.”

Brinson is most concerned about the mindsets of David Tepper and Matt Rhule and whether they actually have what it takes to let a rebuild play through. ‘Will that mixture of ownership and coaching, management, front office blend? Is there enough patience to allow that process to happen? If there’s not, then you are just going to end up like the Browns, trying to rebuild on the fly. You have to create a sustainable, winning structure and it’s hard to do, but you have to be patient with it.”