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Sports
Need a one-stop shop to catch up on the top sports stories big and small? Time Out For Sports airs Mondays on WFAE's "All Things Considered" and has what you need to know about everything from Charlotte-area high school football highlights to the latest updates on the Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers’ season ended in a bust, and now the hunt is on for an offensive coordinator

cam newton locker room 2022 panthers.JPG
Chanelle Smith-Walker/Carolina Panthers
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Chanelle Smith-Walker/Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton is seen as the Panthers clear out their locker room following the 2021-2022 season.

It’s over. The Carolina Panthers ended their season with a bust. Tampa Bay stamped out Carolina 41-17 on Sunday. It was the Panthers’ seventh straight loss, and they ended the season 5-12.

The Charlotte Observer’s Langston Wertz Jr. told WFAE’s Gwendolyn Glenn on this week’s Time Out for Sports that the season-ending score was “not a surprise.”

“They couldn’t score the football,” Wertz said of Carolina’s overall performance this season. “The defense looked good, but they really couldn’t get the offense going. That’s the big weakness, and that’s something they need to fix.”

It was a rollercoaster of a season, with three wins out of the gate, then several weeks of struggling that culminated when new quarterback Sam Darnold was taken out for most of the rest of the season because of an injury. Then, former quarterback Cam Newton returned to a lot of fanfare, but despite a win against the Cardinals, Carolina kept struggling.

It’s widely believed Sunday’s game was Newton’s last as a Panther. But he was only brought in for one play, and some fans think he could have been given a better send-off.

“It’s hard in the NFL to get perfect send-offs,” Wertz said. “It’s a tough sport, tough circumstances. And the bottom line is it’s a winning business, and Cam was not putting the Panthers in the position to win. But, Gwen, no quarterback could this season — not Sam Darnold, not Aaron Rodgers, not Tom Brady.”

But Wertz says Sunday didn’t necessarily have to be Newton’s last game as a Panther. He hopes the team brings both Darnold and Newton back next season and use draft picks to help build up the offensive line.

You can listen to the full Time Out for Sports conversation above. Here’s a quick look at what else Glenn and Wertz covered.

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