CHARLOTTE - The Carolina Panthers were picked by USA Today to finish last in the NFC South.

But those who cover the team closely say there's reason to be optimistic.

NBC Charlotte Sports Director Nick Carboni sat down with Charlotte Observer beat writer Jourdan Rodrigue and Jeremy Igo of Carolina Huddle at Hickory Tavern Metropolitan to discuss the season.

The trio talked about Cam Newton's mindset after shoulder surgery and his worst season, and made predictions for the 2017 season.

Other topics included...

Does Cam Newton need to be a different type of quarterback?

How will the Panthers use Christian McCaffrey?