You wouldn't think fans would be so excited about the season coming off a abysmal 2-14 record last year, but the consensus is most people are looking forward to what happens. A large part of this excitement I'm sure revolves around #1 draft pick Cam Newton. Will he start the first regular season game? Will he live up to all of the hype. Will be make people in Carolina say "Andrew Luck who?"
I think another part of the positive outlook is the new head coach, Ron Rivera. Us fans only enjoyed success every other year with former head coach (and current head coach in Denver) John Fox. True he did lead the cats to their first ever Super Bowl appearance, but the guy couldn't put back to back winning seasons together. I wish John Fox all the best in Denver (you think you could get Tebow some PT?), but I'm glad the Panthers turned a new page on the coaching staff. A lot of people seemed to be excited as well about having a new offensive coach in Rob Chudzinski. He followed Rivera over from San Diego so I'm glad there is already some chemistry in the coaching ranks.
That last bit that fans are happy about is the returning players. All summer and during the Lock Out WR Steve Smith was all but traded according to many media outlets. RB DeAngelo Williams would test the free agent waters and leave for greener pastures. DE Charles Johnson may be following DeAngelo according to numerous sources. Turns out not only did Steve Smith return to the team and state he wants to retire as a Carolina Panther, but the team was able to resign DeAngelo, Charles Johnson, and several other key players. It says a lot to me about that player's character to resign with their current team then to chase money elsewhere. LB Thomas Davis who sat out all of last season is returning from injury as well as is Tackle Jeff Otah. The Panthers actually did some free agent signing and trading when the Lock Out lifted and grabbed plays - TE Jeremy Shockey and more recently traded for former Bears TE Greg Olsen.