Many members of Panther Nation have questioned the team’s reluctance to sign or trade for a veteran cornerback to pair with Chris Gamble. Today, coach Ron Rivera has provided some insight on why the team has decided not to pursue another corner.
Rivera has announced that the team will use safety Charles Godfrey as their nickel back in their nickel coverage. Godfrey is an excellent athlete and should be able to make the switch. A zone type scheme would help highlight Godfrey’s ball-hawking ability by allowing him to make plays when they happen in front of him. It is unclear at this time if Godfrey will make the switch to corner full-time, though I would not be surprised to see him eventually jump over Carolina’s current no. 2 corner, Captain Munnerlyn.
It is expected that the team will insert Jordan Pugh to the strong safety spot during nickel packages when Godfrey slides to corner. The Panthers believe that they have improved their secondary with the recent acquisition of Stevie Brown who was acquired via waivers. Brown will seemingly replace Sean Considine who has been criticized in the past for his lack of coverage ability. Brown’s coverage ability is thought to be one of the strengths that he brings to the Panthers. He even reminds me a little bit of Charles Godfrey in the ball-hawking department.
Though questions still remain about the seconday, Godfrey sliding to corner in nickel situations has to put some Panther fans’ minds at ease. It has been my recommendation since the offseason began that the Panthers should think about the possibility of sliding Godfrey to the corner position to help plug up a hole in the defense. As he enters the last year of his contract, Godfrey could be auditioning for a contract extension with the Panthers who could very well entertain the thought of moving him to the cornerback position full-time.