May 30, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (96) stretches with the defense before the practice held at the Carolina Panthers practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Redeem Team: Defense

The Panthers are not exactly a popular team. Let’s face it fans, sometimes being a Panthers fan isn’t exactly exciting. It seems to me that for the majority of the time I’m either defending Cam Newton’s credibility, the strength of the defense, or Ron Rivera as a coach. It gets exhausting coming up with ways to say the Panthers are on the upswing, and it seems that “just wait for next year” isn’t a credible excuse any more. I do believe that things are going to change in the very near future.

The Carolina Panthers are on their way to the top. With the team we have assembled, there is no doubt in my mind that the Panthers have everything they need to succeed in the NFL. When you look at all the facts, which seems to be what every Panthers fan does these days, you can make a great argument for the team. This may seem very repetitive to some, but I feel strong about my opinions and feel they need to be shared.

Jun 12, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy walks to the practice field before the start of practice held at the Panthers practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The defense has had the most improvement, in my opinion. Man, they are looking great. I’d like to address this year’s draft class first. Star Lotulelei, Kawann Short, and A.J. Klein add so much more depth to the team, and will be great additions to the team’s defense. Adding those guys into the Panthers already amazing core of talent in their Defensive Line and Linebacking core, the Panthers are set. And as I’m sure you’ve already read before, the strength in the Panthers Defensive Line only adds to the strength of a somewhat battered Secondary. Josh Norman has been improving and with the additions of D.J. Moore and Drayton Florence. Put those three players, along with Captain Munnerlyn, and you have a group of Cornerbacks with a lot of depth with no big star. I think the group of Cornerbacks the Panthers have assembled will surprise a lot of people this year. The Cornerbacks have a great group of talent, Josh Thomas, who I failed to mention has a lot of potential as well and the only thing holding the Panthers defense back is the Safety unit, but with above average talent in the other three groups I think the Panthers defense has the potential to be one of the premiere defenses in the NFC.

The Panther’s defense is looking great, and let’s face it, the Panthers success on defense could very well overshadow the Panthers success on the opposite side of the football. With everything said in last paragraph I still didn’t touch upon Luke Kuechly, Greg Hardy, Jon Beason, or even Charles Johnson, who I’m sure will have fantastic careers and futures with the Panthers, so we don’t have to worry about them all that much. In any event, the Panthers seem to have the best defense in the NFC South and there is no doubt in my mind that the Panthers will have a great team next year, a team that will seem to put all nay-sayers to rest.

Tags: Carolina Panthers

  • Perry Woods

    Since April, virtually every writer has said “the defense is probably going to be the best in the league. It has been so prevalent in the press that anything less than a top 5 will probably be written up as a failure.
    I assume, the other teams in the league can read so, I suspect OCs around the league are already planning how they are going to take Carolina’s D apart. Most are no doubt, concentrating on the secondary. Predictions on the offense hinge on Cam Newton. but according to the press, other than Steve Smith, the Panthers don’t have a WR that would even recognize the football if it were thrown at them.
    The point I’m trying to make here is that expectations for the Offense range from so so, to probable disaster, depending on who’s prognostications you believe. Nobody I’ve read has had much to say about the additions to the offense or to the maturation of the draft picks from years gone by, mainly because they’ve had nothing to base those opinions on. Because of the atmosphere of pessimism created, I wouldn’t be surprised of this year’s surprises come from the Offense.
    Star and Short may indeed have the ability to walk on water, Beason, Kuchely and Davis might stay healthy while Big Money and the Kracken may set an NFL record for sacks but the headlines usually go to the surprises.
    Wide receivers seem ripe for a breakout or two. Tight end, ditto. If our offensive lines holds up, Offense could steal the majority of the headlines this year
    Remember, this is the time of the year when 32 teams are headed for the Super Bowl. Show and tell begins in about 30 days when the rhetoric ends, the pads go on and everyone gets a reality check. Two months from now, the Annual NFL 16 game trek toward the Superbowl begins. I like the Panthers, being a fan has always been easy for me, win or lose,
    Personally , I’m still glad Carolina gets a chance to participate!. I wish them well they’ve worked hard and they deserve a season we can all be proud of.. .

    • Catman

      Some great insights, Perry. Perhaps you might enjoy my article posted a month ago – – It details how I think the O should “go.” – Ken Dye

    • Tony Cardwell

      Wow thanks Perry! I plan on putting up two more Redeem Team stories on the offense and the coaching staff, so that’s why I included them in the beginning but failed to mention them later on. As for the surprises, I meant only the secondary should surprise, not the entire unit, I’m sure we all know what the D-Line and Linebackers are capable of.

      Stay tuned for the other posts, I’m sure you would enjoy them, and thanks again for the insightful comment!

  • ahrcshaw

    There is no question big media skips the Panthers, except for criticism. This team has the makings of a great team, all that is needed is for the parts to be put together and 3 is the charm for Mr Rivera and crew.

    I believe the concept for the team has been reestablished as a tough team on both offense and defense. Not so much 3yds and let the dust settle, but determined to set the tone of the game tough. The offense will be divided into power running and action pass’s with the attitude of Stop me if you Can. the young players will step in and do their part while the vets shine in their new found glory. The defense will set the tone with setting a toll charge for anyone entering their area, a no trespassing zone. It will make the iron curtan of the old Pitsburg line look like it was a protable makeshift fense.

    When anyone looks at this Panther roster one on one they will have to see the quality of Players in almost all posititions. Compare any offense to it or any defense and the Panthers come out on top. Injuries will tell the tale, but not as much this year as it has in the past, yet any major player injury is a deterent. Last years team rose above it and this years team will scale it, this team is primed.

    The questionable and missing factor will be the Coaching, the proper game plan, changes when necessary, motivation, proper player usage, agressive but on the safe side. I believe Rivera and crew is finally going to utilize Cam, and all the teammates because that is what wins games when everyone contributes his best. No more excuses, just hardrock football at its best, the Panther way. Go Panthers.