May 30, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short walks to the practice field before the start of practice held at the Carolina Panthers practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers: Benefits of Signing Quintin Mikell

Coach Ron Rivera has confirmed that the Carolina Panthers have a level of interest in Quintin Mikell. The 32-year-old, with his high cap number (close ten million dollars) and the Rams were forced to part ways despite the safety having had a career year. Last season with the Rams he managed to accumulate 101 tackles and 3 sacks, both career highs. He did not manage a single interception but did manage to force 4 fumbles. Not a bad year.

December 23, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; St. Louis Rams free safety Quintin Mikell (27) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Quintin Mikell is best against the run.That being said, against the pass, he would be a huge improvement over Nakamura and his six-inch vertical leap. If he is signed by Carolina, Mikell would step into the Panther’s facility as the best defensive back on the roster. He would be paired with Charles Godfrey as the opening day safeties. His addition along with the experienced Drayton Florence could provide invaluable leadership and on-field instruction to the young defensive backfield in Carolina. Mikell is not a long-term solution to the Panthers secondary concerns, but he will be of value to Carolina in more ways than just his play on the field. He will be a great addition for this year and perhaps next. This would buy the team some time to discover whether or not the future of the position is on the roster or yet to be acquired. With a total of 14 defensive backs on the roster, it’s safe to say the Panthers are gonna take a long hard look to see who steps up and separates themselves from the rest of the pack.

Quintin Mikell will best help Carolina versus the run. By limiting the opponents success running the ball, Carolina would force teams to throw it. This could be a good thing. I know, I know. You’re thinking, Bress and Ryan, them throwing the ball being a good thing? Well if defensively Carolina can stop the run, it will allow the defense to pin its ears back and get after the quarterback. Anytime a defense is able to force an offense to become one-dimensional it benefits the defense and can allow for creativity and focus in bringing pressure. If the Panthers are able to do this, it will allow Coach Rivera to use the 3-4 defense to disguise blitzes. This could lead to more pressure, hurried throws, interceptions and sack-fumbles. More turnovers caused by this Panther defense would translate to more wins for this club.

With the addition of Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short we should see a significant improvement in the push of Carolina’s pass rush from the middle of the pocket. No longer will offenses have to worry about the Kraken and Big Money only, they now have concerns in the middle of the defensive line. This should allow more havoc wreaking opportunities for our defensive ends.

This should be seen as a must for the Panthers to sign Mikell.  He is only a short-term answer, but he is one of the best available.  Next season the position of safety must be addressed for this team to continue improving. Whether by draft or free agency, Carolina has to find the right man for this job.

God Bless!

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