Cole still helping Carolina Panthers


When you think of the defense for the Carolina Panthers, who do you think of first?  Is it Luke?  Is it Star?  What about Thomas and Kawann?  Or, is the first defensive player that comes to your mind someone like Charles Tillman, who was signed this offseason?

Yes, there are many different players who immediately come to mind when thinking of the stellar defense the Carolina Panthers continually put on the field.  However, very few fans mention defensive tackle Colin Cole as the first player who comes to mind when asked about the defense of the Carolina Panthers.  But, Cole plays a valuable part on the defensive line.

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Being 35 years old, Cole is the oldest player on the team, however, he is not the one who has been in the league for the most time.  Cole is entering his 11th season, while Charles Tillman leads the way entering his 13th season and Dwan Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery are both entering their 12th season.  You would think being Cole is the oldest player, he would have been the longest tenured, but he did not play for two seasons after an ankle injury in 2011 put him on the shelf until the Panthers signed Cole for the start of the 2013 season.

The two years Cole was away from the game has kept his legs fresh for his age, which benefits the Panthers defensive line.  Coming into training camp, the Panthers currently have eight defensive tackles on the roster, with himself and three others – Dwan Edwards, Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short – projected to take a majority of the snaps.

Over his career, Cole has 261 total tackles, 5.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble.  In addition, his massive size at 6’2″ and 325 lbs. allows for this foursome to be one of the most feared defensive tackle groups in the NFL when thinking about havoc caused for the opposing offense.

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Cole might be the oldest, but he is one whose name should be one very fan has in their mind when asked to name a player on the defense of the Panthers.  The reason why – Cole’s team tenacity and purpose to continually making sure he brings a positive nature to the team, as he states

“When you don’t have a purpose, generally speaking, life typically ends for you.”