Panthers welcome a new star to the secondary


The Carolina Panthers signed veteran Cortland Finnegan to help the secondary

Although today is the first day back to practice for the Carolina Panthers after defeating the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, does not mean the team, coaches and personnel have been sitting at home twiddling their thumbs.

No, the Panthers are looking for ways to improve, yes improve, on a defense that currently a top-two defense in the NFL.  Now that is scary for all remaining opponents on the Panthers’ schedule to think that the Panthers can actually improve on the defensive side of the ball.

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With the injury to Charles Johnson earlier this season, the Panthers upgraded their defense once already

Nov 26, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) runs the ball against Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen (69) during the first quarter of a NFL game on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

this year, trading with the Chicago Bears for defensive end Jared Allen.  An immediate impact from Allen was displayed on the field, but also in the locker room with his veteran knowledge and leadership.

So what move did the Panthers make now to improve their defense?  They signed 10-year nickel cornerback veteran, Cortland Finnegan to help the secondary.  Finnegan had claimed he retired in March, but since he never filled out his retirement paperwork, he is still eligible to play in the NFL.

With veteran Charles “Peanut” Tillman still sidelined with a knee injury, Finnegan provides an immediate upgrade at the nickel position.  However, Finnegan knows that just because he is a veteran who has 18 career interceptions and has proven his worth in the league, he still has to come in as being the new guy.

“These guys, for 18 or 20 weeks, have been putting it in, including training camp,” Finnegan said. “I’m the new guy on the block so I have to come in here and work hard because they’ve done a great job up to this point.”

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Plus, the Panthers are welcoming Finnegan with open arms

“Any time you can add a guy of Finnegan’s experience at this point in the year, you’re excited about it,” Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. “He plays our style of football – an aggressive up-tempo attacking style of football on the defensive side.”

Yes, this defense could now be better than it has been.  Scary, right?