Carolina Panthers Week 1 roster prediction – Defense
Who suits up for the Carolina Panthers defense on Week 1 this season?
Carolina Panthers full team workouts are currently underway as phase one of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) begins. While voluntary, much of the team is in place as coaches get their first glimpse at a defense being reconstructed to pressure the quarterback more effectively.
Two seasons ago the Panthers ranked third overall in the league with 50 sacks before registering just 35 last season. The 30-percent decrease dropped Carolina into the bottom fourth of the NFL and signaled a need to revamp the pass rush, even before future Hall of Fame candidate Julius Peppers retired.
His loss led to a first-round pick of Brian Burns, a hybrid defensive end out of Florida State, who can not only play from the defensive line but at linebacker as well. The shift to more 3-4 fronts in 2019 is expected and shades of the transition were on display during rookie camp a few weeks ago.
A move expected to impact the roster and defensive play calls, a task taken over by coach Ron Rivera midway through last year and continuing this season. Hopefully the move results in more consistent production both at the line of scrimmage and in the defensive backfield moving forward.
Continue to see current projections for the defense ahead of training camp and preseason games.