Carolina Panthers: Turning weaknesses into strengths this offseason
Deciding on a scheme
Aside from personnel decisions, the Panthers will have to decide if they want to remain using a 3-4 defense. The plan to continue with a 3-4 defense depends almost entirely on the return of all three anchors. The current host of options haven’t had a lot of success with that formation and the 4-3 formation didn’t work too well either, so these two decisions go hand in hand. We’ll likely see the extension or the release of one of the three original defensive line starters within the next month, and when we do it’ll shed some light on how the Panthers will proceed with the other two.
Then there’s everybody else. This offseason might come with some heartbreaking changes when it comes to the defensive end depth. Horton was a quietly productive player in the past who was brought back in week ten to help out, and Obada is a fan favorite with an inspiring story. They’ve both had their moments in the past, but have only been serviceable at best this year. If the Panthers decide to let Obada and Horton walk it could present an issue. The new depth will have to filled in either by mid-round draft prospects or free agents that fit the scheme and hit the market early. Favoritism and familiarity won’t cut it, especially not with the brass’ plan to steer away from mediocrity and the foggy future of the coaching staff.