T.J. Green facing make-or-break training camp with the Panthers

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) T.J. Green
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) T.J. Green /

Defensive back T.J. Green is in the midst of a make-or-break training camp with the Carolina Panthers as he looks for a bigger role in 2020.

We are just 24 days away from the Carolina Panthers taking the field for their season opener. What comes next in the coming months for a new-look roster and coaching staff with little NFL experience is uncertain. But it is going to be must-watch either way.

New head coach Matt Rhule has a huge job on his hands both in the short and long-term. The Carolina Panthers allocated the former Baylor man a seven-year, $60 million deal to tempt him from the college level. But he must show signs of progression in difficult circumstances to avoid even more doubters going forward.

History dictates that college coaches do tend to struggle at the next level. You can count on one hand the number who went on to significant success. But it is clear Rhule has already earned the respect of his players with the way he has conducted himself during an unprecedented period.

Their offense has plenty of dynamic weapons for new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to call upon. And they will need to reach or even surpass their ceiling given the substantial concerns surrounding their defense.

Continuing our countdown feature ahead of the new season, we now turn our attention to Carolina’s No. 24. T.J. Green is a versatile defensive back that is looking for a more prominent role in the rotation. And he is being given every opportunity to shine during training camp.

T.J. Green is looking for a second chance with the Carolina Panthers.

Green was once a second-round selection by the Indianapolis Colts. His first two seasons in the league were less than adequate. And it did not take the organization long to move on from the player.

A short spell with the New Orleans Saints came in 2019. But Green was unable to make his presence felt before being claimed off waivers by the Panthers in Week 16.

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This gave him a short period to acclimatize to his new surroundings. Green is now getting an opportunity to stake a claim for one of the starting spots in the secondary. And he was seen slotted alongside No. 1 cornerback Donte Jackson during a drill that was live-streamed on Carolina’s social media.

It is hard to gauge what this really means. Rhule has already stated his desire to get everybody involved during camp with the lack of preseason games. Therefore, it could be just a case of Green getting his turn to work with the first unit.

There is a chance Green can become something more than a fringe player. The Panthers don’t a cemented option behind Jackson, Eli Apple, and fourth-round pick Troy Pride Jr. And whether the rookie is up to the task is still unknown until he enters at competitive setting at the next level.

The former Clemson Tiger boasts career stats of 90 combined tackles, 65 solo tackles, five quarterback hits, five tackles for loss, and three pass deflections. But it is hard to deny that this is a make or break training camp for Green as he looks to avoid the dreaded bust label.

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Green earned grades of 29.8 and 64.0 from Pro Football Focus from his first two years in the NFL. He has not seen a lot of the field since then due to injury. And this might be his final chance to forge a successful professional career before going on the free-agent scrapheap for good.