4 Panthers players who need to step up against the Buccaneers

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Tre Boston
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Tre Boston /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Kawann Short /

Kawann Short – Carolina Panthers DT

It’s easy to forgive Kawann Short for a sub-par display in Week 1. The defensive tackle hadn’t seen a competitive snap in almost a year after his 2019 season ended with a trip to injured/reserve after just two games.

The Carolina Panthers are relying on their veteran Pro Bowler to produce the goods now he is back at full health. It was always going to take some time. But Short didn’t generate the pressure we became accustomed to seeing from the player before his torn rotator cuff.

Coming through the game at Bank of America Stadium unscathed will have done Short’s confidence a tremendous amount of good. Another positive was his partnership with No. 7 overall pick Derrick Brown, which prevented the Raiders from getting any notable rushing yards between the tackles.

There are some concerns surrounding the Buccaneers’ protection this season, which came to light against a formidable Saints’ defensive front last weekend. This could be something that Short and others can exploit, although they need to be quick as Tom Brady is renowned for getting the football out quickly with great success.

Short recorded just two tackles on opening weekend on his way to a modest 53.8 grade from Pro Football Focus. More will be needed from the defensive cornerstone in Week 2 and this should come with improved production.