Week 4 spotlight: Matt Paradis making amends after poor 2019

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Paradis
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Paradis /

Matt Paradis is enjoying a renaissance with the Carolina Panthers during the 2020 season so far.

There is plenty riding on the 2020 season for Matt Paradis. The center is looking to prove people wrong after a disappointing series of performances last time out for the Carolina Panthers and the veteran has gotten off to a positive start.

Paradis has provided the Carolina Panthers with much-improved interior protection through three weeks of the campaign. This is a stark contrast from what we saw in 2019, which was littered with poor play and a distinct lack of cohesion at the line of scrimmage.

This had plenty to do with the lack of production around him, but someone with Paradis’ experience should have been better.

The Panthers gave him a three-year $29 million deal in 2019 to prise him away from the Denver Broncos. Things didn’t go according to plan during his first year with the franchise. But his encouraging turnaround in form has been welcome and necessary in equal measure.

Matt Paradis needs to keep up this level of play for the Carolina Panthers

It has been a tremendous start from the offensive line overall. They have two bookend tackles in Taylor Moton and Russell Okung, but the likes of John Miller and Michael Schofield have been less prolific from the guard positions.

Chris Reed came into a starting role in favor of Schofield during their Week 3 win at the Chargers and performed well. Dennis Daley is also back at practice and looks set to make a return in the not-too-distant future after missing every game so far, which would be another major boost.

Another element to Paradis’ contribution that shouldn’t be overlooked is his communication with new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The pair have developed superb chemistry in such a short space of time and this has limited mistakes and made both players more aware of what is occurring on the line of scrimmage pre-snap.

The former Boise State standout hasn’t given up and sack or a penalty from 191 snaps this season. His play so far has earned a 60.4 grade from Pro Football Focus and, more importantly, installed confidence in Paradis that simply wasn’t there during his first season in Carolina.

The lineman will have his hands full this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals, who boast Corey Peters as the nose tackle in their 3-4 base scheme.

Peters is a formidable presence to move off the block who can make his presence felt in a three-down role. The former third-round pick already has two sacks to his name in 2020 and how Carolina handles him on the interior is going to play a huge role in whatever success comes their way.

It is early days, but things look far more promising for Paradis after three weeks than it did at any stage of 2019 or the preseason.

Hopefully, for the player and the Panthers, this is a sign of things to come. Paradis is one of the few remaining veterans on the roster after wholesale changes this offseason and it is a responsibility he has clearly taken on with resilience and determination.

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There is a long way to go. But even the biggest Paradis critic would have to admit they have been pleasantly surprised by what they’ve seen from the player during the initial stages of the season.