4 changes that could instantly improve the Panthers’ defense

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Stephen Weatherly
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Stephen Weatherly /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Carolina Panthers defense /

What changes could instantly improve the Carolina Panthers’ defense?

Things have been steadily improving for the Carolina Panthers from a defensive standpoint this season. A young and inexperienced unit struggled in the face of some stern challenges over the first few games, but an increased familiarity with one another has led to some improved production in recent weeks.

This might not be coming with positive results, but it has been an encouraging aspect to take from the season so far. Defensive coordinator Phil Snow is calling plays at the next level for the first time and seems to be adjusting well after some complications during his initial period of transition.

Carolina is in the midst of a four-game losing run. But they are very competitive and probably deserve something a little bit better than a 3-6 record through nine weeks. It’s been a good start to what is a substantial rebuild and with a few tweaks here and there during the offseason, they must just be in a position to challenge in 2021.

There have been some glaring deficiencies on defense that are there for all to see. Here are four possible changes that would instantly improve the unit between now and the season’s conclusion.

1. Stop using so much soft zone coverage

One of the main reasons why the Panthers are struggling to get off the field is their soft zone coverage scheme. Phil Snow has implemented this frequently during the campaign with little success and it’s got to the point where teams are fully aware of the areas they can exploit.

Using this coverage scheme is all well and good when you’re getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. But Carolina simply isn’t doing this well enough and they’re paying the price on the backend.

Whether Snow’s confidence in the secondary options at his disposal is causing this complication is up for debate. The group has played well overall, but there doesn’t appear much in the way of belief from their defensive coordinator to install man coverage in critical situations.