Why Brian Burns’ evolution to defensive leader is now complete

Dean Jones
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Brian Burns
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Brian Burns on the Carolina Panthers defense

It’s hard not to look at the current options available to the Carolina Panthers on defense and not be excited. Their all-defensive draft in 2020 proved to be a smart move in the circumstances, with the likes of Derrick Brown, Yetur Gross-Matos, Jeremy Chinn, and Bravvion Roy all making their presence felt at various stages of their rookie campaigns.

Couple this with the talent already on the Panthers and the additions made this offseason, and this unit is going to be fun to watch and potentially one of the more explosive across the league.

This is a sentiment that is echoed by Brian Burns, who is now clearly the leader of the pack.

The edge rusher is clearly confident in his teammates making the necessary strides this summer in pursuit of potential dominance in 2021, something that comes with a great deal of excitement.

"“We’re up and running now. I don’t feel like a lot of things can stop us this year. I feel like we’re kind of complete now, to be honest. Hopefully we can put on a show this year with this defense,” he added later. I’m excited, as if you couldn’t tell. But as a defense, I just want to be completely dominant over the course of the season. I feel like we can do that now.”"

If the secondary improves, Carolina’s run defense makes more of an impression on games, and the linebacker corps benefits from the acquisition of Denzel Perryman from the Los Angeles Chargers as expected, the sky is the limit.

Burns is going to play a substantial role in any success that comes the Panthers’ way. The expectations are incredibly high not only within the team’s fanbase but also with the wider NFL community for the first time in his career.

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This is the national recognition Burns has been wanting. If it comes with another leap in numbers, then a possible playoff spot for the Panthers might not be far behind.