3 reasons the Panthers could surpass preseason expectations in 2021

Dean Jones
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /

A young and hungry defense

As the old saying goes, defense wins championships.

And the Carolina Panthers might have one of the league’s more dynamic units if everyone reaches the level expected in 2021.

This is primarily down to some notable additions made by the Panthers that should solidify a group that made some pleasing strides as the 2020 season went on.

The likes of Jaycee Horn, DaQuan Jones, Denzel Perryman, and Haason Reddick should all make their presence felt right from the outset, with players such as Morgan Fox, A.J. Bouye, Daviyon Nixon, and Keith Taylor Jr. further strengthening their options.

This will help established members of the roster considerably.

Donte Jackson, Brian Burns, and Derrick Brown could benefit most from the new signings, with Shaq Thompson getting that quality alongside him at the second level that was sorely lacking last time out following the shock retirement of legendary linebacker Luke Kuechly.

At the very least, defensive coordinator Phil Snow now has a lot more options he can use situationally.

But it’s vital the coach makes the most of it.

It’s hard to look at Carolina’s options moving forward and not be encouraged. There might be some initial growing pains once again, but if they can build on their production over the second half of the previous campaign, the sky is the limit.