What exactly do the Carolina Panthers have at LB in 2021?

Dean Jones
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Denzel Perryman
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Denzel Perryman /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Christian Miller /

Christian Miller – Carolina Panthers OLB

One big factor that is going relatively unnoticed is the return of Christian Miller onto the roster. The Carolina Panthers didn’t benefit from his talent last time out after the player opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 health concerns. So it’s still hard to tell exactly what the team has in the former Alabama standout.

Miller certainly caught the eye during his rookie season. But the problem he now has is impressing a coaching staff that wasn’t around when Carolina took the outside linebacker from the college ranks.

From a physical standpoint, Miller looks the part and seems to have bulked up a little in his time away from the Panthers. However, he’ll need to hit the ground running at training camp and during preseason games to earn a prominent spot on the rotation.

If Miller can raise his game accordingly, it will be like a new signing for Carolina.

Realistically speaking, it could go either way for Miller.

Depth at linebacker isn’t what one would call elite where the Panthers are concerned. So grasping this opportunity with both hands should lead to plenty of reps when competitive action begins.

It might take Miller some time to get himself up to speed. There is no substitute for in-game conditioning with the pads on and there is no margin for error in pursuit of a roster spot.