4 big differences to expect from the Panthers defense in 2021

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jaycee Horn
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jaycee Horn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Denzel Perryman /

More stability at the second level

Luke Kuechly’s production will never truly be replicated. Players like the perennial All-Pro who enjoyed a phenomenal eight-year career simply don’t come along every day.

However, the Carolina Panthers can get more stability from the linebacker position providing Phil Snow uses them in the right way next season.

Simply put, this would be massive progress on what the unit managed to attain the last time around.

The addition of Denzel Perryman in free agency is a significant one. His production for the Los Angeles Chargers was encouraging and if the Miami product can stay injury-free in a different environment, then expect to see some career numbers from the player in Carolina.

Perryman’s presence should also help Shaq Thompson, who proved beyond all doubt in 2020 that he needs a stable presence on the interior to maximize his production.

The former first-round pick was inconsistent last season – his first without Kuechly steering him on the right path. So Thompson needs to start repaying some faith after the Panthers decided to restructure rather than release the player this offseason.7

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Jermaine Carter’s influence should also progress from the other outside linebacker position. All this should be a solid base for improved production at the second level, which could be the missing piece on a defense that has a lot going for it next season.