4 worst-case scenarios for the Panthers at training camp in 2021

(John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr.
(John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr. /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jermaine Carter /

Carolina Panthers LBs don’t gel

Not having Luke Kuechly completely in command of the second level on defense was something that was sorely missed by the Carolina Panthers. And not unexpected when one considers how much the perennial All-Pro gave to the organization over an exceptional eight year career.

The Panthers recognized the need to get better in this region. One that brought around some big-time complications in the immediate aftermath of Kuechly’s shock retirement.

Denzel Perryman arrived in free agency from the Los Angeles Chargers and should bring a renewed sense of energy to the interior. His presence should also benefit veteran Shaq Thompson on the outside ahead of a do-or-die campaign for the player’s long-term aspirations in Carolina.

Another player who’s expected to make a lasting contribution is Jermaine Carter, who made his presence felt over the second half of the campaign and has some extra motivation heading into a contract year.

Carolina also possess some useful edge defenders who could occupy outside linebacker duties in obvious pass-rushing situations, even though depth remains a little concerning behind the starting threesome.

This group needs to communicate well and gel at the earliest possible opportunity. The Panthers cannot afford another year of mediocrity from its linebacker corps.