5 key observations from second Carolina Panthers practice in Charlotte

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shi Smith
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shi Smith /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jermaine Carter /

Jermaine Carter named Carolina Panthers MLB1

Shortly after practice, Matt Rhule named Jermaine Carter as the starting middle linebacker for the Carolina Panthers in 2021. The player had been taking the majority of first-team reps at the position throughout training camp, but it’s a significant confidence boost to the fifth-round selection entering a contract year.

This is the opportunity Carter’s been waiting for since entering the league. But there were plenty of questions surrounding his long-term future with the Panthers this time last year.

Carter got off to a bad start with head coach Matt Rhule. There was a clear personality clash between the two and the player only introduced himself to the lineup thanks to some dismal form from free-agent signing Tahir Whitehead.

His production was hugely impressive over the second half of the campaign. Something that didn’t go unnoticed by the coaching staff.

Despite the Panthers bringing in Denzel Perryman from the Los Angeles Chargers, the interior at the second level is now Carter’s to command.

Steve Smith called Carter “the new leader on defense” on Saturday. This was followed by Rhule declaring him as one of the team’s most talented playmakers.

It’s been quite a week for Carter, who is richly deserving of the plaudits coming his way.