3 strongest positions on the Carolina Panthers roster in 2022

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Andre Roberts /

Carolina Panthers STs

Although the Carolina Panthers made some slight improvements on special teams last season, it was not enough for Chase Blackburn to keep his job. What’s followed this offseason leaves this key area of play among the team’s strongest providing everything comes together quickly.

The arrival of Chris Tabor as the team’s new special teams coordinator is a positive one. The respected figure has accumulated a wealth of success throughout his coaching career and this was arguably the best appointment Carolina could have made in the circumstances.

Zane Gonzalez’s outstanding consistency in 2021 earned the kicker a deserved extension and a welcome sense of continuity at a position that had been sorely lacking any sort of production since Graham Gano was allowed to walk.

Carolina also brought All-Decade punter Johnny Hekker into the fold, which represents a significant upgrade on anything the Panthers churned out at the position last time around. Their kick returning exploits also received a massive boost with the signing of former All-Pro Andre Roberts shortly after the 2022 NFL Draft.

Couple this with some young players blessed with exceptional speed, and things are finally looking up within the special teams unit. Being led by someone like Tabor is the icing on the cake.