4 big threats the Panthers must take seriously in Week 4 vs. Cardinals
By Preston Seyl
Carolina Panthers must account for Budda Baker
Budda Baker is one of the premier safeties in the league. He has the versatility to move into the box on running downs and is exceptional in coverage against tight ends or slot receivers for good measure.
Baker is a box-strong safety breaking havoc in the run game. The defensive back has three 80.0 plus run grades in his first five seasons according to Pro Football Focus, which is a testament to his high football IQ and instincts to be around the football consistently.
The Carolina Panthers will have to get the passing game going to force Baker into coverage and away from the line of scrimmage. Utilizing Christian McCaffrey if healthy and D.J. Moore prominently might make the former Washington standout think twice about taking certain risks.
Ben McAdoo and the rest of the offensive staff must have a good plan in place. One that should come with additional creativity after some bland route concepts and little pre-snap movement over the opening three contests.
Baker must be accounted for at all times. That job on the field falls to quarterback Baker Mayfield, who is under more pressure than most to deliver in the face of another outstanding defensive front seven.