Carolina Panthers can sell their talented defense
The Carolina Panthers and its long-suffering fanbase didn't have much to cheer this season. When one examines the wreckage of arguably the worst campaigns in franchise history, almost the entirety of the blame centers on the offensive side of the football.
Carolina's special teams unit was decent enough. It regressed a little once Chris Tabor became interim head coach, but that was to be expected given his coaching responsibilities took him away from the initial task at hand.
Perhaps the biggest positive of all was defensively. Ejiro Evero worked wonders with his unit in difficult circumstances. The defensive coordinator suffered some difficult injury losses and still managed to keep things ticking over encouragingly. Head coaching interest has come once again as a result, but the Panthers will do everything in their power to keep him around.
If the Panthers can extend Brian Burns and Frankie Luvu, they have some core foundational defensive pieces. Derrick Brown played at an All-Pro level. Jaycee Horn is an exceptional man-cover cornerback when healthy. Their safety tandem of Xavier Woods and Vonn Bell provides stability on the backend.
Ben Johnson's background is offensive, but it takes all three phases to be successful. That's why the defensive core - especially if Evero sticks around as coordinator - could be a strong selling point during their pivotal upcoming meeting on Friday.