3 silver linings from the Carolina Panthers 2023 season so far

It hasn;t been all bad...

Derrick Brown
Derrick Brown / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers DT Derrick Brown has been stellar

The Carolina Panthers don't have many franchise cornerstones to speak of. They traded away two - Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore - with rookie quarterback Bryce Young's development being severely mismanaged by a front office and coaching staff coming in for severe criticism.

For all the team's struggles, one cannot be anything other than impressed by the way Derrick Brown is going about his business. The former first-round selection has transitioned seamlessly to a 3-4 defensive end under Ejiro Evero, becoming a dominant force against the run and making his presence felt in obvious pass-rushing situations for good measure.

Looking beyond the numbers is key when examining Brown's influence. He might not fill up the stat sheet like Chris Jones, for example, but that doesn't detract from what an integral piece of Carolina's puzzle he's become over the last two seasons.

Brown's crowning jewel from his 2023 season efforts came last time out against the Dallas Cowboys. The Auburn product had his way with perennial All-Pro and future Pro Football Hall of Famer Zack Martin, bullying the interior offensive lineman throughout another polished display in defeat.

If the Panthers had any sense, they'd get Brown extended as a matter of urgency this offseason. But considering how they've handled the contract situation with stud edge rusher Brian Burns, fans shouldn't hold their breath.