4 intriguing developments from Carolina Panthers 2024 OTAs

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Dave Canales
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Carolina Panthers defense benefitting from familiarity

To compensate for the Carolina Panthers losing several established stars on defense, defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero was given the luxury of hand-picking players he's worked with previously. The progressive coach opted to stick around under Dave Canales after narrowly missing out on two head coaching jobs. He can ill afford this unit to regress in pursuit of going one better during the 2025 cycle.

Having these familiar faces come into the fold keeps some semblance of continuity. While they might not have the prowess of departures such as Frankie Luvu and Brian Burns, having the pre-acquired knowledge of Evero's schematic concepts and demands should ensure they transition smoothly into a different environment.

This was a sentiment echoed by linebacker Josey Jewell. While the free-agent signing admitted there's been a short period of adjustment centered on getting to know new people, knowing Evero's creative 3-4 base system has made the process smoother based on comments via USA Today Sports.

"Coming back to this type of defense with Coach E and Pete [Hansen] and some other guys, it’s been awesome. These last couple of weeks have been great to get to know the guys, feel each other out a little bit, communicate and really just be able to move and understand where people are gonna be. So it’s been very valuable for us. I mean, I’m already coming to a bunch of new things. New players to play with, new people upstairs. So to have the familiarity with some of the coaching staff is amazing for me. And picking up the old lingo we used to have in Denver is big. Gives me a step up from where I’d be with the coaching staff I haven’t been with."

Josey Jewell via USA Today Sports

Jewell is expected to man the defensive second-level interior alongside Shaq Thompson. The Panthers also spent third and seventh-round selections on Trevin Wallace and Michael Barret respectively to solidify depth. Much will depend on health, but there's a good chance this starting duo can provide the production and veteran leadership needed in 2024.

Hopefully, this can provide the spark that keeps Carolina's defense competitive.