5 critical observations from Carolina Panthers-NY Jets joint practice No. 1

It was time for the Carolina Panthers to test their mettle against Gang Green.
Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers defense ends the day on a high note

Let me be clear, I was too far away from seeing how the Carolina Panthers' defense performed. However, according to local media reports and observations from my colleague Ricky Raines and other content creators, there was some inconsistency from the group, including plenty of would-be penalties.

Maybe the loss of Frankie Luvu, who Frank Reich said had tweaked something minor, contributed to the struggles. Yet, there was no quit and plenty of competitiveness as the defense ended strong during a small scrimmage near the end of practice.

Ejiro Evero’s defense forced two three-and-outs, including a practice-sealing interception against Zach Wilson by defensive MVP of training camp, linebacker Kamu Gruiger-Hill.

Grugier-Hill has had a terrific camp and it continued today. While he might not be the starter, Carolina could be in good hands should Luvu go down with an injury - *knock on wood*. He’s a linebacker that moves very well and shows the physicality to wade through the trash around the line of scrimmage. 

Edge rusher Brian Burns and defensive lineman Derrick Brown - Carolina’s two defensive stars up front - were all over quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the first defensive series. Nose tackle Marquan McCall, defensive tackle Shy Tuttle, and new signee Justin Houston also created pressure with ample coverage from guys like Keith Taylor and C.J. Henderson on the boundary - both of whom have shown improvements in practice these last couple of weeks.

I can’t wait to see what Evero deploys on defense this season and we’ll be getting our first look on Saturday. Although he won't be giving too much away.