5 things the Carolina Panthers must learn from Week 2 loss vs. Saints

There was once again a lot to unpack from Week 2's loss.

Jeremy Chinn
Jeremy Chinn / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers plan for Jeremy Chinn?

Jeremy Chinn became a fan favorite after his rookie season. A second-round pick in 2020, he burst onto the scene as a hybrid safety-linebacker making plays all over the field.

It was evident that his most comfortable and suitable alignment in the league was closer to the line of scrimmage. Whether that was as a situational safety, full-time safety, or linebacker – coaches didn’t seem to have a firm grasp on the predicament.

Cue Ejiro Evero as Chinn’s new defensive coordinator. Much talk during this offseason was how the Carolina Panthers weren't detailing exactly how they planned to deploy the roving playmaker, but that he’d be all over the place and they were incredibly excited about what he brings to the field.

Chinn played 27 snaps on Monday Night, good for 35 percent of defensive plays. In all fairness, he did play 73% of the snaps in Week 1. But that may be the biggest indicator of a question still needing to be answered.

What is the plan for Chinn in Carolina? From an opponent standpoint, you’re not going to face a plethora of Falcons’ style offensive approaches. Atlanta wants to run the ball a thousand times a game, and that allows the Southern Illinois product to be on the field more. Great.

But the Saints threw the ball 36 times and Chinn saw his usage drop dramatically. And New Orleans isn’t a creative, ultra-dangerous type of offensive team either.

If this defense is having a hard time finding opportunities for him to be on the field in that type of game, he may not see a ton of action without it being considered detrimental to the team’s success.

Now, maybe with Shaq Thompson’s absence, we could see Chinn play a bit more in the linebacker position. However, if he can’t get the bulk of the defensive snaps – is it worth exploring what his trade value might be currently before we plummet it by not playing him?

This team has holes on the offensive side, and they should be driven to support Bryce Young as much as possible. Without a first-round pick in next year’s draft, could an asset like Chinn be a sweetener on a deal to land an impact player or a high-round draft pick?

If that’s a tick premature, that’s fair. And it’s not that I personally feel like it needs to happen. But he’s going to be up for a new deal next season and a decision will need to be made by that time to avoid another hasty contract situation with a star defensive player.

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