Carolina Panthers DC Ejiro Evero keen to keep everyone guessing
By Dean Jones
Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero is keen to keep everyone guessing ahead of his first campaign with the organization in 2023.
Acquiring defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero took a lot of money and plenty of convincing this offseason. Thankfully, this was something Frank Reich and David Tepper managed to put together with minimal fuss.
Evero is widely regarded as one of the brightest young coaches in the business. He was interviewed for the Panthers head coaching gig and others during the latest cycle, so another impressive campaign in a different environment might be enough to convince an organization he's worthy of the top job.
The coordinator is inheriting a young, hungry defense that became an area of strength last season. While they faltered down the stretch, it was encouraging overall and something Evero can no doubt build upon throughout the current preparation period.
There is a lot of hard work ahead. Evero is transitioning to a 3-4 base scheme with multiple nickel alignments depending on the situation, which many on the Panthers aren't used to having been primarily involved in 4-3 systems since joining the team.
Ejiro Evero praises commitment within Carolina Panthers
When asked about how everything was unfolding on Tuesday, Evero kept things pretty close to his chest. However, he did reveal via Augusta Stone from Panthers.com that his players were doing things far differently than under the previous regime.
"We've seen great improvement from the first day of that first time going on the field for veteran minicamp until now. We're just going to continue to push through and get better, players and coaches. These guys are doing a lot of different things, technically and fundamentally, than they've done in the past. And we're really just focused in on that. We're not worried about depth charts or anything like that. We're just trying to get better."- Ejiro Evero via Panthers.com
Evero has a point about it being very early in the process. New signings are still acclimatizing, coaches are familiarizing themselves with players, and the rookies also underwent their own bedding-in weekend at the team's recent minicamp.
This means information is still being processed and players are vying for positions. Although a few established stars are already cemented into Evero's plans to take Carolina's progressive young defense up another notch.
The coordinator continued his coy approach to answering questions throughout Tuesday's media availability. When discussing where he plans to utilize Jeremy Chinn heading into a contract year, Evero was noncommital while stating how important having a weapon like the former second-round pick could be in the grand scheme of things.
"We think very highly of him. I think he's a heck of a player. He's a weapon that we're definitely going to try to utilize. And I know he's an asset for us to have."- Ejiro Evero via Panthers.com
It'll be fascinating to see how the defensive dynamic develops during OTAs and when the time comes to descend on Spartanburg for training camp. Players should be hanging on Evero's every word up over the summer and with Carolina's offense set to make strides, there promises to be more balance when the time to begin their regular season exploits arrives.
And if everything goes well, Evero's stay in Carolina will be a short one.