Panthers News: Brian Burns, Miles Sanders, Ikem Ekwonu and Matt Ioannidis

Miles Sanders
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Carolina Panthers OLB Brian Burns' disruption assessed

One cannot overstate the importance of Brian Burns to the Carolina Panthers' chances of progress under the new coaching regime. The edge rusher remains the only consistent presence when it comes to generating pressure, although Frank Reich is hoping that will change despite not identifying the pass rush as a matter of urgency throughout the offseason.

Burns is awaiting a megabucks deal before the season gets underway. This is something the Panthers are almost obliged to provide thanks to the player's consistent upward trend, his emergence as a locker room leader, and the promise for even more improvements moving to a 3-4 outside linebacker in Ejiro Evero's system.

Nick Shook from Around the NFL used statistics compiled by Next Gen Stats to work out the top 10 disrupters from the 2022 season. Unsurprisingly, Burns was on the list at No. 9 and according to the writer, it's time people started paying more attention to the former Florida State standout.

"It’s about time we start giving Burns more attention because it’s very much overdue. Burns’ 2021 numbers were solid -- 48 QB pressures, 11.5% QB pressure rate, 37 hurries, nine sacks, two turnovers caused by pressure -- but 2022 was the season in which he officially cleared the bar to enter this group. Burns improved on each of those totals, save for TO-QBP, breaking double digits in sacks for the first time in his career. He maximized his 16 games played, receiving his second straight Pro Bowl selection."

Nick Shook, Around the NFL

It's not like Burns is going completely under the radar, but more notoriety should arrive when the Panthers start being more competitive. Something that could easily arrive in 2023 if everyone gets on the same page this summer.