Panthers News: Dalvin Cook, Kyle Pitts, Shi Smith and Ejiro Evero

Shi Smith
Shi Smith / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers DC Ejiro Evero's impact

Obviously, there is a lot of spotlight on the offense with the introduction of head coach Frank Reich and the decision to draft Bryce Young at No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. But as the old saying goes, defense wins championships.

The Panthers also made a significant investment in this critical area of play during the offseason. Ejiro Evero came in as defensive coordinator at great expense, which could be his final destination before attaining a head coaching position during the next cycle.

When examining recent assistant hires that could make the biggest impact, Evero landed at No. 3 on Jeffri Chadiha of's list. And the respected columnist is confident Carolina's switch to a 3-4 base scheme can make all the difference.

"[Ejiro] Evero now takes over a Panthers defense that has talented, young players in the right spots -- like edge rusher Brian Burns, safety Jeremy Chinn and cornerback Jaycee Horn -- and the free-agent acquisition of safety Vonn Bell should make the unit even better. Evero is a disciple of former Broncos head coach and current Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, so that means he's looking to forge a ball-hawking secondary and relentless pressure up front. He has the tools to create such chaos in Carolina, and the Panthers might be holding the division crown if he succeeds."

Jeffri Chadiha,

If Evero provides the spark that ignites Carolina's defense to bigger things next season, then an NFC South title is well within reach. It's also likely to guarantee his stay in Charlotte will be short.