Week nine is living up to its complicated expectations for the Carolina Panthers. In week eight, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera announced what was to be “an evaluation process” for his staff coming on the heels of the termination of general manager Marty Hurney early last week.
Carolina’s most recent fourth quarter collapse on Sunday at the hands of the Chicago Bears doesn’t help anyone’s cause and that includes Rivera.
However, Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott made a case for himself as to why he should be let off the hook for Sunday’s let down, despite the fact that it was his defense that allowed the Bears to trot down the field with ease and punch in the game winning field goal.
When speaking to the media on Monday, McDermott ran his own defensive scheme stating, “Two hundred ten total yards, six sacks, three takeaways, in my history in the NFL you win those games. And that’s why it’s gut-wrenching to see the performance defensively that those guys put on the field. To not come away with a win is tough for the third week in a row.”
McDermott makes a strong argument on his own behalf. His guys did show up and played with tremendous effort in week eight. Carolina got pressure on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler all afternoon long and forced Chicago to make mistakes.
In the end, McDermott has proved able to adapt as the season has gone along. His defense hasn’t shown up every week by any stretch. Let’s not forget Thursday night’s week three debacle in prime-time. Though, Carolina’s defense has made key adjustments with season ending injuries to linebacker Jon Beason and cornerback Chris Gamble. Adjustments most teams wouldn’t be able to make; McDermott hasn’t let the defense crumble because of injuries.
With the Panthers enduring yet another late game melt down this past Sunday, McDermott’s defensive game plan still seems to be working.
So, even though Carolina’s poor coverage cost them late against the Bears, McDermott should be let off the hook for at least one more week.
Robert Kester, Carolina Panthers Columnist. Contact @robertkester1.