With four starting-caliber linebackers on the roster in Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, James Anderson, and Jon Beason, are the Carolina Panthers considering mixing in a 3-4 scheme? It wouldn’t shock me.
That being said, a player named Charles Johnson was paid a ton of money to play defensive end a few years back, and would create financial havoc as I don’t see him standing up and succeeding.
Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said “That’s a very good question, when those four are healthy, there’s a chance we’ll experiment more with that. We’ve thrown a little bit of it out there, particularly on third down.”
McDermott doesn’t plan to overhaul the base 4-3 scheme that’s been in place since he arrived in 2011, but he hopes to use some 3-4 looks in third-down situations. The reason? In addition to allowing four of the defense’s better players to see the field at the same time, pressuring out of a 3-4 scheme can be more varied, and create more confusion for a younger offense, and especially the team’s quarterback.
Health has been an issue for Beason for some time, as he is currently recovering from both knee and shoulder surgery during this off-season. And until the 2012 campaign, staying healthy was also a recurring issue for Davis, who unfortunately tore his right anterior cruciate ligament a surprising three times in less than two years.