Chase Blackburn is one of the most underrated defensive players in the NFL, and his move from the New York Giants to the Carolina Panthers is something that is definitely noteworthy. Blackburn spent eight years with the Giants, so it’s going to be a little different seeing him with something other than an NY on his helmet.
Nonetheless, the Panthers have found a great player in Blackburn. Many think that this Panthers linebacker corps is set with names like John Beason and Luke Kuechly, but those two lack something that is extremely important to a winning team–the experience of making tackles when it matters most. While many of the players on the Panthers have never even sniffed the postseason, Blackburn won two world championships with the Giants and was a big reason they dethroned the New England Patriots in 2011. In fact, the veteran linebacker reeled in 30 tackles in the 2011 postseason with a crucial interception of Tom Brady on Super Bowl Sunday.
Blackburn is going to give the Panthers defense a much needed veteran dimension and with James Anderson leaving for the Chicago Bears, this move was more necessary than ever. If Carolina fans are even half as impatient as I am they too have grown tired of Beason missing game after game, but still being proclaimed as one of the best linebackers in the league. Get real, Beason has missed 27 games in the last two seasons and is a shell of himself at age 28.
This signing is going to give a young and advantageous Panthers defense a force of a linebacker who can mix it up on the defensive line and make plays in the secondary. Head Coach Ron Rivera is on the hot seat and if this move pans out the seat could be cooled by late December.