Improving Front Seven Could Offset Iffy Carolina Panthers Secondary
The Carolina Panthers appear rather sold on the New York Giants‘ path to Super Bowl success that hit jackpot twice in the past decade. After firing general manager Marty Hurney the franchise continued adding to its strength on the defensive line in this past April’s draft, taking interior defensive lineman Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short in the first two rounds.
A defensive line bookended by arguably the league’s best passer pressure tandem in Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy, just received another heavy investment, which makes sense given that Carolina tabbed Dave Gettleman from the Giants’ personnel department as its new GM this offseason.
“I’ve seen what a feeding frenzy looks like. We had a game against Philadelphia a few years back where we had 12 sacks, and we had a game against Chicago where we sacked Cutler 10 times,” Gettleman said, via the Charlotte Observer. “I really believe in it. Can it mask issues in the secondary? Of course it does.”
“But honestly, as an evaluator the answer is often on your roster. The advantage we have is we watch all the practice tape and we watch game tape and see if a young man is ascending. We feel we have a couple of young kids who are ascending and we feel good about them.”
Luke Kuechly, the 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, should benefit greatly from the interior talent, while Thomas Davis and Jon Beason are two vets who have played at a Pro Bowl-level at times during their career.
The defensive back position still has not filled Chris Gamble‘s void with anyone close to his quality, while decent cornerback Captain Munnerlyn leads a rag-tag secondary with much left to prove. The Giants’ defensive model has not worked for everyone, but has produced two titles by placing a mediocre secondary behind a stifling d-line.
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