With so much talk of wide receivers and offensive lineman this offseason, one would think that the Carolina Panthers have forgotten about all about the secondary. Among the players that Carolina lost or let go of this offseason was Captain Munnerlyn, one of the best defensive players the Panthers had available. This hurt the secondary and will assuredly set back the team in the future. Especially since the only player the Panthers have really brought in to help their secondary is the aging Roman Harper.
However, the real question becomes, despite their secondary notably being worse than last year’s, do the Panthers have need to worry? Truthfully, the answer is no. The 2013 Panthers were not a team that was known for its offensive prowess (as their passing offense was one of the worst in the league) and they depended on stops, turnovers and good field position to earn wins. As of right now, it appears that is Dave Gettleman’s plan again. Admittedly, it’s not a bad one.
With so little movement put towards the secondary, it seems as if the Panthers’ organization is hoping that the stellar front seven will hold down the fort and raise the defense to last year’s glory. This may seem like a risky plan of action, but it actually is a good move for the Panthers. Carolina needs to focus their energy on rebuilding a lackluster offense, where there are many more faults than positives.
In order to make up for the lost players, the Panthers are going to need to take both an offensive lineman and solid wide receiver in the upcoming NFL Draft. While they may take a cornerback in the later rounds, odds are the Panthers do not have the resources to bring in a top pick secondary player. As such, they are putting their stock in the defensive front seven, which has more than proven it’s worth. Their linebackers are stellar and the defensive line remains largely in tact. By not putting so much stock in the secondary, the Panthers are allowing themselves to focus on signing a much needed receiver as well as a solid tackle.
The secondary may not be where the Panthers (and fans) want it, but the front seven is so solid, that the Panthers can trust in them to anchor the defense, which will give the organization to focus on their real need, the offense.