Today, the subject is the Carolina Panthers.
Biggest Strength: Running Back
Anytime you have two thousand-yard rushers, you know you have something special. This was a tough call between the offensive line and the rushers, but in the end I went with the running backs.
DeAngelo Williams is a pretty quick rusher who excels when he gets his one-on-one with outside linebackers or corners. Williams often has a series of jukes to fake them out, and he also has a knack for breaking tackles in bunches.
If I were the opposing team preparing for him, I'd make him run up the middle by surrounding the outside.
Jonathan Stewart is another good running back. Stewart runs with a low center of gravity, and has above-average vision.
The bruiser breaks more tackles than his counterpart, but isn't as quick.
The combo of slasher and bruiser is perfect at keeping the defense off balance.
Neither of them makes much of an impact receiving, with them combining for 31 receptions a year ago.
The third string guy is Mike Goodson. He likely won't get much playing time behind Williams and Stewart, but he makes a solid contribution on special teams.
Other Strengths: OT, C, MLB, CB
Biggest Weakness: Defensive Tackle
This position was a disaster last year too.
Neither Nick Hayden nor Louis Leonard have much experience. Carolina ranked in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards allowed.
Hayden is a player who is more of a high energy type of guy, who needs to work a lot on his technique.
He's a little undersized for a three technique, also. Hayden is not much of a pass rusher, generating only one sack in 10 games.
Louis Leonard will be playing the one technique (nose guard). Not much video is available, as he broke his ankle Week Two, and was out the rest of the season. He did have one sack before going down.
Tank Tyler and Corey Irvin figure to be a part of the rotation at nose guard and three technique respectively.
Other Weaknesses: WR, TE, G, DE, OLB,
This is the fifth of a 32-part series where I examine the biggest strength and weakness of every NFL team heading to training camp. To view prevous editi ons:
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