Carolina Panthers: Julius Who? Beason-Lead D Shows Team Can Succeed Without DE

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Carolina Panthers: Julius Who? Beason-Lead D Shows Team Can Succeed Without DE
Mary Ann Chastain/Getty Images
Everette Brown and the Panthers defensive line takes on a huge challenge replacing Julius Peppers, who signed with the Chicago Bears during the offseason after spending his first eight seasons with the team.

During the offseason, the Carolina Panthers lost their franchise-best defensive player, Julius Peppers, to the Chicago Bears.

In a move that wasn't expected to happen for a couple years, Carolina's chances at a winning record this season seemed to completely fall.

I was one of the very few people that felt like it was a move that would only improve the Panthers, as Peppers sends himself and his lack of work-ethic and motivation to Chicago.

Along with Peppers, Carolina sent starting defensive tackles Ma'ake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis packing, as they signed with new teams, leaving Carolina with new starters Everette Brown, Charles Johnson, Louis Leonard and Tank Tyler on the defensive line.

In three preseason games, Carolina has a combined total of 18 sacks. Their defensive line has looked just as good as any in the NFL, lead by Peppers-replacement Everette Brown, rookie Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson.

Peppers, on the other hand, has two sacks this preseason.

Although I am not a big believer in preseason games, this Panthers defensive line has looked incredible during these three games. 

With the Rotation of Everette Brown, Charles Johnson, Tyler Brayton, rookie Greg Hardy and Eric Moore at defensive end, I see Panther fans forgetting who Julius Peppers even is.

The player who has put the biggest impression on me during the preseason is rookie defensive end Greg Hardy.

The sixth-round pick out of Ole Miss has put up a strong performance this preseason, recording three sacks.

At 6'4", 277 pounds, Hardy has reminded quite a few of former Panther Julius Peppers. He was once considered a high-first round pick before injuries and his attitude became an issue, resulting in him slipping to the sixth round.

This should be an exciting football season for Carolina, and with one more preseason game left, we will get a last look at these defensive ends until the 53-man roster cuts begin. 

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