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Secret Superstar: Greg Hardy


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#1 jtnc

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:14 PM

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Seizing an Opportunity

After the departure of both Tyler Brayton and Everette Brown in the offseason Hardy was left almost uncontested for the starting gig that he claimed opposite Charles Johnson under new head coach Ron Rivera. Only three defenders played more snaps for the Panthers last season and Hardy seized the chance to show his full range of skills in his 904 plays.

What he showed was an expanded version of his rookie season, flashes of brilliance but some infuriating inconsistency as well. Displays such as his seven-pressure game in Arizona during Week 1 and a phenomenal display against the Vikings in Week 8 give a tantalizing glimpse of the Panthers’ potential to have one of the best defensive end pairings in the league. But that excitement was tempered by his finish to the season and some dreadful performances in run defenses sprinkled throughout. After finishing 2011 with a grade of -6.7 in his final four games, you have to wonder whether the heavy workload was simply too much for him. Had he stopped in Week 13, his overall grade would have been a mightily impressive +12.9, a ranking around the Top 20 defensive ends in the league.

That can easily be remedied by spelling him more frequently, but what Hardy needs to work on from 2011 is setting the edge on defense against tight ends. Too often in 2011 he was easily sealed inside by tight ends and lead blockers, many of whom are far from exceptional at that job. At his size he should not be getting bullied by tight ends, but his inconsistent play on the edge was a contributing factor to the Panthers having one of the worst outside run defenses in the league last season. He has made plays in his first two seasons against quality edge blockers but the consistency has not been there as he has struggled to strike the balance between setting the edge and attacking the passer within a single performance.



The Next Step

Hardy is more than capable of making the strides necessary to give Carolina an outstanding pair of defensive ends. His eight batted passes were second to only Calais Campbell, more even than Jason Pierre-Paul during the regular season. His 33 QB hurries, albeit on a high number of snaps, were as many as the likes of Terrell Suggs, Dwight Freeney and Jared Allen. If he can only avoid hitting the wall he struck late last season and find that elusive balance between run defense and pass rush, he is primed to explode as a superstar defensive end, not only in his division, but league wide.


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#2 carolina-chuck

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:26 PM

Well let's hope he can achieve his full potential. He was one time considered a high first round prospect. We were lucky to steal him in the 6th round. Though, he's too inconsistent at times. Most of the times, he's invisible on the field. Sure, everyone has their own excitement of how good he has looked coming into this season, but let's hope he can develop much better this year than just by his physical looks. This should be his breakout year. I wanna see a double digit sack season. I trust Rivera will help develop this kid into a legit DE across from CJ.

#3 Montsta

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:27 PM

Maybe Rivera and Hurney noticed he got gassed a bit too and that's why they drafted Alexander?

#4 PhillyB

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:30 PM

Maybe Rivera and Hurney noticed he got gassed a bit too and that's why they drafted Alexander?


undoubtedly. between kaiser and alexander we should have a pretty decent rotation to spell guys.

#5 carolina-chuck

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:30 PM

Maybe Rivera and Hurney noticed he got gassed a bit too and that's why they drafted Alexander?

Yup. I think if Coples wasn't too inconsistent in college, he would've been the pick instead of Kuechy. Hardy needs to become consistent and disruptive.

#6 Khaki Lackey

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:33 PM

Let's argue about his weight.

#7 Montsta

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:52 PM

Yup. I think if Coples wasn't too inconsistent in college, he would've been the pick instead of Kuechy. Hardy needs to become consistent and disruptive.


I mentioned in another thread a while back that Hardy often had a gassed look to him during games last year. Whether it was hands on the hips or even his body language when he'd come off the field he just looked a little out of breath, moreso than most guys do when they take a breather. This isn't to turn this into an argument over his weight or his stamina or anything, just an observation.

However, this could be one of the reasons that the FO took Kuechly instead of a guy like Coples. They may have decided Hardy can be a dominant beast, but only when his tank isn't on empty obviously. Also coincides with what some guys said about Rivera not wanting Hardy to play too heavy last year. Time will tell but I'd rather have a fresh Greg Hardy for 70% of snaps than a tired one for 90%.

#8 KendrickPanther

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:58 PM

Rivera brought up his number of snaps right after the season. Said he would like to rest him a little more.

#9 Catweisers

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:17 PM

Bring on the Craken good article today in paper

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#10 KissMyConverse

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:30 PM

Isn't there a video of Rivera on the sideline telling him "Keep it up, I know you're tired but just keep giving me all you got." Something to that effect.

#11 jtnc

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:40 PM

Isn't there a video of Rivera on the sideline telling him "Keep it up, I know you're tired but just keep giving me all you got." Something to that effect.



Yeah, it was during the Vikings game.

#12 Ivan The Awesome

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:48 PM

Given his draft status and how he's actually been productive and not regressed. I don't see it being a bad thing if he is just a rotational guy. Alexander and Keiser with Hardy and Johnson. That's not a bad DE Rotation.

If he can increase his sacks by a couple more I'd be fine with it.