Well, I disagree with one thing. Greg Hardy would most certainly help the run defense. He wasn't a one trick pony that just pushed OTs into the backfield toward the QB. He was very good at diagnosing run plays and plugging his gaps, and slicing down the line to make tackles even when they're not to his side. On some of those big runs, instead of a big gap with a G on the LBs, it woulda been Hardy taking the space stopping the run. I'm not saying with Hardy in our Run D would be as good as last year, there's got to be multiple factors in a problem so big, but losing him is the single largest contributor to the decline in my opinion.
Every big run has come been to the side where Hardy plays. I distinctly remember Horton and Ealy not getting off blocks. People also tend to forget that many times Hardy slides down to the tackle spot and makes stops on third down gimmick running plays. We miss him more than anybody can imagine.
Boy Panthers.com needs to get a better pulse on the team. They had this whole article talking about how the coaches had so much confidence in Lester and quotes from Lester. Made me think this week was more than a last ditch effort practice week.