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Burns Pleased with Additions to Defense, Believes Panthers Will Have a Top Unit


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Right away, you knew the Panthers were going to be in rebuild mode but they didn't make the transition gradually, they just ripped it off like a band-aid. In Rhule's first draft as the Panthers' head coach, Carolina used all seven of their picks on defensive players. Among that group, they found two studs in DT Derrick Brown and S Jeremy Chinn. Defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos could emerge into a quality player as well but still has some room to improve and develop. 

Fast-forward to this offseason and the defense got even better. They used the eighth overall pick on South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn and then in free agency signed pass rushers Haason Reddick and Morgan Fox and shored up the linebacking unit with the additions of Denzel Perryman and Frankie Luvu. To go with Horn in the back end, Carolina signed A.J. Bouye and Rashaan Melvin. To say the least, the Panthers' defense should be vastly improved in 2021. The pieces are there in every level of the defense for it all to come together. 

Wednesday afternoon, defensive end Brian Burns talked about the additions the team has made this offseason and how they will help him take his game to the next level.

"It's going to help me a lot. It's going to take up a lot of attention. We've got a bunch of guys that's going to help me out. They brought in a lot of guys to help me out and we got a lot of pieces. I feel like we are kind of complete now, to be honest."

"He's  [Haason Reddick] going to make me go even harder because it's going to be a competition to see who gets a sack the fastest but he's also going to take a lot of attention off of me so that the o-line can just slide to my side or anything like that. They're going to have to pick their poison. We've got DaQuan Jones on the inside, Derrick Brown is coming along pretty good, Morgan Fox, Bouye, all of these guys are going to help me out."

Last year, it was all about setting the foundation and really just learning defensive coordinator Phil Snow's system. There were moments where the Panthers struggled mightily such as 3rd down efficiency and getting pressure on the quarterback but they seemed to improve down the stretch.

"We had a lot of rookies that needed to step up," Burns said. "They got better each and every single week so toward the end of the season, everything kind of came along. Going into this season, it's going to be their second year, and have that first season under their belt so now that they've got their feet wet they should be fine now. We are up and running now. I don't feel like a lot of things can stop us this year."

Burns says he has his own personal goals that he hopes to accomplish but ultimately, he wants to be a part of one of the best defensive units in the entire league. With the pieces that are now in place, Burns has full belief that it can happen.

"As a defense, I just want to be completely dominant throughout the course of the season and I feel like we can really do it now. You know how the saying goes 'defense wins championships' so I feel like they're putting a lot of emphasis on it and bringing guys in like [Jaycee] Horn, [Jeremy] Chinn, [Derrick] Brown, and myself. Hopefully, we can put on a show with this defense this year. I'm excited if you can't tell."

Link: https://www.si.com/nfl/panthers/gm-report/carolina-panthers-de-brian-burns-pleased-with-additions-to-defense

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I think our defense is going to be great.  The biggest advantage is the speed and youth of the unit.

Remember how bad the 2019 defense was in Rivera's last year?  We were too slow.  Teams would beat us to the edge with ease.  Teams aren't going to beat this team to the edge easily.  So much athleticism and strength in the front seven.

Last years unit was better than it had any reason being.  No reason to think this defense can't/won't finish in the top 15 barring injuries.

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4 hours ago, Mage said:

I think our defense is going to be great.  The biggest advantage is the speed and youth of the unit.

Remember how bad the 2019 defense was in Rivera's last year?  We were too slow.  Teams would beat us to the edge with ease.  Teams aren't going to beat this team to the edge easily.  So much athleticism and strength in the front seven.

Last years unit was better than it had any reason being.  No reason to think this defense can't/won't finish in the top 15 barring injuries.

Biggest gripe about last year was the constant failure on 3rd down, but yeah with the inexperience and youth on D the squad performed better than the sum of its parts.  With losing Luke and having so much inexperience there were bound to be growing pains.  I’m excited to see the growth this year.  Snow impressed me more than Brady last year, but who knows how much of that was on Teddy’s failures. 
 

Plus, DaQuan Jones was a great signing and I think he’ll do some good stuff this year.  Get hype!

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11 minutes ago, PandaMan said:
26 minutes ago, Moo Daeng said:

Don't underestimate the addition of Jones in the middle of the DL. That's a solid veteran.

Great minds think alike!  He was a great move.

Daquan Jones will set the table and let everyone else eat!

Lets Eat GIFs | Tenor

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15 minutes ago, PandaMan said:

Biggest gripe about last year was the constant failure on 3rd down, but yeah with the inexperience and youth on D the squad performed better than the sum of its parts.  With losing Luke and having so much inexperience there were bound to be growing pains.  I’m excited to see the growth this year.  Snow impressed me more than Brady last year, but who knows how much of that was on Teddy’s failures. 
 

Plus, DaQuan Jones was a great signing and I think he’ll do some good stuff this year.  Get hype!

Exactly! It would be third and a mile and be easily converted. It made me question the system, players, and my own eyes at what I was seeing. Also not having Luke to basically at times grab Brown and put him at the point of attack like he did for so many other DTs or call out plays was huge. He would've had Chinn even more on point. But they definitely settled in throughout the year and dealt with some JAGS getting major minutes. 

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Burns has an excellent chance to have 10+ sacks if he stays healthy. The only thing missing from the defense is a true stud MLB, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's a target early in the draft next offseason. Perryman is a stop gap.

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1 hour ago, NorthTryon said:

Exactly! It would be third and a mile and be easily converted. It made me question the system, players, and my own eyes at what I was seeing. Also not having Luke to basically at times grab Brown and put him at the point of attack like he did for so many other DTs or call out plays was huge. He would've had Chinn even more on point. But they definitely settled in throughout the year and dealt with some JAGS getting major minutes. 

Alot of those 3rd down conversions where made by poor play from Whitehead and Boston.

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