QBs Baker Mayfield, besides Sam Darnold, who will have to go ahead for the Carolina Panthers to reach the playoffs? – Carolina Panthers Blog

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Carolina Panthers have made it clear throughout the season that a good game in the quarterback, be it the acquisition of Baker Mayfield or the return starter Sam Darnold, will be crucial to turning the organization into a five-game winning streak. The last three seasons

He hopes to complete the competition between Mayfield and Darnold, who finished first (56) and second (52) in interception from 2018.

But quarterbacks aren’t the only position Carolina needs a player to step on. For the first time since 2017, take a look at the trio who helped coach Matt Rule secure his job and help the Panthers return to the playoffs:

The June minicamp feature runs down the deep valley of Marshall Darnold. Marshall later called it “just the beginning.”

The 2021 second round pick out from LSU never started its rookie season. Recovering from injury, he was a spectator of most off-season workouts in college. He was limited to 17 catches in 138 yards and had no touchdowns in 13 games this season and his longest catch in 3 weeks was 23 yards.

His inability to focus on anti-defense DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson; Production then dropped from 95 to 53 catches in 2021. A third threat, like Marshall, would expose new coordinator Ben McAdu. Christian McCaffrey is hopeful he will leave, saying he has seen a “big leap” in Marshall since last year. The rule said he expects “ton output” from a 6-foot-2 pass-catcher who can play all three receiver positions.

“One thing that was important to me when I hired Ben was that I didn’t want to use just one or two players,” Rule said. “I wanted to make sure we had answers for every coverage, we had answers for every blitz. You know what I was worried about last year. “

The biggest blow to the defense was the loss of SAC leader Hassan Reddick (11) in free agency, who finished second in the NFL last season. This was not surprising in Redick’s price, as he signed a three-year, $ 45 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.

If Luvu lives up to the expectations of roulette and defensive coordinator Phil Snow, there will be no shock in losing to Radick. He gave Louvu a two-year, 9 million extension after receiving 1.5 sacks, 8 tackles for loss and 5 quarterback hits in a limited role last season. Of all the Carolina defenders in pro football focus (84.8), he saw potential in the top-ranked players. He also saw a potential lead from Luvu during the off-season workout.

“His energy and how he plays is really important and we try to emphasize that,” Snow said. “The average game is six seconds and if you can play 11 kids to whistle at a high level and stay physically fit while doing it, you have a chance to do well in defense. It is a reflection of that. It’s a brand, it’s a standard. “

Lavu brings flexibility in terms of being able to run from the edge, get inside and get into coverage. The latter is important. The Panthers have been looking for another linebacker with coverage ability to play alongside Sheikh Thompson since Luke Kucheli surprisingly retired after the 2019 season.

“He’s a big part of our defense,” Thompson said of the Louvre. “He’s the one you can play on. He’s the one who can stand off the field for you.”

The return of Jesse Horn with a right foot injury in the first round of 2021 and the re-signing of Donnett Jackson in the free agency made headlines in the off-season. But the key to making this secondary quality as best as possible is Henderson, the ninth pick in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2020 draft. Carolina was traded to Henderson last season after Horn suffered an injury. He didn’t play a big role as he adapted to the new system, and the following season he lost in a shuffle with pro bowler Stephen Gilmore.

But the talent that led Henderson to the first round began to emerge during the off-season workouts. You can also see that he benefited from playing with Gilmore, who signed a free agency contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

“CJ took a big step,” Thompson said. “He talks there, communicates, plays fast, he’s very confident.”

Henderson’s solid play will give new secondary coach Steve Wilkes significant flexibility, allowing Horn to play more as a nickel corner in the passing position.

“This is going to have a big impact on the defense,” Thompson predicted.

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