SPARTANBURG, S.C. (CHARLOTTE SPORTS LIVE) – Let’s be honest.
Despite finishing second in the league last year, the Panthers’ defense had more than a few flaws.
“As a defense, everyone knows our red zone kind of lacked,” said linebacker Frankie Luvu.
But that’s not all. Carolina was just the 20th best team in points allowed last year. It was one of many things on head coach Matt Rhule’s mind at the start of training camp Wednesday on the campus of Wofford College.
“I want elite focus on execution, and I want really good effort,” Rhule said after a late morning practice.
He also wants his guys to be healthy, and, suffice to say, things aren’t off to a good start.
In addition to linebacker Shaq Thompson, Cornerback Jaycee Horn also missed practice. On top of that, Horn joined Thompson on the pup list after it was announced he was experiencing soreness in the same foot that forced him out of most of last season.
“Not something we’re concerned about long-term,” Rhule explained. “Just thought it was best to ease him into it, and that will be a day-by-day thing.”
For that matter, so will be fine-tuning the defense.
Fortunately, several vital stars are back, including cornerback Donte Jackson, safety Jeremy Chinn, and defensive ends Derrick Brown and Brian Burns.
“We’re a young team. But there’s a lot of experience in the room will a lot of talent,” Luvu.
Unproven but hungry.
And they can’t wait to show everyone how far they’ve come.