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August 25, 2007

Defense not in regular-season form

Reflecting a day later on the Panthers’ 24-7 exhibition loss to New England on Friday, one point stands out above all others: Carolina’s defense is not yet ready for prime time; the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady made that abundantly clear.

Brady and most of his fellow starters piled up 179 yards of total offense by halftime, then added 77 more in the first drive of the second half. That gave the first team a whopping 256 yards in barely more than two quarters of work. Then the starters got the rest of the night off and watched the backups complete the victory.

"We’ve got to work on our chemistry as a defense," safety Deke Cooper said. "We did some things better this week, but we’re not where we’re going to be. It’s still preseason; we’ve still got a lot of work to do. We’ve still got to jell; we’ve got a lot of new guys on defense. It’s stuff we can fix."

The passing defense in particular was a problem; Brady completed 17 of 22 and finished with a passer rating of 128.4. As good as Brady was, Carolina’s secondary and linebackers seemed out of position on occasion, and Brady faced little pressure up front.

If the Panthers are to make a run into the postseason, they know they’ll have to do better.

"We’re a better team than that; we know we played not to our best abilities," said defensive end Stanley McClover.

They have until Sept.. 9, when the season opens in St. Louis, to get better.

STAN OLSON

Posted by Observer Sports on August 25, 2007 at 05:19 PM | Permalink

Comments

they really need to cut diggs and sign jeramiah trotter.trotter is better than diggs. would help our defense get at least 50% better.

Posted by: james | Aug 25, 2007 5:36:13 PM

no way poop face.

Posted by: lol | Aug 25, 2007 6:01:39 PM

Trotter is not going to help us get in the qbs face, brady was playing catch out there. I did notice that Beason sure was flying all around the ball. That guy is going to be a beast in this league. He looks like a young morgan.

Posted by: bigjake | Aug 25, 2007 7:29:34 PM

PattiStan:

They weren't in spring form.

I've said this for over a year now -- Henning was not the problem CO. Trgo has no clue how to use Pep -- hint it ain't with DTs who can't get off the ball -- and he doesn't trust his CBs enuf to put them on an island now and then, which might also give his safeties some hope of covering the middle of the field.

This defense will give up 30 to the Rams.

Posted by: JAT | Aug 25, 2007 7:46:22 PM

we need a jimmy johnson type d co.someone who knows how to use all our talent,we should be a top 5 d

Posted by: james | Aug 25, 2007 9:38:15 PM

Ease off on Trgo folks... The D has been in the top 10 in 2 of his 3 outings as the top man. His only flop came the year after he took over the reigns and changed things up a touch. Let's not forgot the Panthers had to give up the juice cause they were under the microscope that year... they became the anti-roid campaign poster boys. The problem is more than just a bad D, the problem is a bad T as in "team." Face it fools, the Panthers are falling apart at the seams. But the jury is still out. There is still time for improvement. In my opinion though, Fox has lost control of his team and that is the bottom line. BTW, Colbert does not become a superstar after one brilliant TD reception (that was all him). This is evident after watching him drop a TD pass that he had several steps to get a handle on while in the endzone (note that he was wide open, but only because he pushed off to get seperation).

Posted by: SYRPIS | Aug 25, 2007 10:49:25 PM

The only reason the defense has been decent is talent alone and not Trgovac. He runs a simple scheme and at times it works b/c talent prevails, and at times it doesn't b/c we are playing a well coached team who does their homework. I don't get your steriod application nor do I understand anyone who has made Colbert out to be a superstar except for you. Don't give me the antidotal facts about Trgovac that have abslolutly nothing to do with what is going Today. I hate that crap! Anyone can manipulate facts and statistics to make someone look good. But there are a host of other influences that are not quantified.

Posted by: SC | Aug 25, 2007 11:32:23 PM

Y'all do know that they're not playing the same defenses they will play in the regular season, right? Fox himself said they're not showing everything. This team is not falling apart...it's freakin pre season, not the play offs.

Posted by: Dale | Aug 25, 2007 11:47:20 PM

I believe that head coaches in the NFL tend to make an agreement during the preseason not to pressure the opposing first string QB's...I think that was the case last week with McNabb coming off a major knee injury...And this week with Brady...This is why it's not fair to judge the performance of the defense during the pre-season...If it were a regular season game, you would have seen all kinds of stunts and blitzes to keep Brady honest...Just like they did last time they played in the regular season...

Posted by: frankieT | Aug 26, 2007 12:43:04 AM

Colbert isn't a superstar after 1 good TD catch is right, but then saying the team is falling apart at the seams after the first preseason game where they actually played for a while is also jumping the gun. Fox hasn't lost control of this team for pete's sake, they haven't even gotten out of training camp!! The simple matter is that the secondary has been weak for a couple of seasons now, and Minter retiring while having no answer for a replacement Safety doesn't help. Our linebacking corps are either very young, injured, old, or just not very good. That's what's wrong with the D. No coach can fix everything, and the Panthers show that they need to step up as players. It wasn't a good showing, and doesn't bade well for the rest of the season if they don't get their act together, but to blame coaching right now is just a little off. As for the offense, all the players are learning a new type of scheme, and that takes time. That's not to say their performance was acceptable, but we need to give them about a month for everything to gel before we go on another head coach/defensive CD/Offensive CD witch hunt

Posted by: ML | Aug 26, 2007 12:43:47 AM

defense looked just like it did last year.....overrated

Posted by: chris | Aug 26, 2007 12:47:33 AM

This whole article is stupid. Olson knows that the Carolina coaching staff works on fundamentals without game planning during the preseason. Our guys weren't prepared for a lot of the stuff thrown at them because they chose not to game plan against the opposing offense. No team ever shows their hand in the preseason, that would be dumb. We need another safety, but what could have easily turned the game around and resulted in a win for us is better tackling and eliminating dropped passes. You guys know that certain total shitheads on here only post to get a reaction, and they're really not even Panthers fans. Their just full of crap. Guys like SYRPIS. I think that means "drinking piss" in another language.

Posted by: charlsong1 | Aug 26, 2007 3:22:02 AM

The pass rush probably would have been better if they had rushed more than 3 guys.

Posted by: tom | Aug 26, 2007 8:29:31 AM

Trgo must go...or at least start utilizing the talent on the defensive side of the football. The Panthers seem to only blitz when in obvious passing situations, and the D doesn't swarm around a ballcarrier to make a tackle like they used to back in the day. I remember when Jack Del Rio called the shots on D. The defense seemed to be a bit more aggressive. The corners now play softer coverage and the opposing offense seems to have a cushion. I think that the LB's have looked good thus far in the preseason. We do not need Trotter (as much as I respect him, I think it would be a mistake to bring him in as he doesn't seem to have too much left in the tank) We shouldn't have let Draft or W'Spoon go. The D needs to step it up by Sept. 9...and I'm not only talkin about the players (That means you Trgo/Fox) *Bring in the Chin!*

Posted by: G-Love | Aug 26, 2007 8:43:18 AM

I am sick of the panthers looking and playing so "undisciplined." They look "coddled" and overrated. Game after game, there's no spark, no team effort, its like they are waiting for one person to lead them. I really noticed the difference in coaching styles when Belichick forced his starters to go for it on 4th down and they produced, and it changed the whole momentum of the game. Our starters need to be "kick started" if they see a post season in their future! Come on Coach!

Posted by: Natasha | Aug 26, 2007 11:24:26 AM

I think its time to quit letting local repoters get into our minds thinking for us,We are just looking at PRE-SEASON,you know as well as anybody else,the heat is turnd up on post season,ESPN reporters said WE HAVE TO BE PATIENT,A NEW WAY OF PLAYING DOSE NOT GET CLICKIN OVERNIGHT! IT TAKES TIME! We will bounce back!,This team is TOO good not to!.

Posted by: #1 Fan | Aug 26, 2007 11:31:43 AM

I thought the pass defense was very poor, but the run defense was good (considering). That is to say it looked to me like the defense was told to play at practice force and keep the contact at 75%. They were at the ball in time on most occasions which shows they had the play adequately defensed, and then they gave the 75% bump to knockdown the runner which resulted in additional yards gained due to the Pats playing at 100% contact.

My thoughts are not to worry. The defense learns more this way and it greatly reduces silly injuries to our players trying to win a pointless pre-season game. When the games count, the defense will start hitting and that has always changed the game to our advantage.

The offense is still working out the kinks of a new system and not giving away any of their go to plays for those scouting us out.

Posted by: Trainwasher | Aug 26, 2007 11:32:38 AM

Peppers and Morgan barely even played and the defensive starters haven't been together much at all throughout the pre season. BTW, did anybody notice that those two rushing TD's by the Eagles were run right at where Peppers would have been? Has anybody noticed that Salley hasn't played at all or that Chris Harris and Jon Beason are still learning the defense because neither of them were in camp from the start? The panic about this team is simply rediculous.

In the last three years, the Panthers have won in the pre season, only to get their asses kicked on opening day...pre season games mean nothing!

Posted by: Dale | Aug 26, 2007 12:25:30 PM

#1 Fan right on! This is PRESEASON ladies and gentlemen - it means NOTHING! After all NO is also 1-2 right now, I dont hear anyone sending up alarms about it. Conversely we went 4-0 last year, what happened after that?
It is a good thing we dont look good right now for the following reasons:

1. We can fix the problems early on
2. The rest of the league doesnt see our full hand
3. We dont take anyone for granted early on in the season.
4. It is motivational for the regular season opener

It is stupid to get so worked up over a preseason game, this is our time to experiment and get things fixed.

Posted by: Ben | Aug 26, 2007 6:07:54 PM

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