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Sean McDermott doesn’t like criticism of improving Panthers D

Sean McDermott, Captain Munnerlyn AP

Look at the stat sheet, and you’d think the Panthers won Sunday.

But while Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott got a little testy at the criticism of his defense, the bigger problems remain.

The Panthers held the Bears to 210 yards, forcing three turnovers and six sacks. After reciting those stats, McDermott seemed confused about the criticism.

In my history in the NFL you win those games,” McDermott said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “And that’s why it’s gut-wrenching to see the performance defensively that those guys put on the field. To not come away with a win is tough for the third week in a row.”

The Panthers have lost five in a row, each of the last four by five points or fewer.

Of course, the way McDermott (or head coach Ron Rivera) called defense down the stretch has even drawn questions from Panthers players, who wondered why they stayed in the same soft coverage while Bears quarterback Jay Cutler picked them apart with a series of quick slants to Brandon Marshall.

“Obviously, we need to tighten up the coverage there and win that situation the next time it comes up,” McDermott said.

The Panthers defense has improved in recent weeks (up to 15th overall), with a few tangible reasons why. They’re better with a healthy Luke Kuechly at middle linebacker than they were with a half-healthy Jon Beason. And the interior presence of defensive tackles Ron Edwards and Dwan Edwards has legitimized a long-time sore spot, allowing their young pass-rushers to show themselves.

They’re thin in the secondary, which helps explain why they don’t play-call more aggressively in late-game situations.

McDermott’s frustration is understandable. The defense which was the reason they lost so often last year is the reason they’ve been close enough to win a few lately.

But when your side is on the field when the other guys score the late game-winners week after week, it’s probably not the best time to beat your chest over statistical improvements.

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8 Responses to “Sean McDermott doesn’t like criticism of improving Panthers D”
  1. antneejay2 says: Oct 30, 2012 3:20 PM

    Juan Castillo’s defense was putting up decent numbers and losing late. See where it got him?

  2. KIR says: Oct 30, 2012 3:23 PM

    This guy is a joke! You’re now big talking after a couple of decent games by the defense? Where were you last year and before that in Philly when you had horrible defenses? You had the worst defense in the league last year and the last game you let the Bears easily march down the field on the last drive calling the same EXACT play over and over.

    And now you don’t want to be questioned? UNBELIEVABLE!!!

  3. 7swag7 says: Oct 30, 2012 3:33 PM

    Sounds like the DC is calling out the Offense for not putting more points on the board.

  4. newagerocker says: Oct 30, 2012 3:34 PM

    Classic Eagles. Win the stat game but put up fewer points than your opponent. There was and always will be only one Jim Johnson. Obviously it transfers over to other teams as well.

  5. baloneyjohn says: Oct 30, 2012 4:31 PM

    Carolina, like the Eagles need a total house cleaning including the hot dog vendors.

  6. therealtrenches says: Oct 30, 2012 4:36 PM

    McDermott acted like he invented the game when he was DC in Philly, the boy genius who understood defense in ways that poor slobs like us could never possibly understand. It figures he’d be praising his defense the Monday after they blew a lead. The ego on this guy is enormous.

  7. jgedgar70 says: Oct 30, 2012 5:21 PM

    I’m actually happy with the way he has molded a halfway decent defense while we continue to see player after player go to IR.

    But here’s where he lost me. If you watched this game, you know we destroyed Cutler in the first half (6 sacks, 2 turnovers, 7 pts allowed), but the Bears made halftime adjustments (something we’ve never seen in 18 years in Carolina), and Cutler wasn’t touched in the second half. Asked about the Bears adjustments, McDermott said, “If they adjusted, I didn’t see it.”

    Wow. Seriously?

    Like I said, he’s done a pretty good job this year. But he, along with Rivera, Chud and the rest of the staff, will be unemployed as soon as we hire a GM. A shame, because I think McDermott can coach.

  8. delhommed says: Oct 30, 2012 5:22 PM

    Don’t worry Sean, next year you can join me on the couch and complain about the next DC. If McDermott was the one who called the defensive alignments during the Bears last drive, he should already be at home on the couch.

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