Thomas Davis: Panthers can be league’s No. 1 defense

AP

The Panthers are no strangers to offseason optimism.

Center Ryan Kalil took out a newspaper ad before the 2012 season proclaiming the Panthers as the Super Bowl XLVII champions in waiting, a boast that failed to come true as the Panthers finished 7-9 and the Lombardi Trophy went home with the Ravens. Linebacker Thomas Davis isn’t going the ink-stained route when it comes to his predictions for 2013 and he’s not making any promises about the Super Bowl, but he does see a bright future for the team’s defense.

“I think just given the pieces that we’ve added, getting guys back off of injury, we can definitely compete for that No. 1 spot in the league,” Davis said, via Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer.

Davis is particularly bullish about the team’s linebacking corps, which he thinks can be the best in Panthers history as well as the best in the NFL next season. A healthy return for Jon Beason to go with Davis and Luke Kuechly would certainly make for a strong unit, although linebackers alone won’t be enough to lift the Panthers from their middling rankings in 2012 to the top of the league.

They’ll need a one or two guys from their collection of third corners to step up into leading roles in the secondary, for starters, and the safety play also has to be better for the Panthers defense to make serious strides. If that doesn’t happen, teams will find too much success throwing the ball for the Panthers defense to wind up on the top of the heap.

18 responses to “Thomas Davis: Panthers can be league’s No. 1 defense

  1. Good to be optimistic but not happening unless freakish injuroes wipe out Willis, Smith, Bowman, and Brooks

  2. As a Panthers fan, I love his optimism. But has he seen our secondary? And will Davis be available for a full season?

    We need healthy players if we are gonna make a playoff run this year.

  3. Really Tommy boy? Did we get an entirely new secondary? Let’s be realistic here buddy. We will be lucky to have a top 8 defense.
    #realisticpantherfan

  4. Talk is talk, similar to the lions quotes that have been seen on this site. But I’m glad these teams are talking positive because if you aren’t thinking of being the best, your team is in trouble.

  5. I guess it’s convenient to not mention the addition of DTs Star Lotulelei and Kwann Short to the Panther’s “middling defense” (Panthers ranked 10th overall in 2012). With Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy (12.5 and 11.5 sacks respectively) and the addition of two good DTs in the middle, 2012 DROT Luke Kuechly will be able to stay clean and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Why is it every writer wants to focus on the lack of skill in the Panthers secondary? They did give up some big plays last season, but overall did a decent job. QB’s are going to be running for their life this year against this defensive front 7, which will make the secondary that much better. I guess we will see how this season plays out, but I think I am going to like how this defense looks this year.

  6. “Number one” defense is a useless term, since the NFL ranks defenses by yards allowed. The “best defense” should always be the one with the fewest points allowed.

  7. @marcolamorsa: Are you sure you are not trying to offend bro? We don’t need you around anyhow.

  8. suhisbetterthanu says:
    Jun 20, 2013 9:59 AM
    Yeah, #1 in guys sidelined with injuries. Talking about you, Davis.
    _____
    Davis was healthy last year – as the first pro athlete to ever play a full season after 3 ACL tears on the same knee. I’m not worried about TD.

    And the reason reporters always harp about our secondary is because that is where the biggest question marks are. There is little doubt the LBs are solid and the D-line will be better. I just hope TD is right about the defense as a whole.

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