Last week, linebacker Thomas Davis said that the Panthers could be the best defense in the NFL.
He’s not the only member of the unit that feels that way. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn thinks the return of linebacker Jon Beason and the addition of rookie defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short can push the Panthers defense to new heights this season.
“It’s going to be scary how good we can be. And I’m excited about this year. I feel like we can be the top defense in NFL football,” Munnerlyn said during an interview on WFNZ.
Munnerlyn was then asked about the quality of the secondary, which many have pointed to as a very weak link behind a strong front seven. For starters, Munnerlyn is part of a cornerback corps with Josh Norman and Drayton Florence that appears to lack the kind of shutdown defender often found on the edges of the league’s best defenses. Munnerlyn said he wants to step up and be the guy who changes that perception, although the even less distinguished safeties make it something well short of a sure thing that the defensive backs will be significanly better this time around.
Minimal improvement would make a big difference for a team that finished 18th in the league in points allowed last season, though. The Panthers don’t need to wind up as the best defense in the league for the team to win more than seven games and challenge for a playoff spot.