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Panthers still waiting for Kony Ealy to return to Super Bowl form

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:  Kony Ealy #94 of the Carolina Panthers takes the field for their game against the Minnesota Vikings at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Getty Images

Part of the reason the Panthers were willing to let cornerback Josh Norman walk and go with a bunch of kids in the secondary was that they trusted their defensive line to make those defensive backs’ jobs easier.

But so far, the Panthers are getting little to nothing up front, which is exposing the weaknesses in the back even more as they deal with injuries.

While the lack of production is across the board, the Panthers are mainly waiting for the Kony Ealy who nearly wrecked the Super Bowl to return. After he had three sacks and an interception and forced a fumble against the Broncos last February, many thought he was ready to emerge as a playmaker in his third season. But he doesn’t have a sack yet, and just two quarterback hits in six games.

“You see what Kony is capable of doing. You saw that in the Super Bowl,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “Maybe we put a little bit too much on his shoulders. But we think he has that kind of ability.”

Ealy was also quick to cite the pressure on him.

“That’s last year,” Ealy said of the Super Bowl dominance. “My performance last year did raise a lot of expectations, [but this is] a totally different team. . . .

“You guys are putting too much pressure on myself if anything. I understand it’s a process you have to go through play in and play out. It’s not about getting sacks all the time.”

That would be especially true if anyone else on the Panthers line was getting any. But they’re not, so the focus is falling back on a guy who might have been the Super Bowl MVP if the Panthers had won, since he hasn’t resembled anything close to that since then.

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8 Responses to “Panthers still waiting for Kony Ealy to return to Super Bowl form”
  1. kepickle says: Oct 18, 2016 6:46 AM

    Panthers have their general managers to think for the lack of depth at defensive end and their secondary being a mess but hey he’s got 20 million of Cap space in his pocket

  2. dansardo says: Oct 18, 2016 7:25 AM

    Since the panthers only goal for this season is getting a top 10 pick they have at least until next season to wait

  3. nhpats says: Oct 18, 2016 7:45 AM

    Yeah…..Kony Ealy is the reason the Panthers are 1-5……

    No “pounding” to be found anywhere….

  4. junkmtb says: Oct 18, 2016 10:46 AM

    Ok so basically Gettleman gambled on the front line D to stand up and continue some what of a dominance and now that’s failed. Norman continues to sip tea…………

  5. whenwilliteverend says: Oct 18, 2016 11:24 AM

    You guys are putting too much pressure on myself if anything.

    Ah, now we see where the fault is. It’s with everyone expecting him to play as well as he did last year. It’s not that he is resting on his performance from last year and not putting forth any effort. I bet when he’s in his contract year things will be different.

  6. gohometrolls says: Oct 18, 2016 11:52 AM

    Yup that’s what I want to hear from player the pressure is to much.

  7. sandersmarcus10 says: Oct 18, 2016 1:43 PM

    20 mil in cap space and you don’t do anything to help your team but cut a player and bring in another TE. Then this guy talks about having pressure on him from us wow! Your secondary needs help RIGHT NOW!!

  8. finfansince68 says: Oct 18, 2016 2:20 PM

    So one guy is holding back the team?
    I think they’ve under achieved from both sides of the ball!

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