Haason Reddick has made the jump from Arizona to Carolina. He believes that, with his new team, he’ll perform better than he did with his old team — because he believes his new team will use him more effectively.
“All throughout college, for the most part, I was playing that defensive end/outside linebacker role,” Reddick said, via Darin Gantt of Panthers.com. “I had crafted it, got good at it at Temple, and that helped get me to the first round. Trying the inside linebacker thing wasn’t really my niche. Trying to learn it at the highest level of the game, with how fast the game moved was tough.
“Moving back outside and rushing, that’s for me. That’s what I do, get to the quarterback, get to the backfield and being disruptive. That’s what I do, and I’m glad that I’m here now and somewhere that’s understood and they know what I can do.”
Panthers coach Matt Rhule knows what Reddick can do; Rhule coached Reddick at Temple. Reddick did enough there to become the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft.
In Arizona, the Cardinals had tried to move Reddick inside, before putting him back outside in 2020. Carolina, Reddick will be a pass rusher, either in a three-point stance or a two-point stance.
“I talked to [defensive coordinator Phil] Snow, he basically left it up to me,” Reddick said. “If I want to put a hand in the dirt I can, or a two-point stance, I can. Depending on how I’m feeling, I might put the hand in the dirt. If not, I’ll be in a two-point stance. Either way, I’ll be causing havoc.”
He caused maximum havoc against the Giants last season, with five sacks and three forced fumbles.
“I had a great year, but there’s still a lot of teams who wonder is this guy a great pass rusher, can he do this at a high level, or was last season a fluke?” Reddick said. “We’re going to show them this year, it’s far from a fluke.”
He has every reason to do that. Reddick signed a one-year deal in Carolina, which means that a second straight strong year could get him a lot more than the $8 million he’ll make in 2021.