Panthers v. Dolphins: Who to Watch on Defense

The Carolina Panthers' defense had a strong performance against the Buffalo Bills but still have room to improve. These are two players fans should be watching on Saturday night.

Rakim Cox
The Carolina Panthers are still looking for a player to man the defensive end position opposite Charles Johnson. The team has hoped that Kony Ealy and Frank Alexander could be that guy but after a lackluster performance the coaching staff is back to the drawing board.

This has opened up an opportunity for Rakim Cox to earn a starting spot on this defense. The former Villanova Wildcat has had a long road to the NFL. After a strong performance in the Veteran Combine, he was signed by the Chicago Bears and joined the Panthers after he was released by the Bears.

The Panthers pass rush was non-existent until the final parts of the game against the Buffalo Bills. Cox finished the game with a sack and was getting constant pressure on the Bills' final drive.

Shaq Thompson
The Panthers' first round rookie is expected to make his debut against the Miami Dolphins Saturday night. The outside linebacker has been dealing with a hamstring injury for most of training camp and was held out of the game against Buffalo for precautionary reasons.

It is going to be interesting to see how comfortable Thompson is going to be in this defense. The learning curve may be a little steeper for Thompson than other rookies because he didn't play the position full time in college. He spent time at safety and running back along with outside linebacker while at the University of Washington.

Hopefully the coaching staff will be able to get Thompson as much playing against the Dolphins to help make up for some of the missed practice time.

 

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