Kurt Coleman is the veteran of the Carolina Panthers secondary, entering his seventh season in the league and has stepped into the leadership role for this young group. Of the 15 players on the roster at the cornerback and safety position, there are only five players with more than three years in the NFL.
This group has gone under a pretty substantial change this offseason as Coleman is the only player returning to his original role with Bene Benwikere transitioning from nickelback to playing full-time on the outside. Ron Rivera talked about Coleman after practice on Tuesday and the leadership role he has taken with this group.
"When you have guys like Roman Harper and Charles Tillman, veteran guys who have had a lot of success in this league, leading you and really you know spreading some of that wisdom to the young guys," Rivera said. "There is a void that has to be filled and Kurt has stepped up."
"Kurt has done a very nice job and he understands that and he understands how important he is to us. Especially Tre Boston and Dean Marlowe, two young guys that have to grow into their positions as well."
The coaching staff will have to find the right player to start next to Coleman, who is coming off a career year with the Panthers. In his first season with the team he played exceptionally well with 90 tackles and a team-leading seven interceptions.
The void left by Harper and Tillman in terms of leadership are big shoes to fill however Coleman has experience in this league, going from starter to backup and back to starting. This experience will be incredibly valuable for the younger players on this team as the Panthers try and rebuild their secondary.
*To listen to Rivera's full press conference, click here.