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Carolina Panthers Position Analysis: Safety

The Carolina Panthers lost one of their starting safeties this offseason when they released Roman Harper and the coaching staff will now need to find the right player to start alongside Kurt Coleman. Brandon Croce breaks down the safety position for the Carolina Panthers.

Carolina Panthers Safeties

Name Height Weight College
Marcus Ball 6-1 215 Memphis
Tre Boston 6-1 205 North Carolina
Kurt Coleman 5-11 200 Ohio State
Travell Dixon 6-1 210 Washington
Colin Jones 6-0 205 Texas Christian
Dean Marlowe 6-1 210 James Madison
Trenton Robinson 5-9 200 Michigan State

Training Camp Battles

Tre Boston vs. Dean Marlowe

Entering training camp, Tre Boston has the inside track for the starting job next to Kurt Coleman. However, the job isn't guaranteed and second-year player, Dean Marlowe, is sure to push him for that job.

Boston became a starter towards the end of his rookie season in 2014 and was considered the favorite entering training camp last year before Coleman had a strong preseason and was eventually named the starter. This cut Boston's playing time significantly and he finished with 29 tackles.

This season is a little different and Boston's primary competition will be Dean Marlowe. The Panthers signed Marlowe as an undrafted free agent last offseason and he was one of the final cuts before the regular season. The team did bring him back to their practice squad and he was eventually moved to the 53-man roster during the season.

Head coach Ron Rivera had this to say about Marlowe after training camp last year: “He’s a long ways away from where we need him to be but again he’s a young guy that’s got a chance. He’ll grow. A good year of seasoning, a good year to watch and grow, I think he’s going to be a quality football player some day.”

The question is whether or not "some day" will be this season. It will be interesting to see how much he improved over the last year during preseason.

Player to Watch

Colin Jones

One player who is in an unique position entering training camp is Colin Jones because his role with this team is not clearly defined. He is listed as a safety on the Panthers' roster but with the questions the team has at cornerback, Jones could find himself lining up at nickelback.

Jones was the team's primary nickelback after Week 8 of the 2014 season when Bene Benwikere suffered an ankle injury. However, he struggled in limited playing time at nickel last year and eventually lost the job to Cortland Finnegan

It is a new season for Jones and if the Panthers aren't confident in one of their rookie cornerbacks, the former safety could get another chance being the nickel for this defense.

Twitter @BrandonCroce

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