In the early parts of training camps the rookie cornerbacks James Bradberry and Daryl Worley have gotten rave reviews and were the starters in the first depth chart of the year released by the Carolina Panthers.
However, their starting jobs may not be set in stone as Robert McClain has seen some more time with the Panthers' first team defense. After practice on Sunday, Ron Rivera said about the veteran cornerback:
"When you talk about being consistent you have a guy who you know is going to be where he needs to be, you have a guy who you know is going to do the things he needs to do. That is going to help you and that is the important thing. You have a guy who is going to help us."
McClain joined the Panthers towards the end of the regular season and stepped into a tough situation. He not only had to physically get up to speed but also had to learn the defensive playbook.
Then after season ending injuries to Charles Tillman and Bene Benwikere, McClain became the starting cornerback for this team during their playoff run. In three games, McClain finished with 18 total tackles and five passes defended.
This is McClain's second run with the Panthers after the team drafted him in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft. However, he was in the team's final round of cuts before the 2011 season.
McClain proved during the postseason that he can start for this defense and with a full offseason to learn the playbook, it should only help his chances this preseason to make the 53-man roster.