Panthers: Defense still performing without star end
The Carolina Panthers placed defensive end Greg Hardy on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list on Wednesday amidst his conviction and appeal of the domestic abuse charges brought against him. This is the same list All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson was placed on with nobody sure when each will return to action.
Hardy posted a gaudy 82 QB disruptions in 2013 and finished 9th among all defensive ends in Pass Rush Productivity (PRP) with a 12.1 mark. That is a lot of pressure to make up for.
Last week however, against Detroit’s usually solid O-Line, the Panthers pass rush held their own with a decent 16 QB disruptions including five from Hardy’s replacement Mario Addison in only 35 pass rush snaps. While the four sacks he picked up painted a somewhat flattering picture (all being of the late or clean-up variety) the plays still needed to be made.
This is not a new occurrence as Addison and Charles Johnson finished 10th and 11th respectively right behind Hardy in the 2013 PRP defensive end ranks. The Panthers have other options after drafting Kony Ealy in the second round although, despite a relatively productive preseason, he generated zero pressure last week vs. Detroit.