2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers defensive getting offensive in preseason

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-24 16:39

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott likes his unit's aggressive offensive-minded approach.

Now he just hopes it carries over to the regular season.

McDermott's vastly improved defense has produced 10 turnovers and scored four defensive touchdowns in three preseason games - three of those TD returns coming in a 34-27 win over the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night.

McDermott said the coaches have been placing added emphasis on creating turnovers this season - and apparently the players are listening.

``It's part of our philosophy that we lay out,'' McDermott said. ``We talked about it since the spring. The guys are doing a really good job with it and they take a lot of pride in it. I think that's the biggest part - they make it part of them and how they play. It's become a part of our DNA, so to speak.''

McDermott said he started to see that attitude develop within the defense late last season.

But he knows there is room for improvement.

Carolina forced only 23 turnovers in 2012 and scored only two defensive touchdowns while battling through an injury-plagued season. Now everyone is back and healthy, and McDermott said that's a huge help.

``Turnovers come in bunches. We just have to keep putting pressure on the opponent and keep attacking,'' McDermott said.

The Panthers look like a different defense since Luke Kuechly moved to middle linebacker five games into last season when Jon Beason went down with a season-ending injury.

Kuechly was all over the field against the Ravens, intercepting a pass and applying pressure on Joe Flacco that led to an interception that was returned for a touchdown. The NFL's leading tackler last season also raced through the line and forced a fumble that Thomas Davis picked up and ran 2 yards into the end zone for a touchdown.

``That's something that we practice, scooping and scoring,'' Davis said.

McDermott said Kuechly showed the mental toughness he wants when after having an interception waived off by a penalty on one play, came right back and got a pick on the next play.

``You are going to have your calls that don't go your way and you're going to be in tough situations where you have to play through it - and that's what we did,'' McDermott said.

Coach Ron Rivera said he couldn't be more impressed with Kuechly, who has become the defense's unquestioned leader.

``If he continues to grow, we'll most certainly be talking about him in the same way as those great linebackers,'' said Rivera, a former linebacker for the Chicago Bears who played with Mike Singletary.

Still Kuechly knows Carolina has areas they must improve upon.

Carolina's big defensive night overshadowed the fact the Ravens were able to take the opening kickoff and march down the field and score a touchdown against the Panthers.

``We need to start faster and at the beginning of the game and we have to get off the field on third down,'' Kuechly said.

With the defense scoring touchdowns in bunches, Rivera is hoping Cam Newton and the offense will follow suit and begin to get into the act. Carolina's first-team offense has managed just one touchdown this preseason and that came on a short field (16 yards) following a turnover.

Newton is confident that will come - and the Panthers won't have to rely solely on the defense for touchdowns.

``We know what we are capable of,'' Newton said about Carolina's offense. ``We're not showing everything we can at this point. I'm confident that everybody will play better, starting with me.''

---

Online: AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Steve Reed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SteveReedAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Drew StantonSep 17 09:45p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton is in line to start his second straight game against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3 with QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) sidelined. It [ More ]

John AbrahamSep 17 09:13p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion), LB Alex Okafor (thigh) and DE Frostee Rucker (calf) each did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. LB Larry Foote (shoulder) and P Dave [ More ]

Andre EllingtonSep 17 09:13p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

B. Green-EllisSep 17 08:03p

Several clubs have reportedly reached out to free-agent RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Bengals), who is still in the process of rehab after suffering a hip injury in the preseason.

Jonathan DwyerSep 17 08:03p

Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer has been deactivated from all team activities Wednesday, Sept. 17. The team was made aware of allegations by the Phoenix police and are cooperating [ More ]

Marshawn LynchSep 17 07:53p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (back) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Vernon DavisSep 17 07:43p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17, and he is still on crutches.

Justin SmithSep 17 07:43p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe), OT Anthony Davis (hamstring), C Marcus Martin (knee), TE Vance McDonald (knee) and DT Justin Smith (non-injury related) did not practice Wednesday, [ More ]

Terrell ManningSep 17 07:33p

Miami Dolphins LB Terrell Manning was released Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Dion LewisSep 17 07:23p

Arizona Cardinals P Drew Butler, Chicago Bears RB Shaun Draughn and WR Chris X. Williams, Houston Texans LB Jason Ankrah, Indianapolis Colts RB Dion Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars OT Cameron [ More ]

Jonathan DwyerSep 17 07:03p

Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer is being questioned for a domestic violence incident, according to sources. However, he hasn't been arrested, and his status remains unchanged.

Kelvin BenjaminSep 17 07:03p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Dwan EdwardsSep 17 06:53p

Carolina Panthers OT Byron Bell (toe), WR Philly Brown (ankle), OT Nate Chandler (toe), LB Thomas Davis (hip), DT Dwan Edwards (back), RB Mike Tolbert (chest), RB Fozzy Whittaker [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 17 06:53p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Shane VereenSep 17 06:43p

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen (shoulder) has been added to this week's injury report, and he was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Julian EdelmanSep 17 06:43p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (back) was added to the injury report and was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Alfonzo DennardSep 17 06:43p

New England Patriots S Don Jones (hamstring) and LB Jerod Mayo (non-injury) didn't practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DE Michael Buchanan (ankle), LB Jamie Collins (thigh), OG Dan Connolly (knee), [ More ]

Mike PounceySep 17 06:23p

Miami Dolphins DE Terrence Fede (knee), LB Koa Misi (ankle) and OG Shelley Smith (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. OT Branden Albert (shoulder), S Louis Delmas (calf), [ More ]

Ryan CladySep 17 06:13p

Denver Broncos DT Marvin Austin (non-injury), LB Lerentee McCray (knee) and LB Danny Trevathan (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. S David Bruton (shoulder) and OG Ben Garland [ More ]

Cyrus GraySep 17 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs DB Husain Abdullah (foot, quadriceps), RB Cyrus Gray (foot), WR Frankie Hammond (shoulder), WR Junior Hemingway (hip), OL Eric Kush (shoulder), LB Josh Martin (quadriceps, triceps) [ More ]

M. Jones-DrewSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Matt McCantsSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders LB Sio Moore (ankle), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), WR Rod Streater (hip) and DE Justin Tuck (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Chimdi Chekwa (knee), [ More ]

Anthony SpencerSep 17 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Davon Coleman (knee), LB Justin Durant (groin), LB Rolando McClain (groin) and RB Joseph Randle (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Ken Bishop (illness), [ More ]

Montell OwensSep 17 05:53p

Detroit Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah (knee), LB Travis Lewis (quadriceps) and OT LaAdrian Waddle (calf) all did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Nick Fairley (biceps), SS [ More ]

Brad JonesSep 17 05:43p

Green Bay Packers OT Bryan Bulaga (knee) and DB Micah Hyde (knee) both were limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Casey Hayward (glute) and LB Brad Jones (quadriceps) [ More ]

Shaun HillSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Scott WellsSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), C Barrett Jones (back), TE Cory Harkey (knee) and C Scott Wells (non-injury) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Brandon McGee (foot) was limited.

Tavon AustinSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Kirk CousinsSep 17 05:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could return around eight weeks after head coach Jon Gruden said Griffin will be in a cast for the next 10 days. [ More ]

Johnathan JosephSep 17 05:23p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) and S Shiloh Keo (calf) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (foot), OG Ben Jones (ankle, knee), CB Johnathan Joseph [ More ]

Adrian PetersonSep 17 05:23p

The Minnesota Vikings intend to bring RB Adrian Peterson back after his legal issues are resolved.

Arian FosterSep 17 05:23p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group