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Heres why Panthers arent scared by Bucs O.J. Howard, Falcons Devonta Freeman

Heres why Panthers arent scared by Bucs O.J. Howard, Falcons Devonta Freeman
Published On: Sat, Jun 03
Feb 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) carries the ball past New England Patriots outside linebacker Elandon Roberts (52) in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Seals-USA TODAY Sports

The quietest player in the linebackers corner of the Carolina Panthers locker room could very well be that groups most important defensive weapon in the years to come.

Shaq Thompson wont be Carolinas starter in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season, and he knows it. Thats still veteran Thomas Davis job, and rightfully so, Thompson says.

Whether Im in 20 plays, 30 plays, 40 plays, whatever it is, Im going to make sure I make it count, he said after Tuesdays OTA session wrapped. Right now hes the starter, and Im going to go in whenever my number is called.

But in new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks scheme, Thompsons combination of size and speed could make him a key against Carolinas division rivals in the NFC South, where versatile offensive players are flooding in.

The New Orleans Saints drafted pass-catching running back Alvin Kamara and signed speedy free agent receiver Ted Ginn Jr.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added do-it-all athletic tight end O.J. Howard in the draft and shifty home-run-hitter receiver DeSean Jackson in free agency.

The Atlanta Falcons proved their offensive potency during last years Super Bowl run, relying especially on pass-catching backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.

Read the complete news article here...


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