Heath Evans: Panthers Defense Isn’t ‘Seattle East’
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Former New Orleans Saint and New england Patriot fullback now working for FOX and the NFL Newtork, Heath Evans discusses the second tussle between the Saints and Panthers.
On the Saints at home v. on the road: There’s a drastic difference. The more you start diging into it, the first seven games defensively they were much better. On the road, it’s your typical stuff: crowd noise and the ability to handle the elements.
On what the Panthers can do this time around: When it comes to protecting Cam, the Panthers just have to play better. Defensively, they can’t fix their safety play. They are who they are. Everybody wanted to say this is the Seattle defense of the East, but it’s not. You can compare the front sevens, but the safety play in Seattle is the best in the league. You watch the gameplan the Saints had two weeks ago, everything they did was to attack safety play. There intent was to attack the weak leaks and they were able to do it at an alarming rate. It comes down to Charles Johnson and the defensive line getting pressure on Brees with just four rushers.
On team’s that are successful against Drew Brees: The teams that are most succesful as probably teams that blitz less than 20% of the time, but they caught the Saints with random, unique stuff. If you’re going to consistently try to throw similar stuff at Drew, by the 2nd quarter, he’s going to be picking it up and eating you alive. I like the concept that Ron Rivera and the boys had the first time. You have to have two gameplans, one for each half. The problem is they both have to work.
Heath also discusses the Panthers ceiling this season, Panthers awards candidates, high praise for Luke Kuechly, and the possibility of someone upsetting Seattle in Seattle.