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New D-Coordinator Meeks Seeing What He Has to Work With on Defense

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The Panthers have a new coach running their defense. So what’s the type of defense that will be run scheme-wise? Don’t ask. That’s how new Panthers D-coordinator Ron Meeks is running the show, and that’s the way it’s going to be. The 54-year-old Meeks ran his defense for the first time this past weekend, and it’s the start of a new look for a Panthers team that wants to bring more heat in 2009.

Meeks was brought in after 7 seasons with the Colts to turn a defense that didn’t play all that well down the stretch in 2008 and make them more consistant. Everyone wants to talk about Julius Peppers and his future with the Panthers, but Meeks isn’t going to use that distraction as an excuse for the teams defense to get off to a slow start.

The new coach is more than willing to see what he has on defense, and play to the teams strength. “We’re not inventing football, but there are some different things,” Meeks said. “For the most part, we want to identify ourselves and see what we can do, based on our skill set.”

The Panthers D allowed 30 or more points in five of their last 7 games, and then allowed 33 points in ugly playoff setback to the Cardinals at home. Yes, injuries were a factor (Jon Beason, Maake Kemoeatu, Damione Lewis), but Meeks knows that they have to get better if they are to repeat their 12-4 record or get even better.

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