In a move that many fans will see as unusual, the Panthers have elected not to sign any free agent CB's to replace the departed Richard Marshall. It's not because there weren't any CB's available, as the oft-discussed Joselio Hanson was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this week, but it's because none of the CB's available provide enough of what the coaching staff are looking for to justify giving away a roster spot.
The reason why the Panthers aren't going to sign anyone is because quite frankly, the players that are available are all too similar to current Panthers CB Captain Munnerlyn. So, rather than have two Captain Munnerlyns on the roster, the Panthers have elected to go with a musical chairs version of DB's when the defense is in the nickel package.
According to an article by Steve Reed, Charles Godfrey will move to nickel back, Jordan Pugh will move to FS, and Sherrod Martin will move to SS any time the Panthers elect to go with the nickel package on defense. While none of us truly know how this experiment will play out, it's obvious that Rivera is confident with this decision since he opted go go this way instead of signing a free agent to play the nickel. During the pre-season, the Panthers experimented with Pugh as the nickel back, but it seems that Rivera is happier with Godfrey filling that role at the present time.
Godfrey has experience playing CB from his college days at Iowa, but he hasn't played the position since entering the NFL. This doesn't seem to be much of a concern to the coaches, otherwise they wouldn't feel confident enough to roll with this plan once the regular season starts this coming Sunday.
I truly have no idea how this is going to pan out, but I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to Rivera and trust that he knows what he's doing, because his knack for building top-notch defenses using average players gives me hope that he is making the right move.
What do you think Panthers fans? Is this an experiment that you see working out, or is Rivera just another mad scientist trying to turn lead into gold?
Editor's note: Hat tip to rscott94 for posting the link to Reed's article that led to this story.