The Carolina Panthers are electing to go with schematic consistency, over best talent– at least for now. Speaking to the media Thursday, Ron Rivera bucked logic saying that even if MLB Jon Beason couldn't play, it wouldn't mean the Panthers' rookie would move to the middle. This from the Charlotte Observer's Jonathan Jones:
"The one thing we want to be careful of is moving Luke too soon," Rivera said Thursday. "Luke could probably play some (middle linebacker) for us. He'll do it in the sub-package, with Jon not playing. And who knows, if this is extended, maybe we will consider doing that."
"If this is extended"... ugh. The thought of another long-term injury to Jon Beason is more than the team can take right now. If Beason is unable to play Sunday he will be replaced with Jason Phillips, a 2009 5th round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, who performed well for the Panthers in preseason.
Let's face it, he's no Jon Beason, and the linebackers aren't better with Thomas Davis on the bench. However, this is how the Panthers are electing to develop their talent– slowly, and hoping that the strides made with getting young players more reps will outweigh the deficiencies seen on Sunday. We'll see in time if this is the right approach.