Our quest continues to form the worst Carolina Panthers team in history. The process is winding down, and today we're looking at three nose tackles who will anchor the struggling defense.
The defensive tackle position has been a mixed bag for the team over the last 18 years. Rarely is there anyone so terrible they stand out as defense-breaking, but there has been an awful lot of mediocrity. To find the team's worst defensive tackles you need to look at the most-recent iterations of the roster. Years of neglect resulted in the Panthers playing rookies before their readiness, patch together the line with waiver signings, and find past-their-prime veterans to hold up a sinking ship.
Sounds fun, doesn't it? Lets get started.
Career statistics in Carolina: 24 games (12 starts), 22 tackles, 1 FF
If nothing else Sione Fua taught us a valuable lesson: Never listen to Ryan Kalil's predictions. Between his early Super Bowl prediction in 2012, and calling Fua 'a beast' in 2011 -- it hasn't been a good two years of prognostication for the Panthers' center.
It might be a touch harsh to include a player whose starts came as a rookie out of necessity, but such is life. The 2011 season at defensive tackle was so bad that it deserves recognition. The interior line wasn't able to make stops, and Fua had no impact on the game when he was on the field.
There were some all-too-fleeting flashes in 2012, but they were accompanied by as many maddening plays.
Career statistics in Carolina: 11 games (11 starts), 14 tackles, 1.0 sack
How appropriate that the next player on our list was Fua's replacement.
It was supposed to be the arrival of a long-standing veteran to sure up the middle, but ultimately it's arguable that Edwards was worse than Fua -- even if the talent next to him improved. The Panthers last year were a -6.5 rating against the run (according to Pro Football Focus), with neither Edwards being able to accomplish anything to stop backs.
It's a dead heat between Edwards and Fua for who was worse given their opportunities.
Career statistics in Carolina: 54 games (43 starts), 117 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 2.0 FF
On first glance you probably wonder why Fox made the list. After all, he has good tackle numbers, got 7 sacks, and looks to be a well-rounded player.
Dig a little deeper and things get comical.
Fox is 6'8, 285-lbs, and played different spots on the Panthers' 3-4 defensive line in the late-90's. It was his role as a nose tackle that is particularly hilarious. He was too tall, and too light, but somehow hope fit a tall square peg into a very round hole.
He finished the year with 21 tackles... the worst of his career, and 1.0 sack... the worst of his career.
While Fox wasn't the worst nose tackle in team history, his move inside could be the funniest.