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Panthers training camp questions: Is the secondary more than just fast?

Carolina has invested heavily in remaking their defense in a passing league and we all want to see that investment pay off.

NFL: Carolina Panthers Training Camp Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers have their first week of practice in the books, with four straight practices open to the public followed by a rest Sunday. They are back today with their last training camp practice before the pads come on tomorrow. That means we haven’t really learned a lot yet. What we can do is start to narrow down our questions so that we can be more intelligent about how we pay attention to the information that will soon coming flooding out Spartanburg as the Panthers begin their padded practices. Here is one of the most important questions I am asking:

How is the secondary shaping up?

If the offensive line has been the shakiest position group over the past decade then the secondary has, perhaps, been the most mercurial. They have been a defining strength of the defense in some years and in others they have been defined themselves by a thorough, if shallow, rotation. The phrase ‘Legion of Whom’ was applied because of both talent and earned anonymity.

This year’s first round pick Jaycee Horn, free agent signing A.J. Bouye, and last year’s second rounder and breakout star Jeremy Chinn represent perhaps the team’s most significant investment in any position group in some time. Chinn played last season at a hybrid linebacker/safety position and is moving this season to a more full-time safety role opposite Juston Burris.

Out of pads, the secondary has been fast and has made their share of highlight plays on misthrown balls and miscommunications. Chinn and Horn have both caught a lot of attention, but wait until the pads come on for at least a few days before you go declaring that new general manager Scott Fitterer has created a new Legion of Boom.