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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Anthony Rizzuti

Panthers DC Ejiro Evero: We have to make the system fit our players

With new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero will come a new system for the Carolina Panthers defense. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll also come with a completely new approach for the defenders themselves.

During his introductory press conference on Wednesday, Evero talked about how his 3-4 base—which’ll be a switch from Carolina’s 4-3—will fit with the team’s current personnel. The 42-year-old play caller, however, said it’s more about the Jimmy’s and Joe’s than the X’s and O’s.

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“You know the players from afar—and there’s probably some crossover tape and things like that you see—but you really don’t know ’em, know ’em,” he said. “So it’s really studying ’em, what they do well, what they can do to improve, how they fit into our system. But at the end of the day, we gotta make the system fit around them.”

Evero comes over after an eye-opening campaign with the Denver Broncos, his first as a coordinator. Under his system, the unit allowed the seventh-fewest yards per game in 2022 despite what was otherwise a disappointing season for the franchise.

He also touched on what he’ll be looking for out of those players.

“We look for guys that are physical,” he said. “We look for guys that play with great effort. Guys that are smart. I think those are the type of intangibles that are winning intangibles.”

And in case you were wondering what Evero is hoping to mold it all into, he was very direct with what he wants the defense’s identity to be.

“Physical, great effort and attacking the ball,” he said simply.

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