It didn't take the Panthers long to hire a new defensive coordinator. John Fox jumped all over Indianapolis's Ron Meeks, who was the Colts' D-coordinator from 2002-08 and certainly has an easier name to pronounce than Mike Trgovac.
Who knows whether Meeks will ultimately get the job done or not? As I've written here before, players are far more important than coaches. So the importance of this hire shouldn't be overstated.
Also, I don't really think hiring Meeks is going to make much if any difference in Julius Peppers' desire to leave Carolina. I could be wrong about that, but I think Peppers in his own mind is finished with this place, and it's not like he has any previous connection to Meeks. I still think Peppers will be traded within the next three months (by or before Draft Day).
Anyway, here are 3 things I do like about Meeks:
1) He's got a Super Bowl ring. Very, very few people in Bank of America Stadium do. He knows what it takes to go all the way.
2) He let his stars do their thing. Meeks coached an NFL Defensive Player of the Year in S Bob Sanders and one of the league's most fearsome pass rushers in DE Dwight Freeney. I think he'll do well with an up-and-coming star like LB Jon Beason, and hopefully with his DB coaching experience get more out of players like CBs Chris Gamble and Richard Marshall.
3) He's consistent. When you look at the stats Meeks' defenses compiled, it's impressive how often they were in the top 25 percent in the NFL in the most important category (points allowed). Now part of that is having Peyton Manning on the other side of the ball, yes, but part of it is staying committed to your scheme (a 4-3 and a Cover-2, not much different from what Carolina plays now) and just doing it better.
2 months ago