CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - With the prospects of Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Kawann Short as part of a dynamite front line mixed in with speed rushers like Bruce Irvin, Mario Addison, and Brian Burns, the Carolina Panthers pass rush should be much better in 2019. That is great news for the Panthers secondary and James Bradberry.
“Hopefully that will lead to more interceptions,” said Panthers cornerback James Bradberry. “When you got a pass rush like that, quarterbacks have to get the ball out fast. Usually they make errors when they do that so I’m looking forward to interceptions, tipped balls, and overthrows.”
Last year, the Panthers had 13 picks as a team which was tied for 15th in the league. Bradberry only had 1, but has long been one of the best cover corners in the NFL holding down some of the best wide receivers week in and week out since being drafted from FCS program Samford in 2016.
In his 3 year career, he only has 5 picks and that is something he wants to improve this year.
“As far as going forward, just go out there and get more interceptions,” said Bradberry. “That’s the one thing I lack now. Just get my hands on the ball more.”
How does he do that?
“Just get repetition throughout practice, throughout the off season. Put yourself in difficult situations to catch the ball."
He also is looking forward to playing more press coverage in 2019 as the Panthers continue to change their defensive philosophy. As a whole, they are switching from the 4/3 base front to the 3/4 and more pressure at the corners is a part of the change.
This is a very pivotal year for Bradberry as he has 2 years left on his rookie contract. He is in line for a bigger pay day as he has out performed his 2nd round contract but he isn’t too worried about his future earning power.
“Just go out there and not put too much stress on yourself,” said Bradberry. “It’s already hard enough to play in the NFL. Just go out there and play and let the rest take care of itself. I’m just going to be patient for sure.”
Panthers mini camp wraps up Thursday morning.