Carolina Sack-Fest Brewing?
Defensive end Brian Burns has quietly developed himself into a premier edge rusher for the Carolina Panthers over his first two seasons, recording 16.5 sacks, including a career-high of nine in 2020. Now, he has a new teammate for 2021 that will also provide sacks in former Arizona Cardinal Haason Reddick.
Reddick finished with eight sacks last season, and now he joins Burns and his former coach at Temple University in Matt Rhule. Reddick should have some familiarity with Rhule’s defensive system.
And Burns is intrigued as to what his new teammate will bring, as he told the crew of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Wednesday. “He’s (Reddick) gonna add a lot of versatility, honestly,” Burns said. “He can do a lot of things —– so can I —– but having both of us on the edge, they’re going to have to pick their poison. They can’t double-team both of us or the guys in the middle. We added a lot of great additions to this defense and to this team in general, and I really do think he’s going to do great things for us. We’re also gonna have a like little sack competition, so y’all be ready for that.”
Burns Ready For Breakout
And Burns has developed himself into a solid defensive end through his first two seasons. While other names such as Myles Garrett, Frank Clark, Jadeveon Clowney, and other defensive ends have put up more gaudy numbers, Burns is quietly making a name for himself. According to an NFL.com article published recently, “Burns posted a career-high nine sacks in 2020, providing the NFL evidence of his promising future. At just 23 years old, Burns is among the top three edge rushers under 25 years old, finishing 2020 as one of just nine defenders to post 55 or more disruptions (a hurry, QB pressure, or sack) in the entire NFL, per Next Gen Stats.”
Having Reddick join the Panthers in the offseason also will light a fire under Burns to perform better and create more sacks to be a better edge rusher. As he prepares to enter his third season in 2021, Brian believes the new teammate will make him a better player.
“I already know he’s gonna push me,” he said. “So, having him on the other side of me —– he gets a sack, he’s gonna push me and make me want to get a sack. I can already tell our competitive nature is going to come out. It’s going to be a sack competition. I’m going to try and beat him every game and he already knows that.”
Carolina Ready To Pound
And Carolina needs their players to step up in 2021. The last two campaigns have seen identical 5-11 finishes. The old cliche goes that defense will win championships. And in the NFL.com article, the in-team competition could provide an extra spark of momentum.
“As coaches love to remind the rest of the sports world, competition breeds success. Burns is more than open to the idea of Reddick driving him to reach new heights in Carolina. After consecutive 5-11 seasons, the Panthers are striving for success that will earn them recognition in their second season under Matt Rhule. If Burns and Reddick follow through on the younger rusher’s predictions, the football world won’t overlook the Panthers for much longer.”
With a new teammate, Brian Burns is ecstatic for his third season in 2021. If he and Haason Reddick can gel and turn into a dynamic edge-rushing duo, the Panthers could have one of the top defenses this year.