Evero Speaks on Replacing Brian Burns

Carolina lost a big piece to its defense in Brian Burns, but they have made significant progress filling the void he left behind.
Dec 31, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Carolina Panthers offensive linebacker Brian Burns (0)
Dec 31, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Carolina Panthers offensive linebacker Brian Burns (0) / Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports
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When Ejiro Evero agreed to remain in Carolina as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator, he probably didn’t expect to run a group that no longer featured elite pass rusher Brian Burns.

Sure, he likely had an idea something could happen but a trade was not a certainty. This past week, Evero met with local media for the first time this offseason and spoke on the team’s decision to move Burns.

“Had a great experience with Brian. Brian is first and foremost, a great guy. He’s fun to be with, talented player, and we had a good year with him,” Evero said. “But that’s the nature of what we do. I have full trust in Dan and Dave to make those decision that are going to be in the best interest of our team.”

One of the guys the Panthers brought in to help replace Burns, Jadeveon Clowney, fits exactly what Evero needs for his defense to succeed.

“I’m so excited about JD. The play style is what I’m really excited about. The guy just plays hard, he’s physical, he’s tough. He plays the way we want to play. There’s a lot of comfort for him being closer to home. He’s been great these first couple of days going through the offseason program. I love having his energy in the building and the insight and feedback that he gives young player. We’re excited about what he’s going to bring to our team.”

Between Clowney and fellow newcomer D.J. Wonnum, the Panthers’ pass rush appears to be in a much better situation than it was in previous years. The depth just hasn’t been there for Carolina and instead of paying Burns $30M per year on a team that’s in a rebuild, they rebuilt his production and then some with Clowney, Wonnum, K’Lavon Chaisson, and perhaps someone in the draft. 

Schuyler Callihan