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McDermott taking measured approach with blitzes

CHARLOTTE – Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott's philosophy is a reflection of his background.

"I grew up a wrestler," McDermott said, "so I have an aggressive personality."

There were some impressive takedowns on display Sunday, when McDermott's defense recorded a season-high eight sacks against Carson Palmer and the Cardinals.

McDermott mixed in a variety of blitzes throughout the game to keep Arizona off balance and to keep Palmer under duress.

"My personality is such that we're an attack-oriented defense," McDermott said. "Having said that, you have to be smart with it at the same time.

"I thought the DBs did a good job of covering, in particular during those times where we were pressuring, because that's the delicate balance. It's got to go hand-in-hand."

Linebacker Luke Kuechly, cornerback Daryl Worley and nickel corner Leonard Johnson were blitzers who each recorded a sack.


But the eye-popping production Sunday doesn't change McDermott's view on bringing extra pressure. It will continue to fluctuate from week to week based on a variety of factors.

"In every game, there's different situations and different circumstances that call for different calls," McDermott explained. "I just felt like we had success yesterday pressuring a little bit, and we stayed with it and the guys were getting there. It's all calculated, and you try to mix it in at the right time. Every game is a little bit different as far as that goes.

"If we have to slow bleed it at times, we'll slow bleed it," he added. "If we need to get after him, we'll get after him. The whole goal is to win a football game and to put the players in positions to be successful."

Sacks tend to come in bunches, and when they do, they bring confidence to the entire defense. Now the question for the Panthers is how they keep them coming.

"I think, just like turnovers, it's a little bit infectious," McDermott said. "I know this: When you play hard, good things happen."

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