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Carolina Panthers

Meeks inherits the defense


Ron Meeks guided the Colts' defense for the last seven seasons, all of which ended in playoff appearances. (PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES)*

CHARLOTTE -- Ron Meeks, whose defenses annually ranked among the NFL leaders in Indianapolis, was named defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers, the team announced Monday. 

In his seven seasons as defensive coordinator of the Colts, Indianapolis finished in the top seven in points allowed five times.  The Colts were seventh in points allowed last season while finishing 11th in yards allowed. 

"We are very pleased to add Ron to our coaching staff as defensive coordinator," said head coach John Fox.  "He is an outstanding teacher, who has enjoyed great success as a coordinator in the league and brings a strong background of coaching championship defenses."

Meeks joined the Colts in 2002 and helped Indianapolis move from 29th to eighth in total defense while jumping from 31st to seventh in scoring defense his first season.  In 2007 the Colts led the league in scoring defense.

"This is a great opportunity," said Meeks.  "I have followed the Panthers from my involvement in football and they have done a great job over the years.  I expect to continue that success and will try to improve on what has been done."

In 2006, Meeks worked through injuries on a defense that peaked during a Super Bowl championship run, holding three of four postseason opponents to less than 100 yards on the ground.

Meeks, 54, began his coaching career with Dallas in 1991 as a defensive assistant before becoming secondary coach at Cincinnati from 1992-1996 and Atlanta from 1997-1999. He also spent a season in Washington (2000) and with the St. Louis Rams' NFC Championship team in 2001 before going to Indianapolis as defensive coordinator.

A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Meeks started his coaching career at his alma mater of Arkansas State in 1984 and also coached at the University of Miami (1986-87), New Mexico State (1988), and Fresno State (1989-1990) before joining the Cowboys.

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