Speaking with Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer during minicamp, Irvin, unprompted, compared the Panthers' defensive line depth to the Seattle Seahawks' D that smothered teams en route to the Super Bowl XLVIII title.
"That team went eight deep up front," Irvin said of his former Seahawks team. "We had four really good guys, and then four more went in and there was no drop-off. So that's kind of the feeling I'm getting here. We had a lot of dudes. Everybody communicated. That's the kind of vibe it is here."
The Panthers certainly upgraded their defensive front this offseason, adding Irvin, Gerald McCoy and first-round pick Brian Burns to a front that includes Kawann Short, Dontari Poe, Bryan Cox and former first-rounder Vernon Butler. After finishing a disappointing 27th in the NFL in sacks last year, 2019 should be a more productive campaign.
Moving to a more hybrid defense should aid the Panthers' efforts to disrupt the QB and get their best players on the field. But the group has a lot to prove in terms of production and overall defensive cohesion to reach Irvin's comparison.