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Jets' Santonio Holmes angers Panthers' D with barb

There aren't enough bulletin boards left in the United States to post all the material generated during an NFL season.

This edition of "did you see what player X said about team Y?" takes us to North Carolina.

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera is utilizing a quote from New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes to motivate his team, which is coming off a humbling loss.

On Thursday, Holmes said the Panthers' secondary was "probably the weakest link on their defense."

Rivera made sure his team saw the quote, and the players were none too happy about being called out by their Sunday opponent.

"The whole team should take it personal," safety Mike Mitchell said, per The Charlotte Observer. "I like that coach tries to do things like that. Always making it team, team, team. I think that's very good how he does that for us."

Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn defended the secondary.

"Everybody's going to talk about the front seven and how well they do and how they put pressure on the quarterback," he said. "Hey, that's part of the game. You've got to have a great defensive line to have good (defensive backs) or great DBs to help you out. Some of the plays they make are because of us, and some of the plays that we make are because of them.

"If (Holmes) feels that way, there's a game that's going to be played at 4:05 on Sunday and we'll see what's going to happen then."

Two points here:

  1. The weakest link on a strong, wrought-iron chain still can be pretty darned tough.
  1. Holmes is not wrong.

Of all the ways to beat the Panthers' defense, attacking the secondary is an opposing team's best bet. As we saw last week against the Saints, when the Panthers' pass rush is neutralized, the back end can be exposed.

It is a nondescript group in the Panthers' secondary that has played well collectively within the scheme.

However, they aren't world-beaters when left on an island. Munnerlyn, in particular, is allowing quarterbacks to complete 70 percent of passes when targeted. That stat probably won't go up on the fictional bulletin board.

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