Bengals Q&A:’s Brenden Whitted


Sep 21, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A Cincinnati Bengals fan shows support in the stands during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 33-7. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Stripe Hype: The Panthers lost a big defensive role player in Greg Hardy, who has taken his place and can they stop this balanced offense without him?

Brenden Whitted: Without Greg hardy, the defensive line lost its star.  Thankfully, the Panthers pass rush is based as much on depth as it is on talent.  Without Hardy (architect of 15 sacks last year), the defense will need Charles Johnson (who notched 11 of his own) to apply constant pressure.  Johnson has struggled with a hip injury most of the season, and will need to physically bounce back to help fill the void left with Hardy’s departure.  Fellow defensive end Frank Alexander will also miss time, getting popped for another PED suspension; he won’t be eligible to return until mid December. Mark Addison has provided a lively spark off the bench.  It’s essential that the Panthers be able to pressure without blitzing, it’s the hallmark of the team and the way that the defense was built. The team accrued 60 sacks last year to lead the League (the team has recorded 12 through five games this season).

SH: Who should the Bengals be keeping an eye out for on the Panthers team?

BW: Kelvin Benjamin personifies the up and down season of the Panthers.  He makes the spectacular catch look routine, and routine catches look exceedingly difficult.  His superior talent is occasionally subverted by a seeming complete lack of attention to detail.  Greg Olsen serves as the team’s security blanket and receiving stalwart, but Benjamin’s big play ability will determine how much success the panthers have against a stingy Bengals defense.

SH: Who will be on the Panthers radar as key guys to stop on this Bengals team?

BW: AJ Green may or may not play, even at less than 100%, Green deserves a team’s undivided attention.  The Panthers have faced a quality number of WRs; Steve Smith, Calvin Johnson, and Vincent Jackson have all taken on the Panthers’ secondary with varied success.  More important than Green, however, will be how the defense is able to attack and confuse Andy Dalton.  Regardless of Green’s status, the Panthers need to defeat the head and let the body follow.

A big thanks for’s co-editor Brenden Whitted. Please remember to check both and Stripe Hype for coverage before, during, and after the game.