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News » Carolina Panthers Inside Slant 2009-01-30

Carolina Panthers Inside Slant 2009-01-30

Carolina Panthers Inside Slant 2009-01-30
The Panthers have settled on Ron Meeks as their new defensive coordinator, a move that will allow the team to run a similar defense to what they've used in years past.

General manager Marty Hurney confirmed the Panthers will continue to run a 4-3 defense.

"He and (coach) John (Fox) have similar philosophies," Hurney said.

In his seven seasons as defensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, Meeks' defenses finished in the top seven in points allowed five times and 11th or better in total defense five times and he helped the Colts win a Super Bowl championship two years ago.

In 2008, the Colts were seventh in points allowed (18.6) while finishing 11th in yards allowed (310.9). The Colts allowed only six passing touchdowns, the fewest in NFL history since the league went to a 16-game schedule.

"This is a great opportunity," Meeks said in a statement released by the team. "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 while trying to improve as well."

Meeks resigned from the Colts on Jan. 20 shortly after head coach Tony Dungy announced his retirement.

"We are very pleased to add Ron to our coaching staff as defensive coordinator," Fox said. "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 while using a Tampa-2 style defense in the secondary. In 2006, Meeks worked through injuries on a defense that peaked during a Super Bowl championship run, holding three of four playoffs opponents to less than 100 yards on the ground after the team finished dead last in the league in run defense during the regular season.

"He is a guy who is very well respected around the league," Hurney said. "He has a reputation as a great teacher who brings a lot of high energy. He puts a lot of emphasis on the attention to detail."

The decision to hire Meeks is not expected to affect the status of defensive end Julius Peppers, who said two weeks back that he has no intentions of signing a long-term contract with the Panthers and that he wants out of Carolina.

Meeks, 54, began his coaching career with Dallas in 1991 as a defensive assistant before becoming secondary coach at Cincinnati from 1992-1996 and at Atlanta from 1997-1999. He also spent a season in Washington (2000) and with the 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.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 30, 2009

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