The Carolina Panthers did a nice job defeating the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, but Panthers second-year corner Josh Thomas had a terrible game. He was burned big-time by Brian Quick on two occasions, allowing 97 passing yards on those two throws alone. He had played very good, disciplined run defense this year, but Thomas has failed in the cornerback’s most important job; covering. He hasn’t made strides this season, and he has been quite burn prone. Contrast that the UDFA Melvin White, who was solid on Sunday and has shown up well overall this season.
According to the Charlotte Observer’s Joe Person , Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera still hasn’t decided who will start as the No. 2 CB next to the reliable Captain Munnerlyn. Thomas is the incumbent, but Person states that, based on what Rivera said, it is “likely” that the Panthers decide to give White the start over Thomas in tomorrow night’s game against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Thomas was benched after allowing those two big plays by Quick, and most Panthers fans are just fed up with the lapses in coverage. A burn-prone starting corner is one way to lose close games, and White looked like a significant upgrade last week. He’s been better overall this season, so starting him over Thomas makes sense. Rotoworld brings up an interesting suggestion, and they believe that the Panthers should move Josh Thomas to safety on account of his run defense. That’s something worth pondering, because the Panthers could shift him back there if they have depth problems at safety again due to injuries. I don’t anticipate that happening, but it is worth a shot if Thomas continues to struggle at CB and if the coaching staff believes that his traits are better suited for the safety position.