Panthers confident in Linebackers

Charlotte, NC - (WBTV)

When the Carolina Panthers take the field with Tampa Bay for the first regular season game on Sunday, the defense will have a chance to show they are very capable and are much improved .. since being ranked 28th last season.

Head coach Ron Rivera says his linebackers are a solid part of the defense, with 7 capable guys that can help out. That includes rookie Luke Kuechly, James Anderson, and the now healthy Jon Beason and Thomas Davis.

Rivera and bucs coach Greg Schiano, both bright defensive minds, coached together on the Chicago Bears defensive staff in 1998.

The Panthers coach expects to see a hard-nosed defense from Tampa Bay.

Rivera: "It's not just what he did in Chicago, but in Miami and Rutgers as the head coach. I think you get the feel for what he is all about. We have spent time watching the Rutgers tape and looking back at what he did. I've also though back to what he did in Chicago"