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Panthers LB Anderson's great production can mislead

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted Oct. 28, 2011 @ 3:08 a.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Only one of the Panthers' opening-day starters at linebacker is still standing this season. With Jon Beason and Thomas Davis on injured reserve, remaining is sixth-year veteran James Anderson, and for a second straight season, Anderson, who starts on the strong side, is among the league leaders in tackles. Anderson, who has 59 tackles through seven games, has been extremely productive since he first became an every-week starter late in the 2009 season after injuries cleared a spot for him. Since the start of the 2010 campaign, he has recorded 185 tackles. Although league evaluators do not put Anderson in the elite category of players at his position, he has more stops than some of the league's top inside linebackers, including Patrick Willis (175) and Brian Urlacher (167), over that span. Despite his production, the Panthers are among the league's lower-ranked defenses vs. the run, and too many tackles are coming at the end of long gains by running backs.

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