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DE Hardy a wild card for Panthers

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted July 19, 2012 @ 3:34 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Question marks abound on the Panthers’ defensive line heading into training camp, and DLE Greg Hardy fits into that uncertain mix.

Heading into his third season since being drafted in the sixth round, we hear the Panthers have seen some encouraging signs — speedometer photo tweet notwithstanding — from Hardy this offseason. He appears to have worked hard in the weight room, adding significant muscle to his frame, and has tried to put doubts about his offseason work ethic to rest.

Hardy started every game in 2011 after playing a situational role as a rookie, but he appeared to wear down last season. His sack production trailed off — he finished with four sacks after recording three in the first five games — and he had only two QB hits in the final seven games after hitting the quarterback once in each of the first nine games. The Panthers are hopeful a bigger, stronger Hardy will break through in 2012 and become a more consistent complement to DRE Charles Johnson.

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