East Carolina Pirates: Blocking Linval Joseph Key for Panthers

Former East Carolina Pirates defensive tackle Linval Joseph will be taking on the Carolina Panthers this weekend.

Former East Carolina Pirates defensive tackle Linval Joseph will be key to how the Carolina Panthers try to defeat the Minnesota Vikings this weekend. Joseph occupies a very familiar position for fans of how the Panthers build a successful defense. He is a defensive tackle for the Vikings and has made an impact the first two weeks of the season.

The Panthers model to teambuilding was brought along by Dave Gettleman from his time with the New York Giants. That model included have strong defensive lines and a good running game amongst other things. The Vikings under Mike Zimmer are trying to build the same way.

It should not be surprising then to find Joseph, a former Giants defensive tackle, as a major piece on the Mike Zimmer defense. He has two sacks in two games and a forced fumble, getting interior pressure similar to what the Panthers want from their linemen as well. Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei have been delivering in their own right as well.

The Panthers running attack will have to go through Joseph is some way. Carolina will likely be taking the dust off of Cameron Artis-Payne to replace the lost production of Jonathan Stewart. The team could consider more outside running as well through Fozzi Whittaker. Beating Joseph off of the line of scrimmage will make that job easier.

In pass rush situations, the Panthers will match up Ryan Kalil, Trai Turner, or Andrew Norwell against Joseph. Two of those guys are Pro Bowlers, and so should offer more resistance than the Vikings have seen from Green Bay (who cut Josh Sitton prior) and the Tennessee Titans.

Cam Newton was able to eviscerate the 49ers behind good blocking, and the Panthers cannot allow Joseph to have a big game against them. Root for the Pirate if you must, but the Panthers will likely win the game if you hear his name as little as possible.