Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP ; Panthers DT Short Presents a Problem for the Cardinals

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP ; Panthers DT Short Presents a Problem for the Cardinals

Article excerpt

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Josh Noman has some advice for Carson Palmer if he sees Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kawann "KK Short heading his way on Sunday in the NFC championship game. "Run, the Panthers All-Pro cornerback said with a hearty laugh. "Run, run as fast as you can, I'm the Gingerbread Man.

Norman has seen Short blossom into a dominant inside pass rusher in just his third season with the Panthers, recording 11 sacks - a franchise record for a defensive tackle - along with 32 quarterback pressures.

The 6-foot-3, 315-pound Short carried that momentum over to the playoffs last week, pressuring Seattle's Russell Wilson into throwing a first quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown by Luke Kuechly, giving Carolina an early 14-0 lead and setting the tone for the game.

He also had a sack on Wilson.

"That play was all KK, Kuechly said of the pick six. "When you look at the play if you really break it down it was him. He made a move on the guard and just like that he was on Russell. Really I was just kind of standing there and he tossed it right to me. I give KK all the credit because he deserved it all.

When general manager Dave Gettleman arrived in Carolina in 2013, he spent his first two draft picks on "hog mollies selecting a pair of mammoth defensive tackles in space eater Star Lotulelei in the first round, followed by the pass-rushing specialist Short in the second.

They have become fixtures on a defense that has ranked in the top 10 in each of the past three seasons and forced a league-high 39 turnovers in the regular season.

"He and Star form a really good tandem inside, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. "Star seems to do a lot of the dirty work, a lot of the physical work, and KK is explosive and a pass rusher.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Lotulelei and Short are the best pair of defensive tackles Arizona has seen all season. …

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