Most of the offseason talk about the Panthers' linebackers has been about the two that didn't play the majority of the 2011 season.
Lost in the shuffle is the one who did -- James Anderson, who turned in a record-setting year following season-ending injuries to Jon Beason and Thomas Davis.
Anderson set a franchise record with 174 tackles, breaking Beason's mark of 169 set in 2009.
But Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Anderson's increased leadership responsibilities and willingness to play through pain were just as impressive as the tackles.
"When we first got started he was not a very vocal guy. But as his role increased, you could see his confidence grow as a linebacker and took a leadership role," Rivera said at the combine.
"I think that's the biggest thing he had to do. He shows you he can do it athletically. He shows he can do it mentally – a very cerebral, smart football player with good athletic ability."
Rivera said Anderson played the second half of the season w...