Bedard’s Breakdown (Defense): Mike Pennel comes to play; is it too late? (Update: Apparently)

Mike Pennel No. 98 (Adam Richins for BSJ)

UPDATE: Mike Pennel has been informed of his release, according to Mike Reiss.

Pretty much said my piece on the defense, especially the starters, after Thursday night's game. And with the Panthers running just 41 plays total from scrimmage and being pretty conservative, there wasn't a ton of information to be gleaned in this game. But there were a few morsels.

The biggest takeaway on the defensive side of the ball, beyond the obvious? Nose tackle Mike Pennel came to play, and played very well.

The former Packer and Jet has been a bit of an enigma during training camp. He seemed like a smart signing by the Patriots at an area of need, and a likely starter. Tracked that way during the offseason practices and to start camp and then, poof, like Keyzer Soze, he was gone — banished to the third team, where he still remained on Thursday.

But the difference for Pennel against the Panthers?