As I watched the second half of the Carolina Panthers first preseason game from the sidelines on Thursday night, I could not help but recall what Ron Rivera said earlier this week in practice.
During a dismal practice session, Rivera called out the Panthers younger players for not being prepared, missing alignments and missing assignments.
“I wanted to make sure they understood, that hey guys that’s not good enough” Rivera said after practice. He then went on to say
“You are going to come out and you’re not going to know where to line up and you are going to get the crap kicked out of you”
Well, turns out this statement was fairly prophetic. As it turns out, the Carolina Panthers second and third string units did not perform well at all against Baltimore. The younger players on the team did indeed miss assignments, as Ron Rivera said would happen.
The most glaring problems on the night came from both the offensive line and defensive line reserves. Young players that were caught off guard and unprepared for the evening. If Ron Rivera’s warning was not a big enough alarm for them, their experience against the Baltimore Ravens surely was.
The younger members of the Carolina Panthers now have a full week of practice ahead of them and work on improving. How each individual responds to this poor performance could be the difference between making the team or being a roster casualty.