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Analysis: Preseason Game 3


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#1 Mr. Scot

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:19 PM

As unpopular as it might be to say, I’m not as worried about the first team offense as I might have been. Yes, there were some rough spots, and more of them than you want, but for an offense in preseason form under a new QB and missing three key components, it could have been a whole lot worse. They definitely showed some signs of life as the game went on. And no, those weren’t second teamers they were beating any more than our guys were. The only starters that I know for certain were out early were Vince Young and DeAngelo Williams. Everything you want to see? No, but improvement, and at this point I’ll take it.

Matt Moore is definitely growing as a leader. It’s clear he has no fear of expressing his displeasure when a teammate messes up. For that matter, he’s not afraid to disagree with the head coach. Moore pushing to go for it on fourth and short is one of those moments that your teammates make a mental note of and remember when it comes to crunch time. It says ‘he believes in us, so we’ll push hard for him”. Ditto that moment of jumping around after a deflected pass. There are still things he needs to fix, mind you. He needs to get those high passes down, though for my money I think Steve Smith catches that overthrow that Jarrett didn’t get for a touchdown. Anybody who still thinks there’s even a hint of QB controversy is reaching (big time).

Kudos to Mike Goodson, Brandon LaFell, David Gettis, and wide receiver Armanti Edwards. All made positive strides tonight. Goodson looked positively Smittyish on that long kick return (credit to RJ Stanford for staying with him). Likewise, LaFell showed signs that the light may be coming on. Gettis had some nice catches, but also looked good blocking downfield. That’ll score points with John Fox. And whither Armanti Edwards? Not to the practice squad. Too risky. In my opinion, he’ll still make the 53 man roster, but not the 45 man active roster. Expect him to be inactive for a good portion of the season. Potentially all year, but I do think at some point he’ll see some time (hopefully not due to injury). Let all the screaming about wasted picks begin, but plenty of guys taken with high picks haven’t contributed in their rookie season. Even if he doesn’t play a down this year, it’ll still be too early to say anything definitive about his ultimate value.

Watching this game, I got the impression that the team might be doing more pre-snap shifting around. Several times saw two guys in motion, not something I recall seeing quite as frequently in prior seasons. If we’re going that route, they might need to assign someone to tell Dwayne Jarrett what to do before each play. Speaking of Jarrett, I still think we go into the season with him as the number two, but he shouldn’t get too comfortable (especially if LaFell keeps improving).

And what about Trent Guy? Prior to tonight, I wouldn’t have expected him to make it. Truthfully, he still might not, even though he looked good after some initial foibles. If Wallace Wright can’t come back, Guy’s odds get better. Still, the number game is going to make it tough. You could make a case for keeping Kenny Moore - though I still don’t see him making it - and the team could see some value in Brian Witherspoon as a DB/returner. For the record, what I saw of Witherspoon tonight: one bad play, one very bad one, a couple of good ones, two very good ones, and a decent return that was a step away from being spectacular. At the very least, you’d have to say he’s got a decent shot.

“So what about the defense?” you ask.

Well, I’m trying very hard not to get too excited because I’ve seen good preseason performances turn out to be illusions before. Still, it’s a challenge.

When the team rebuilt their defensive staff after the departure of Mike Trgovac, the Panthers put a heavy emphasis on finding guys who were teachers. Brian Baker, Richard Smith and Ron Milus were brought in, Mike Gillhammer and Sam Mills III were retained, and the job of bringing it all together fell to Ron Meeks. For my part, I was skeptical of the approach I expected from Meeks. Right now, it’s tough to be skeptical of anything. Baker has the line going better than the talent level would make you think it could, Smith has made a jury-rigged LB corps look like they can do the job, and Milus/Gillhammer have the secondary looking up to the task. Hard not to be impressed. Again, it’s far from guaranteed that this kind of success will carry over, but there’s good reason to be an optimist.

#2 Mr. Scot

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:20 PM

Quick Hits:

Eighteen sacks through three preseason games. Wow.

Improvement from the Big Uglys, though still one or two preseason mistakes.

Special teams? Not perfect, but tonight was the first time I watched special teams play this preseason that I didn’t hear the Benny Hill music playing in my head.

Did somebody slap Charles Johnson’s mama before this game?

Much as I like him, Tyrell Sutton’s tendency to get nicked up worries me. Good reason to keep Josh Vaughn around on the PS if you can.

Kerry Collins sacked twice and picked off. Somewhere, my old board buddy Jason is replaying those highlights over and over again.

Todd Carter and JJ Jansen are both so baby-faced they probably get carded a lot. They both also did a lot of good stuff tonight.

THE Marcus Hudson busted THE spine of THE Titans Tight End Sean Ryan.

I like having the eighth referee deep on the field. It makes up for some of the issues that could come from moving the umpire.

Hated that the defense gave up a TD. Love that it was nullified one play later.

That first series with the second team offense, ugh. Four false starts in a row? Come on, guys.

I think Rob Petitti may have bought himself a ticket out of town tonight, but we’ll see.

“Marc Mariani? Pleased to meet you. My name is RJ Stanford. And sorry, but this may hurt a little.”

Gary Barnidge may have a chance to start somewhere, someday. I’d like it to be for us.

And to finish off, Matt Moore has adopted the Delhomme/Fox phrase "there's no doubt" in his interviews. He's also adopted the "it's all on me" attitude, which is good to hear.

Edited by Mr Scot, 28 August 2010 - 10:26 PM.


#3 Kral

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:27 PM

I think the special teams and offense both show signs of improvement and that the defense still looks dominating. All in all a good preseason game.

I also think Trent Guy should be given another go at punt returner before deciding anything about him.

#4 ladypanther

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:28 PM

Right on as usual.

I like the bit of optimism about the offense. I agree, with everyone in the game things will change. There is a lot of trial and error going on now...new guys learning the offense.


#5 rico6

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:31 PM

I agree on all of your counts, and the point you made with Moore showing displeasure with Fox's playcalling made me feel warm inside. If Jeff&Fox can utilize the offensive talent this team has. Then I can most definitely see the offense being somewhat respectable. (hell, maybe even somewhat decent) But like you said, The back-up OL having 4 false starts in a row (On 3rd and 2nd I might add) was nothing short of embarrassing and just cannot happen.

And Trent Guy needs to be the punt returner. If Fox cuts the guy I'll piss in his mailbox.

Edited by rico6, 28 August 2010 - 10:36 PM.


#6 pstall

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:32 PM

A #2 wr ABSOLUTELY has to emerge for this team to go far. I feel fine about every area of the team but ST. Goodson might have nailed down KR and maybe Kenny Moore for PR.
Things don't seem bleak but there are lot's of improvement left.

#7 Mr. Scot

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:33 PM

It's worth remembering that through the opening games of Ron Meeks first year as DC, people were ready to bail on him. Once his unit came together though, things got a lot better. And now, a number of fans are ready to swear their loyalty to him.

Keep that in mind as you watch the offense gel, and possibly even the special teams (we can hope).

#8 SorthNarolina

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:35 PM

Quick Hits:

And to finish off, Matt Moore has adopted the Delhomme/Fox phrase "there's no doubt" in his interviews. He's also adopted the "it's all on me" attitude, which is good to hear.


He's also adopted Delhome's floaty balls.

#9 rico6

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:36 PM

I've been on the Meeks bandwagon since last years Dallas game. The guy is a genius.

#10 Dpantherman

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:36 PM

I understand that King is a great blocker. but im sorry, im taking a chance on the big play guy. Give Barnidge the starting nod. you can't leave that much offensive fire wasting away like it.

#11 SorthNarolina

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:36 PM

It's worth remembering that through the opening games of Ron Meeks first year as DC, people were ready to bail on him. Once his unit came together though, things got a lot better. And now, a number of fans are ready to swear their loyalty to him.

Keep that in mind as you watch the offense gel, and possibly even the special teams (we can hope).


I think a lot of that was the awful DT depth. We wern't prepared for the loss of kemo and the replacements all got injured too.

#12 Mr. Scot

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:38 PM

But like you said, The back-up OL having 4 false starts in a row (On 3rd and 2nd I might add) was nothing short of embarrassing and just cannot happen.

If I were part of that unit, I wouldn't have wanted to face Dave Magazu coming off the field after that performance.

#13 Evil Hurney

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:40 PM

He's also adopted Delhome's floaty balls.


I seem to remember Matt always having a floaty ball.

#14 SorthNarolina

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:40 PM

Magazu works magic with 2-3 backups in the regular season but not 5 backups all at once. ewwww.

#15 SorthNarolina

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:41 PM

I seem to remember Matt always having a floaty ball.


Yeah he did have some floaters against the vikings and pats. I think the bucs too. I was hoping those would go away.


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