By now you all have watched the Pittsburgh game, have read the game recap, and know everything you need to know in what is essentially a scrimmage between backup players. You know it all, right? Wrong.
There are things that go unnoticed and I am here to bring them in to focus for you. Where others provide the obvious, I will provide for you the subtext.
First off, the Panthers may have the most attractive Topcat squad they have ever had. There are quite a few really good looking gals there to get the crowd motivated.
Also, Rocky Proehl is quickly making a name for himself as a coach. Looking at the roster, one could argue the Panthers are in the best position in many years when choosing a wide receiver squad. This may have to do with the talent level brought in, but it also has to do with Ricky. He has the respect of the entire squad, including Steve Smith. During pregame Smith was dancing to the warm up hip hop tunes, trying to get Ricky to crack a smile. You don't see Steve Smith goof off very much, the fact that he will with Proehl is an ultimate sign of respect.
DJ Moore got my respect last night. When Jon Beason went down from a block on a Pittsburgh running play, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey gave a little extra curricular shoving to Beason after the play was over. DJ Moore wasn't having that, and threw his 190 pound frame into Pouncey's 300 pound frame. Thats how you show your dedication to your team young man.
Yes, Greg Hardy is an animal. Every so often my camera catches a frame that the opposing team would probably be embarrassed about. This is one of them.
AJ Klein looks to be an eventual starter in this league. He looked solid last night in both the run and passing defensive plays. Some say it may be due to his physical capabilities and tenacious attitude. I say it is due to the fact he has a robotic arm, which I am not so sure is completelyfair.
Josh Norman is developing into a shut down corner. He still has much to learn, but has the physical tools needed to succeed at a very high level. One thing I was noticing last night was his reach. Norman appears to have an insane wingspan. This is a huge advantage, allowing him to play much taller than he actually is. I would imagine his wing span is somewhere around 6'3, despite what Leonardo Davinci says it should be on his 6 foot frame...
Armond Smith had a rough night and may not make the squad. I think he has potential due mainly to his speed which cannot be coached. His fumble, while unfortunate, was not all that bad. It was a great play by the Pittsburgh defenders. Armond wraps the ball up pretty well while running. I would not expect fumbling to be a common theme with this kid.
So thats it. Preseason is over and we can all get in to regular season mode now. There are still many questions to be answered about this Panthers squad. For the first time in many months, they will now start to be answered in definitive fashion.