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A Guide to Preseason Game Viewing

Aug 06 2013 05:50 AM Zod Carolina Panthers
Every season it is interesting to see extreme fan reactions to preseason games. After the game, twitter is ablaze with angry fits of criticism and outrage.

The Panthers reaction to this outrage usually looks something like this....
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Greg Hardy - Carolina Panthers

It occurred to me that some fans need a preseason football viewing tutorial.

Here are a few key points to help you understand and enjoy the preseason a bit more and save yourself some embarrassment on twitter.

1. The main objective is not winning. I know, this seems like football blasphemy, but if the coaches are being honest they would tell you the same. The main objective in preseason play is talent evaluation. In many cases, players earn or lose a roster spot in the preseason. Seeing a player's reaction to a real opponent in a real game with real hitting is the ultimate evaluation tool.

2. Another objective is play evaluation. The Panthers will start each game with a series of scripted plays they want to take a close look at. These are typically base plays to which variations can be added. Often times they will stick to the predetermined script despite a disadvantage in field position. Again, the goal is not scoring touchdowns, the goal is evaluation.

3. Coaching decisions or effectiveness are impossible to judge. With possibly slight exception in the third preseason game where light game planning is performed, we really won't see how effective the offense or defense play calling will be until the regular season.

4. Individual player performance is open to praise or criticism. There are very valid things to get excited or upset about in preseason, and individual player performance is one of them. This is especially true for the second and third string. These guys are playing for a roster spot, you are seeing them at their very best.

5. Special Teams can be fully evaluated. In the preseason the Special Teams unit are pretty much what you see is what you get. Feel free to fully judge.

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56 Comments

:: before

The first preseason game I think can be very telling.  It sets the tone for the rest of the practice season and that can snowball into the regular season.  The offense usually comes out looking to score on that first drive.  I remember how the offense came out in 2011 and just lit up the Giants, Clausen and Cam looked solid.  I was so excited because when Cam came in, it was just immediately clear that he would be the franchise QB for years to come.  It became clear over the next couple of preseason and regular season games that this team would struggle to get Ws.  But after that 1st preseason game I was so stoked.

 

What I'm saying is that the preseason can be full of surprises and that first drive in game 1 sets the tone.  I think players play harder in that game, honestly.  Plus, as mentioned, you get to see the kick return game in action and that will be very telling because they are going to do the same thing in reg season.

 

Game 1 is also a lot better if the opponent is a rival and we do kind of have a grudge thing going on with the Bears.  We gutted them in that 2005 playoff game and they have had our number ever since.  Plus, there's last year's heartbreaker which we lost after leading comfortably.  Its a good match, because the Bears are a good team that will provide a good measure of our abilities.



Yeah I was at a bar last season (or year before that) and had to try to explain to one of my friends why we didn't have Smitty in the game in the 4th quarter only down one touchdown.

 

Of course, he was a Cowboys fan first, so that may explain part of the brain damage.

 

The question is, who has the larger amount of brain damage? The Cowboys fan for being a Cowboys fan.... or the guy who hangs around with said Cowboys fan? Hmmmmmmmm..??

 

 

 

:P

The question is, who has the larger amount of brain damage? The Cowboys fan for being a Cowboys fan.... or the guy who hangs around with said Cowboys fan? Hmmmmmmmm..??

 

 

 

:P

 

 

The good thing is he can't count past 6, so when the beers start piling up I can put most of mine on his tab.

The good thing is he can't count past 6, so when the beers start piling up I can put most of mine on his tab.

 

A-ha! So there's a method to your madness! I like it!!!  :goodjob:

I've seen talks of playoffs and the Super Bowl. I'm out of the country and did not watch but it sounds like things went pretty well. From the box score it looks like the starters played to a tie roughly.

Based on recent threads and posts this needed a bump. Pin please? Heck can we make it required reading before you can make a new thread for the rest of preseason?

Good point about the player evaluation. This is why Sione Fua played so much in the 1st half. We wanted to see what he could do. The answer was: NOTHING

I've seen talks of playoffs and the Super Bowl. I'm out of the country and did not watch but it sounds like things went pretty well. From the box score it looks like the starters played to a tie roughly.

 

 

Not hardly...

 

Nick Foles aka Joe Montana did w/e he wanted v our defense....

 

And our offense was boring and unproductive.

 

It's sad when Gano is the high point of the night.(aside from no injuries)

 

A plus would be...well Gano seems to look like a competent kicker at the moment.

We saw the team last night look exactly like they have in previous preseasons during Rivera's tenure., which then carried on into the regular season. Flat, unfocused, making nonsensical mistakes and boneheaded penalties. Rivera has proven to be too lax on this team. I hope that would change this season, but if it doesn't we are in for another slow start.

 

Chew them out Rivera. They are not your friends. They are your players.

 

Will the errors of the first two preseason games carry on for the final two? We shall see. If it does, then you should be concerned.

 

3's a trend, and this is the 3rd time we've seen a Rivera coached team look like this early on.

Do you guys love to throw SC under the bus? Don't put that poo on my state man. There are very loyal panther fans here that "migrate" up to put their ass in those seats. NC not filling them alone. Ever been to a bobcats game?


Have you ever been to a preseason game when we play the Steelers? You would know 2/3s of them drive straight back down 85 and 77 to South Carolina .

Okay this may be a fallacy considering there is no empirical data to say either way. Just my observation when trying to get to 321 to head up the mountain though.

Have you ever been to a preseason game when we play the Steelers? You would know 2/3s of them drive straight back down 85 and 77 to South Carolina .

Okay this may be a fallacy considering there is no empirical data to say either way. Just my observation when trying to get to 321 to head up the mountain though.


I don't need to get on 77 to come home so I wouldn't know.

Based on recent threads and posts this needed a bump. Pin please? Heck can we make it required reading before you can make a new thread for the rest of preseason?


If all you took from the original post was overreacting to a loss your wrong. Our ones were smoked, passed around and smoked again. The shotgun formation gave us the best advantage because Cam is not great at timing routes.(plus the oline just take a step or two out of the way as soon as the ball is snapped)

Dwill looked good when he was given the slightest cut back. We know Gettis can catch in the open, can he catch in traffic? Sione Fua may give someone a stroke. Zone defense doesn't work against quick strike teams( chalk it up to vanilla D) Anderson looks like he always has, so so accuracy but a good back up to have. Star is still getting double teams like he was at Utah.

DE's got sucked into the middle way too fast which enabled runs around the ends. Not a problem because its preseason with no film.

Cam made some bad throws and seemed flustered to me. The fade to Smitty was not the best choice but you go back to the bench and tell smith you didn't see him 1 on 1 in the endzone.

My views of the game from one of Zods rules.

My take, we looked flat minus the crossing routes Cam hit. The offense moved down the field well but stalled. This game reminded me of several games from last year which is scary.

Bottom line, lets wait till next week when both teams have a little bit of mock game planning going on to pass judgement. I don't see running that ball that much as an issue against anyone not in Philadelphia. If we beat Seattle, I think everyone will be relieved.

I don't need to get on 77 to come home so I wouldn't know.


Well 85 obviously crosses 485 but going 85 southbound is pretty black and yellow. Steelers fans are everywhere, as annoying as that is they are one of the few franchises whose fans I respect.

49ers fans who are my age I consider fair weather because they were cellar dwellers forever. No one is a falcons fan. Giants fans are expected in the Raleigh/durham area and cheese heads are attractive to new fans because of their history.

Anyone else I see in NC, I call BS.

Like one guy said, watching Preseason is like watching scrambled Skinemax. Every now and then you catch a glimpse of something, but most of the time you can't see anything intelligible.


Best post I have read on here in weeks.
FWIW the last time I remember us looking good in preseason was 08
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koolkatluke
Aug 16 2013 08:48 PM

Zod please pin this up.

Well 85 obviously crosses 485 but going 85 southbound is pretty black and yellow. Steelers fans are everywhere, as annoying as that is they are one of the few franchises whose fans I respect.

49ers fans who are my age I consider fair weather because they were cellar dwellers forever. No one is a falcons fan. Giants fans are expected in the Raleigh/durham area and cheese heads are attractive to new fans because of their history.

Anyone else I see in NC, I call BS.


I honestly see more Atlanta fans in SC than anything else. Can't really be mad at them a lot I know were fans before the panthers came around.
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koolkatluke
Aug 16 2013 09:00 PM

Keep bumping this everytime a dumb threads is posted.

FWIW the last time I remember us looking good in preseason was 08

 

.....and we haven't been over .500 at any point in the regular season since 2008.

 

we also have the worst winning percentage on opening week in the nfl.

Zod, you should make this post a mandatory read before any fan freaks out and/or has a meltdown on this site.

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koolkatluke
Aug 17 2013 04:30 AM

Bump it again.

It's already preseason. It don't seem like it should be football time already.

I love how people just ignore my last post.

 

To me, it's obvious our crappy effort and play in the pre-seasons translates to our slow starts every season.

I love how people just ignore my last post.

 

To me, it's obvious our crappy effort and play in the pre-seasons translates to our slow starts every season.

It isn't obvious or even causal.  Preseason is not the same as the regular season and the goals are very different.  Furthermore each year is totally different in terms of what has happened the past 2 years.  In 2011 we had no offseason, a shortened training camp and we were installing everything new including a rookie quarterback with little college experience.  Everyone in the know were clear that the hardest transition would be for teams like the Panthers who were having a complete fruit basket turnover.

So really last year is the only year where your theory would even apply.  In order to have a body of evidence in order to support your thoughts, it would take at least 2 years which hasn't happened.  So at this point your premise is clearly not obvious or even germaine.  If they start off slow this year you might have a point.  Until then though, it sounds more like chicken littling and whining after 2 preseason games.  

W-L doesn't matter in preseason. But I'd still like our players to at least perform well. Which they aren't. I know everyone will chalk my post up as an "overreaction" but let me make it clear, I'm not intending this to be a panic-type post. However, the people who are overly lax about the pre-season are just as bad as the people who overreact.