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A Guide to Preseason Game Viewing


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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....


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 won't see the effectiveness of the offensive or defensive play calling 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.

Click here to view the article


The fact you have to do this after 18 years. Makes me sick that we have so many idiots  in this fan base. :sick:


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The fact you have to do this after 18 years. Makes me sick that we have so many idiots in this fan base. :sick:

not really, it means the fan base is growing, I had to explain to someone on here this offseason that Nick Goings used to be a very good role player for us, because all he ever knew was the post concussion goings not the pre concussion one because he didnt start watching before that.
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This is what makes the four-game preseason a joke.  I know that some teams have shared practices with other teams and host scrimmages.  I think this would make more sense from strictly a player, scheme, play evaluation standpoint.  If folks want to drive down to TC to see the Panthers line up with say, the Jags, for a scrimmage game, go for it.


Once you sell full price tickets, sell concessions, fill up a stadium, parking lots, etc, fans inevitably want to see a football game.  I agree that winning is not the desired outcome for the coaches, but for those who remember the 1-15 season, that first preseason win the following August was a welcome sign. 



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I still like to win the home ones.  It still  pisses me off when Pittsburgh fans who migrate from the trailer parks in South Carolina come to the game because it the only time they will see their team live and yell and make an ass of themselves if  they win because their 4th string is better than ours at the end of the game. I don't like their fans anyway, butt this puts them over the top.

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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.

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