Can you feel it? Maybe you can smell it, too! I am getting the sense in the pit of my stomach, as well! We are on the precipice of seeing our Carolina Panthers take the field for the first time since the end of the 2009 regular season, and with a whole bunch of new faces. There is now a couple things we can sink our teeth into.
We’ll start out with what we shall term the breaking news.
Today, the Panthers added experienced depth to the offensive line, adding two veteran linemen. Claimed off of the Jacksonville Jaguars waiver wire, Carolina took tackle Jason Capizzi and guard Andrew Crummey. Of course with the acquisition of these two players, there were two of our own who were waived: undrafted rookies Noah Franklin and Kurtis Gregory — the guy from Mizzou who dominated Ndamukong Suh. I hope that doesn’t turn out to be a mistake.
More good news for the Panthers, as the injury report became a little lighter — five players lighter. Back in practice were tight end Jamie Petrowski, running back Tyrell Sutton, defensive ends Hilee Taylor and Eric Moore, and defensive tackle Nick Hayden.
On a more exciting note, rookie wide receiver and third-round draft pick Brandon LaFell, a.k.a. “Sticks,” has not only been impressing coaches, but has received a “promotion,” from third-string wide receiver to No. 2 on the depth chart. Disappointingly to those of us whom were rallying behind incumbent Dwayne Jarrett, it seems that Jarrett just can’t shake the cobwebs, as LaFell continues to learn and improve by leaps and bounds with every passing day. At the end of the day, I only want the best man for the job in that position.
Also spending some time with the second-string players, rookie quarterback and second-round pick Jimmy Clausen is now sharing reps with second-year quarterback Hunter Cantwell. It seems that Clausen too, is picking things up quickly, as well.
The time has finally arrived. Preseason, in all it’s grandeur, is finally here. With it comes a pretty tough slate of talented opponents.
Thursday night marks Carolina’s first game of the (pre)season, since it’s regular season finale win over division rival New Orleans.
I don’t expect to see a whole lot from the starters, as pretty much every squad will get an almost even amount of playing time. I’m also not going to preview Thursday’s game until sometime Wednesday, so be sure to check back in Wednesday evening.
On Carolina’s slate of preseason opponents, are two away games sandwiched around two home games.
On Thursday August 12, the Panthers travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens before a national TV audience on ESPN at 8 p.m. eastern time. This will be a good testing ground to see how much we’re going to “miss” a former player who shall remain unnamed.
Carolina’s next two games will be Saturday night matches at 8 p.m. at home against the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets. Carolina will wrap up preseason with a road game to Pittsburgh and the Steelers, on a Thursday night also at 8 p.m.
Tags: Andrew Crummey Baltimore Ravens Brandon LaFell Carolina Panthers Dwayne Jarrett Eric Moore ESPN Hilee Taylor Hunter Cantwell Jamie Petrowski Jason Capizzi Jimmy Clausen Kurtis Gregory New York Jets NFL Nick Hayden Noah Franklin Pittsburgh Steelers Preseason Tennessee Titans Training Camp Tyrell Sutton