Tomorrow is the big day Panther fans. The Cats finally are going to suit up and hit the field against the New York Giants in the team’s first preseason game of the 2011 season. The game is in Bank of America stadium and will provide fans its first look at Cam Newton, some of the new Panther acquisitions, including tight end Greg Olsen, and the new coaching scheme.
No they won’t show everything that they are planning tomorrow night, but you will get a good understanding of how the offense will move and what the main defensive scheme will be.
However, the Panthers will be without their main offensive weapon and one of its cornerstones on defense tomorrow. Wide receiver Steve Smith and defensive end Charles Johnson will both miss the game tomorrow night. Smith hurt a finger that will take at least another week to heal, while Johnson is out with a leg injury.
I wouldn’t look to hard into this but it does seem as though the Panthers are already being hobbled with injuries. Yesterday the Panthers placed recently signed free agent Ron Edwards on the injured reserve list after he torn his tricep muscle, while it was announced yesterday that second year wide receiver David Gettis tore his ACL and will most likely be lost for the season.
On another note, as expected Panthers head coach Ron Rivera named Jimmy Clausen the starting quarterback for Saturday nights game. Clausen has been working with the first team offense all training camp and the move was expected. But Newton should see sometime with parts of the first team offense. I would expect that the first overall pick will see some action early on in a situational play, while entering in the beginning of the second quarter playing with parts of the starting offensive line.
— For a look at five interesting story lines heading into this game, check out Cat Crave writer Seth McConnell’s piece on the game.
–Also, if you are at the game, send us your photos to CatCraveEditor.com. We would love to have some gameday photos from hopefully the beginning of a great season.