5 important observations from Carolina Panthers first preseason game

(Michael Pemberton/The Indianapolis Star via IMAGN Content Services) P.J. Walker
(Michael Pemberton/The Indianapolis Star via IMAGN Content Services) P.J. Walker /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /

Carolina Panthers OL discipline problems

The Carolina Panthers made a big song and dance about infringements during training camp. The “Don’t Beat Ourselves” sign that players run to when they get flagged has been a noticeable presence throughout each session, which also made the trip to Indianapolis for joint practice.

If the sign was on the sidelines during this game, it would have been visited heavily by members of the Panthers’ offensive line.

Penalties in critical moments absolutely killed Carolina and played a leading role in their eventual downfall. Trenton Scott was the main culprit in the first half and was replaced quickly by Greg Little at left tackle, but the same complications continued to surface after the half-time break.

One main example was a crucial thrird-and-two for the Panthers in the fourth quarter. This eventually turned into a third-and-17 after three successive false starts, which simply isn’t going to win a lot of football games when competitive action begins.

This will no doubt have infuriated head coach Matt Rhule, who has preached high discipline as a key to success almost from the moment he arrived from Baylor.

Carolina’s preseason opener did nothing to dispel the concerns surrounding the protection. But again, this wasn’t the starters on the field.