5 key observations from second Carolina Panthers practice in Charlotte

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shi Smith
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shi Smith /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Slye /

Carolina Panthers now have a kicking competition

It’s been a rough couple of days for Joey Slye after another field goal miss on Saturday night against the Baltimore Ravens. Although both Matt Rhule and Scott Fitterer outlined their confidence in the Virginia Tech product to turn things around, there is now a kicking competition over the next week before the 53-man roster is finalized.

Fitterer spoke to the media following practice and claimed even though the “like” Slye, the Carolina Panthers will “continue to look at other kickers” in pursuit of getting more consistency in this vital area of the field.

Just a short time after this statement, the Panthers announced the signing of former Utah State kicker Dominik Eberle, with LaDarius Wiley making way.

There have been some real positives to emerge from the preseason games so far. But ongoing red-zone struggles mean that Carolina needs Slye or someone else to give them a sense of stability keeping the scoreboard ticking over if touchdowns cannot be attained.

Slye has had things all his own way during training camp, which seems bizarre considering 2020 was not a stellar year for the player.

At least judging by what we’ve seen from Slye during the preseason so far, their unrivaled optimism he could hit the ground running without a true kicking competition appears misplaced. A rare lapse in judgment from a decision-making process that’s been extremely profitable this offseason.

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What comes next will ultimately be down to Slye. But there is now another potential option in Eberle that the player must contend with in the coming days.