5 key observations from third Carolina Panthers practice back in Charlotte

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Joe Brady
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Joe Brady /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports) Dominik Eberle /

Slow start to Carolina Panthers kicking competition

This was the first official day of a position competition that has ever-growing importance. Joey Slye’s struggles in the Carolina Panthers’ second preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens forced those in power to finally bring in additional reinforcements, with Dominik Eberle joining the ranks late on Monday evening.

There wasn’t much time to adjust where Eberle was concerned. It was straight into the action and the Panthers even brought in NFL referees to simulate a real-time kicking situation to see how both players responded.

The reaction was mixed. Especially during the first drill where Slye missed all of his kicks from 40+ yards and Eberle made two out of a possible four.

Not exactly the best of starts for either man.

Slye did manage to nail one after a drill with time expiring in that particular situation. But this did nothing to dispel the notion that the Virginia Tech product’s waning confidence simply cannot be trusted when competitive action begins.

It was an unspectacular start for Eberle, although the two kickers should both get the opportunity to audition for the starting role against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday.

Who holds their nerve better under serious job pressure will have the edge.