4 burning questions Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 10 vs. Falcons

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield /
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Amare Barno and Brandon Smith’s playing time

Amare Barno and Brandon Smith got some playing time today. Just watching on TV you can’t see a lot of detail, but how did they look? – Ron Speaks

Thank you for this question, Ron. During the second half and in the fourth quarter, we finally got to see rookie defensive end Amare Barno and linebacker Brandon Smith on the field.

One thing that stood out with both of them was that they played with great hustle and amazing effort.

Smith made some plays in the backfield, including a near-tackle for loss where he exploded behind the line of scrimmage. Barno also made an impact against the run thanks to his effort and being sound with his assigned responsibilities.

This brings up my own question: could we see more of Smith and Barno going forward?

I’m hopeful that’s the case. Both have great athletic profiles and were impressive throughout the preseason and training camp. At some point, the Carolina Panthers have to see what they have in their 2022 rookie class.

With the struggles we have seen on defense, increasing Barno and Smith’s snap counts going forward may benefit them. Will it make much of a difference? That remains to be seen.

It seems unlikely that will be the case. Expecting these two rookies to come in and play like Luke Kuechly or Julius Peppers from the jump is unrealistic. Though, their youth, energy, and high effort may provide a nice boost for a unit that is in desperate need of one.