Which Carolina Panthers news stories are hitting the headlines as the team begins preparations for their preseason finale against the Detroit Lions?
There's been far too much angst among some sections of the Carolina Panthers fanbase leading into the final week of preseason. Two straight losses and little offensive imagination have led to some major overreactions - something that's piling on unnecessary pressure with just a few short weeks remaining until they begin their campaign with a trip to the Atlanta Falcons.
Until then, the stories causing conversation include Shi Smith's soaring stock, Carolina's offensive line woes, Frank Reich on play-calling, and a prominent veteran's praise for Bryce Young.
Let's delve into each topic in more detail.
Carolina Panthers OL problems
One of the most disappointing elements of the preseason so far centers on the offensive line. This is something of a surprise considering the growth made by this particular starting unit last season, although missing right guard Austin Corbett through injury is being sorely felt.
There are confidence and communication issues that need rectifying quickly. Something that was highlighted by Chance Chamberlain from Last Word on Sports, who stated that the Carolina Panthers' protection is key to quarterback Bryce Young excelling during his rookie campaign.
"It’s become evident throughout training camp and the preseason that Young has the talent to change this franchise. Keeping him upright and healthy will be the challenge in his rookie year. This Panthers team will go as far as the offensive line takes them."- Chance Chamberlain, LWOS
Pressing the panic button at this stage would be foolish. However, it's a situation that warrants significant attention heading into the business end of preparations.