Which Carolina Panthers news stories are hitting the headlines as Frank Reich's men get set for their second preseason contest tonight?
After a relatively relaxed week of practice, the Carolina Panthers make the descent to MetLife Stadium tonight for their Preseason Week 2 clash against the New York Giants. While the coaching staff won't want to give the game away too much in terms of scheme concepts, fans are expecting to see significant improvements after their shutout home loss versus the New York Jets last weekend.
It promises to be another intriguing evening. Until then, the stories causing conversation include Frank Reich's expectations, Hayden Hurst's importance, C.J. Henderson being touted as an AFC North target, and Bryce Young's secret ingredient.
Let's delve into each topic in more detail.
Carolina Panthers TE Hayden Hurst's importance
The Carolina Panthers haven't had consistent tight end production since Greg Olsen was allowed to walk in 2020 free agency for the Seattle Seahawks. Whether it was a lack of talent or inept coaching over the last three years doesn't matter anymore - the most important thing for this offense and rookie quarterback Bryce Young is getting improved consistency from this key position group.
Having someone like Hayden Hurst is going to help enormously. The free-agent signing brings veteran savvy and proven production to the Panthers, which is exactly what Young needs as a dependable outlet during his important transition from college to the pros.
This sentiment was recently echoed by ex-NFL tight end Pete Metzelaars via David Newton of ESPN. The former teammate of Frank Reich stated that having someone that knows the game and how to play the position should be a tremendous asset.
"I thought the Panthers' tight ends were a really good group the past few years, but maybe underutilized a little bit. Then they went and got Hayden Hurst. He understands the NFL game and what it takes to operate and to get open, create space, body people up."- Pete Metzelaars via ESPN
Better coaching within a dynamic scene should also help the likes of Tommy Tremble, who suffered greatly under the previous regime. But the onus is firmly on Hurst to step up and become one of the team's focal points.