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August 16, 2013

Takeaways and observations from Panthers-Eagles

Wrote about David Gettis' emergence for Saturday's paper. But here are eight other observations (non-wide receiver edition) from the Panthers' 14-9 loss at Philly:

--New safety Mike Mitchell picked up his first personal foul penalty as a Panther. It won't be his last. Mitchell's aggressiveness is one of his best attributes, but he has to avoid needless penalties.

--Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said recently the Panthers' cornerbacks have to tackle in his system. But the corners have missed a few hits during the first two exhibitions, none more glaring than Drayton Florence's whiff on LeSean McCoy.

--The Panthers averaged only 3 yards a carry, but the line was pretty physical. Had the starters stayed in, it felt like the kind of game where the lanes would have widened for DeAngelo Williams as the Panthers kept pounding the run.

--Have to appreciate rookie defensive tackle Star Lotulelei's candor. The first-round pick admitted the Eagles' fast-pace offense wore him out. He wasn't the only one.

--Coaches might have seen this coming. When the defense practiced against the hurry-up offense at the end of a practice in Spartanburg, a couple of defensive linemen were essentially leaning on the offensive linemen by the end of it.

--Ron Rivera became a little uneasy when someone brought up the subject of rookie Kenjon Barner's ball security. It seemed Rivera doesn't want Barner preoccupied by it. Barner's muffed punt wasn't entirely his fault; D.J. Campbell, who nearly collided with Barner, has to be more aware of where he is on the field, Rivera said.

--Rivera and McDermott are still experimenting with personnel groupings in the secondary. A week after his two-interception game vs. Chicago, corner Josh Norman didn't play until late in the first half. He promptly picked off Michael Vick's Hail Mary pass at the end of the half.

--Ted Ginn Jr. has yet to field a punt or kickoff in a preseason game, and might not. Why expose him to injury in one of the game's most dangerous plays? Undrafted rookie Michael Zordich tore his ACL and was lost for the year covering a kick against the Bears on one of his first plays as a pro.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on August 16, 2013 at 04:23 PM | Permalink

Comments

"Why expose him to injury in one of the game's most dangerous plays?"

Because that's what he is paid to do! If your taking that approach, then half of the starters should not be playing yet either.

WTF Panthers? You guys looked horrible in all phases of the game! Cam throwing his usual early high balls and he had tunnel vision throwing to Smith.

The Panthers will be lucky to score 14 points in games this year. I can see it now with this vanilla offense ran by Shula. It's going to be a long year.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Aug 16, 2013 5:54:03 PM

I don't deny the Panthers haven't looked like a winning team so far this preseason. But it's also important to remember that this is preseason. If I were calling the plays I would only call the most boring, simple plays in my playbook because, while I do want to see what my guys can do, I don't want to give any extra game film for Seattle to have on me. This is preseason.We need to work out the kinks but the point isn't to put on a flashy show. There were two or three times last night you could see Cam wanted to scramble but I'm sure the coaches mandated to stay healthy. don't take risks in preseason. It earns you nothing. don't forget Falcons went 1-3 last preseason. It means nothing in the long run.

Posted by: K.A.K. | Aug 16, 2013 6:19:04 PM

I don't deny the Panthers haven't looked like a winning team so far this preseason. But it's also important to remember that this is preseason. If I were calling the plays I would only call the most boring, simple plays in my playbook because, while I do want to see what my guys can do, I don't want to give any extra game film for Seattle to have on me. This is preseason.We need to work out the kinks but the point isn't to put on a flashy show. There were two or three times last night you could see Cam wanted to scramble but I'm sure the coaches mandated to stay healthy. don't take risks in preseason. It earns you nothing. don't forget Falcons went 1-3 last preseason. It means nothing in the long run.

Posted by: K.A.K. | Aug 16, 2013 6:19:04 PM

Why absolutely no "observation" of rookie Wes Horton? He lined up at both DE and DT and dominated, some of which was against the Eagles first string.

Let's not sugarcoat the Lotulelei's first 2 games...he's been absolutely horrible. Dude better get in shape, its a long season.

Mike Mitchell should not be getting significant minutes. I don't care how "aggressive" you are, who cares if it comes either after giving up first downs or as the result of late hit penalties?

Love that Rivera is trying to hide Barner's faults. Yet another reason this "players coach" is no good. Go look at what Belicheck did vs. the Eagles then look at the master gameplan Rivera put together. And the funny part is, Rivera game planned for the Eagles, Belicheck ran scripted plays that he would run vs. any opponent in the league.

Next...

Posted by: Ted | Aug 16, 2013 6:34:57 PM

the lions went 4-0 in the preseason the year that they went 0-16. Preseason means nothing.

Posted by: Dave | Aug 16, 2013 7:14:55 PM

It's only preseason,.. relax,.. adjustments will be made.

Posted by: LB3 | Aug 16, 2013 7:48:22 PM

Preseason and some people have declared the season over, lol you silly rabbits

Posted by: Shutup bandwagoner | Aug 16, 2013 8:45:57 PM

This is a re-tread of another article linked on the main page. Why does the CO sports staff think it necessary to repeat the same stuff all over it's web page. Do you think that volume = quality? Not so. Just the opposite. Too much clutter. As one who grades written work, I'd give the the page a "C-" or D+. Keep it clean, crisp, and substantive, please!

Posted by: Purr Durham | Aug 16, 2013 10:29:30 PM

I can't wait till Cam's contract comes up and he moves on to another team. This coaching staff is horrible, unimaginative, and unable to teach anything to incoming players. Riveria's legacy will be players wandering around trying to figure out what to do and an apologetic coach who is unable to inspire or teach.

Posted by: denrec | Aug 17, 2013 1:56:04 AM

I was totally disgusted with Cam's overall performance against the Eagles. It appears he made no effort in the off season to improve his accuracy. If he did, his trainer should be fired! It's the same Cam as last season. The quarterbacks of the Eagles had better completion percentages than Cam and were playing against our "super great" defense. Season prediction: 6 wins - 10 loses.

Posted by: observations | Aug 17, 2013 7:43:46 AM

Another year of high hopes and big disappointments. I know what it must be like now to be a Bills or Chiefs Fan the last few years. We stunk.. against a Philly defense that was porous the week before. Cam, we love you, but your accuracy is not what it should be. Another year of mediocrity. Please Panthers, don't wait until week 9 or 10 to start putting together some good games and turn it around..

Posted by: Wes | Aug 17, 2013 10:30:06 AM

Im amazed at folks that continue to say its just preseason and write off the lack of performance by some, just to it being a "preseason" game!!!! Did any of you "fans" not see the same suspect play during preseason last year that ultimately carried over into the regular season games?????? I certainly did so what Im seeing from this group thus far, we all should be concerned about how this season is going to go! Its not like they have an easy schedule either!!! Unless drastic improvement in the last 2 preseason games, the regular season is going to be another bust!!!!

Posted by: Its just preseason?? | Aug 17, 2013 11:30:48 AM

Oh and Anderson is still appearing to be the better QB!

Posted by: Its just preseason?? | Aug 17, 2013 11:32:13 AM

Don't get all worked up Panthers fans. It's only the second preseason game. We Don't have a staff of HOF coaches, not yet anyways, so stop bashing these guys. Give them at least this season. We have a young team overall and a very young coaching staff. Cam definitely has to improve his accuracy, and the playmakers have to secure the ball. Cam will run more once the season starts, I can promise you that, no way in hell he stands looking down the field for more than 4 or 5 secs if field is wide open with running alleys. Let's take each game with a grain a salt and see how we look next week vs. B-More

Posted by: T-Mac | Aug 17, 2013 11:41:03 AM

T-Mac read my message above yours!!!!

Posted by: Its just preseason?? | Aug 17, 2013 11:44:52 AM

I personally think our (panther's) defense did a good job of holding Philly to 14 points. Thank goodness Barkley came in after the half. We had the opportunity to win the game but our offense stunk up the field the whole game. Cam can correct the overthrows if he is willing to work on technique. He also can learn to progressive read better if he is willing to work at it. There are other receivers on the field other than Smitty and Olsen. Coach Prohle knows this better than anyone. Please keep the wide open offense as a priority or I will turn the TV off and read a good book as I did when Clausen came in. I also will not buy a ticket to see a boring offense when they are at home. I am not giving up on the team because I think our first team has the potential to be good if they will play every down with a fire in their belly. Don't put all the blame the coaches. Not a one of them touches the ball in a game.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 17, 2013 2:30:49 PM

I am an old man. I've seen more football than most. Not an expert but enough to know Kenjon Barner will help this team if he is used correctly. Get him the ball in the open and watch him go. Line him up and run reverses. Put him in as a fourth receiver in the tight end slot. The play by play folks are constantly reminding us that the middle of the field is wide open. Fill that void with a Kenjon Jet Barner.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 17, 2013 2:48:00 PM

there are absolutely NO statistics showing kick returners get injured more per play than receivers or any other position, this is a myth that people like you perpetuate with no actual facts, seemingly all announcers say it, but there is zero evidence. Gunners on kick offs, and mid blockers (who receive gunners) are the only ones with higher injury rate and it is statistically insignificant. (I know nfl says it but they didn't prove it and simply protecting self against litigation, there are no studies, and self studies by major universities also show no statistical increase for kick returners and even less than normal injury rate for punt returners)

also why (other than he came from NY and is new, does everyone want to hand #3 to Hixon, he had 2 decent years out of 5.

also Armanti did have a 37 yard punt return average last year, yeah it was only 2, but 37 yard average, and he's not back there why? (and don't say its cause a punter tackled him, punter had angle, was fast, and did his job)

Posted by: isaiah | Aug 17, 2013 4:40:33 PM

Well give me a piece of cake and then punch me in the stomach! That's how I feel about this upcoming football season. As a NFL fan I'm so happy that football is back, as a Panther fan well my stomach hurts already. Here we go again! Panthers make me feel like I'm watching (Ground Hogs Day)! I am hopeful that we might be competitive, but all my football intellect tells me to brace for another poor season for all the obvious reasons that others have already stated. The worst thing that could happen to this team is Cam gets hurt and we suck and everyone says wait till next year when Cam is healthy. Once again wake me up when the Cam Newton and Ron Rivera show leave town!! Enjoy that cake!

Posted by: ShutDownCorner7 | Aug 18, 2013 9:12:44 AM

I like Cam a lot but he does seem to fall short on 3rd downs and in the redzone a lot. I have yet to see him throw a catchable fade pass. The offense still does a lot of low percentage long passes when short ones would keep the ball. Defense and Special Tems look competent for the first time in years.

Posted by: Sports don | Aug 18, 2013 12:10:00 PM

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