The Carolina Panthers defeated the New York Giants 20 to 10 in the first preseason game for either team. Cam Newton was the man Panther fans wanted to see and he played well for a rookie.
I was impressed that Newton wasn’t afraid to check down to a secondary receiver and wasn’t forcing the ball. In Newton’s NFL debut he threw 19 passes and completed 8 of them for 134 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. In the Panthers first preseason game Newton didn’t look nervous or get flustered by the defense.
Brett Jensen said on his “OTB” radio show last week that Cam seems to throw more accurately on his long passes than the short stuff. “OTB” can be heard on WFNZ which is Charlotte’s best sports radio station in my opinion.
Cam Newton did indeed look more accurate on the longer passes that he threw, but he didn’t turn the ball over. Turnovers are the bane of rookie quarterbacks and are important to avoid even in preseason.
Jimmy Clausen the former Notre Dame QB taken in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL draft actually started the Panthers preseason game with the Giants. Jimmy Clausen completed 4 of 7 passes for 69 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Clausen looked a little more composed that what he showed last year.
Other than Cam Newton I think the Panthers fans were interested in how Greg Olsen would do in the preseason game. Olsen didn’t disappoint as he caught 3 passes for 58 yards and a touchdown. Mike Goodson had a decent night except for two fumbles which have plagued him in the past. Armanti Edwards showed that he has worked hard this offseason to overcome last year’s “Bust” tag. Edwards make a difficult catch and did well on two punt returns.
Linebacker Thomas Williams had a nice night with 7 tackles and 1 quarterback sack. Jordan Pugh got a sack on a blitz to go with two tackles from the defensive secondary. Cornerback Robert McClain had a nice night which was much needed for this team in need of help at that position.
The Panthers preseason game against the Giants marked the beginning of a new era for the team. Orlindo Mare has replaced original Carolina Panther John Kasay as the kicker. Kasay was released due to his inability to kick off with any distance. Mare already had a home near Charlotte and told a friend of mine last year he would not be a Panther. Well things change fast in the NFL.
Considering that the Panthers have a new coaching staff and a shortened offseason due to the lockout, I was impressed in their preseason win over the Giants. Be sure to check back here soon to see my thoughts about the upcoming preseason game between the Panthers and Dolphins.