The Carolina Panthers head into week two of the preseason a little banged up as they prepare to play the Miami Dolphins. According to Steve Reed of Carolinagrowl.com (via Twitter) Stewart, Gamble, Goodson and Gary Barnidge are questionable. Beason, Schwartz, Otah, Hardy and Fiammetta are out for the Panthers/Dolphins preseason game.
The big news heading into week two of the 2011 Panthers preseason is Cam Newton’s first start. Newton played fairly well last week and will start and play mostly with the starting unit. Jimmy Clausen is expected to see a lot of playing time with the 2nd string with Anderson getting some spot duty.
The big things the Panthers want out of the preseason game with the Dolphins is for everyone to stay healthy and for Cam Newton to keep progressing. There is little doubt now that Newton will be the regular season starting quarterback from day one unless he has a major meltdown in the preseason.
Charles “Big Money” Johnson will be playing this week against the Dolphins and may have a good game. As Jason Roberts points out at his excellent “Bottlenose Blogging” site, the Dolphins have a less than stellar offensive line.
Panthers fans will see a familiar face in Matt Moore who is probably going to be the second string quarterback this season for the Dolphins. I look for Moore to play well against the banged up Panthers defense.
Steve Smith will be playing against the Dolphins after sitting out last week due to an injured hand. Contrary to some reports it was a pass from Jimmy Clausen (not Newton) that injured Smith. Between Smith and tight end Greg Olsen I think the Panthers offense will have some pop this week.
Due to the short offseason and new coaches and systems, I expect the Panthers starters to play more than they would in most preseason games. The Panthers are still installing their offense and defense. Fan reaction to both systems has been positive everywhere I have seen or heard it mentioned.
Two players I am interested in seeing against the Dolphins are wide receiver Armanti Edwards and running back Tyrell Sutton. Edwards has had a great training camp and may be ready to assume more of a wide receiver role. Sutton is a good running back who just needs opportunities and he will get some playing time inMiami.
The Panthers preseason game in Miami will be a success if there are no injuries and the team continues to jell. I don’t pay much attention to wins and losses in preseason; I just want to see solid play with few turnovers and penalties. Let the Cam Newton era of starting begin!