It’s NFL preseason!
This is where it all begins, fans will get a feel for the first team offense and defense. For the rookies and rookie free agents this is there time to make some positive impressions. The game is featured on ESPN, Thursday night!
The Carolina Panthers led by head coach John Fox, finished 8-8 last year. Gone is QB Jake Delhomme (signed with Cleveland) and the team is moving forward with Matt Moore and seeing how their second round pick Jimmy Clausen progresses. Carolina continues to have a great rushing attack with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Along with the veteran playmaker WR Steve Smith, the team drafted receivers Armanti Edwards and Brandon LaFell. Consistent defense will be an important goal going into 2010, as last year they struggled against the run. To help improve they drafted Eric Norwood, LB and Greg Hardy, DE.
What to look for:
Flacco to Anquan Boldin: We’ve been waiting the offseason to see this combo in action. The first reception!
Ravens Secondary: The Ravens secondary continues to be a topic of conversation. As of now Chris Carr and Fabian Washington may not play. Coaches will be looking to see how Travis Fisher responds as a starter.
Ravens D-line: The Ravens have some new editions to their defensive line. Cory Redding, DT, acquired during the offseason should give a boost to the defensive front. Many will be interested in rookie Terrance Cody, DT. Terrell Suggs has dominated in training camp.
Kicking Competition: Shayne Graham & Billy Cundiff. It was reported that both will be alternating kicks during the game.
Players to track:
Oniel Cousins: Should be starting at right tackle.
Jameel McClain, LB has been playing in the first team offense.
Paul Kruger, DE. We’ll get to see how quick his motor is with the extra bulk he put on in the offseason.
Donte Stallworth, WR: Still has the speed, he hasn’t played a game in over a year.
Punt Returns: Who will be the returner? Zbikowski?, Clayton? rookie WR David Reed?
Rookies to Track:
Prince Miller, CB, an undrafted free agent from Georgia. The coaches are hoping Miller can be an impact player to help the battered secondary.
Terrance Cody, DT: Let’s see if he draws a doubled team.
Ed Dickson, TE: We’ve heard great things about this young prospect.
Notables Out for Baltimore:
Jared Gaither (back)
Chris Carr (hamstring)
Ed Reed (hip-neck)
Domonique Foxworth (PUP – ACL)
Brendon Ayanbadejo (PUP – leg)
*Ben Grubbs (Probable)
*Fabian Washington (Game-Time Decision)
Notables OUT For Carolina:
CB Chris Gamble (knee)
WR Steve Smith (PUP- arm)
RB Jonathan Stewart (PUP-foot)