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Look Who’s Back

Even though it is only the preseason, it’s still difficult to watch a team that struggled all last year struggle some more. Only this time it’s a new team working it’s way up, not a good team falling apart. Cam Newton will start the first three quarters against Cincinnati this Thursday and have more than enough time with the starters to blow past Clausen in the race for the #1 QB spot. There were many things that made his becoming the starting QB doubtful in last week’s game, but this week some familiar faces will be showing up to help the young guy out.

 

As an offense, a team lacking it’s star receiver will always limit options in the passing game. However, that problem is resolved after Steve Smith announced is presence in Thursday’s game. It’s not to say Cam won’t still have his work cut out for him, but playing with someone who knows the organization, knows the playbook, and has the capacity to lose his coverage virtually at will, is definitely going to have an impact. We may be another week without Otah, Stewart and Goodsen. Our run game won’t be as effective, but it will give our passing game a lot more opportunities to make up for it.

 

Greg Hardy could be joining the defensive team Thursday after missing practice camp and the first two games of the preseason. He’s been practicing this week and things are looking up. His is another presence that has been missed that helps increase the push against offensive lines to trip up the run game. As a player known for his intense playing and aggressive decisions, he may cause problems with teams trying to focus on stopping Charles Johnson. Thomas Davis made an appearance in Miami, but made little impact due to his being “rusty.” He struggled keeping up with the pace of last week’s game, so this week we are hoping to see some of that classic play disruption out of him. Jon Beason is still out which makes him the last of our starters on defense. I would at least like to see him in one game before week 1 in Arizona, but him staying healthy is a priority.

 

Having 2 key players back in the line up will definitely make a difference. I like Rivera’s mock week practice schedule. Let’s get the season started early. My only concern is pushing too hard and causing more players to get injured closer to the opener. Cincinnati is another growing team so the sides should be about even. If they can put up at least 20 points in the first half with our starters, we can expect to see some good things to come in this offense. Good luck Cam!


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