After spending two weeks going up against each other in practice, the Carolina Panthers looked at their joint practices against the Colts as a measuring stick. Where are they as a team? Are they ahead of where they want to be or not close to where they need to be? If Thursday’s practice is any indication, it’s the latter. Matt Rhule, who admitted to focusing primarily on the offensive side of the ball the first day, wasn’t pleased with what he saw, specifically pointing out the play of the receivers – arguably the strongest group on the team.
“Not real happy with our receivers today,” Rhule said after practice. “There was not a lot of discipline in terms of route running, wrong depths and a lot of missed assignments. It put a lot of pressure on our quarterbacks to adjust to guys not running routes with the right depth. So, I was frustrated with that.”
Rhule stopped short of putting blame on Darnold, saying Sam was the “least of our problems,” adding that the entire offense wasn’t as precise as they’d like it to be.
The defense had their moments – both good and bad. The first team struggled to get stops in the red zone and the end of practice, but were stout during the 11 on 11 period against the Colts’ offense.
The silver lining is that the Panthers have another practice and preseason game to clean things up. PJ Walker summed it up perfectly – “For us to take a step back today, I feel like we need to come out here tomorrow and take two steps forward.”
- Sam Darnold connected with Terrace Marshall on a 30 yard bomb that Marshall plucked out of the air with one hand.
- Indiana native Jeremy Chinn put on a show in front of the team he grew up a fan of. The do-it-all defender was all over the field. One of this third down hits got quite the reaction from the crowd.
- One of the biggest questions heading into these joint practices was the offensive line. While we didn’t get many answers with several linemen limited or sidelined with injury, Taylor Moton looked good taking snaps on the left side. Trent Scott and Brady Christensen held their own on the right side during one-on-ones.