The Carolina Panthers open their preseason with Baltimore on Thursday night. Here are three things I’ll be keeping a close eye on:
1. Matt Moore. The quarterback looked good as he finished last season as the starter. He’s looked even better and more comfortable in training camp. Still, this guy isn’t loaded with experience, so it will be interesting to see how he performs against a top defense -- even if it’s only for a few series.
2. Brandon LaFell. It seems like the Panthers are expecting the rookie to be a starter at wide receiver. The early word is he’s had a good camp and the starting job opposite Steve Smith will be LaFell’s unless he has a disastrous preseason.
3. The defensive line. This is a big question mark with the Panthers. They’ve got no big names left on the defensive line, but I was impressed with the strength in numbers when I visited camp. They have started to see some defensive linemen emerge in practices. Now it’s time to see who emerges in game situations.