clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Panthers at Titans: Key Players to Watch

New, comments

The Carolina Panthers meet the Tennessee Titans for week two of NFL preseason football. Here are your key players to watch.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

This week, we should see some more of the Panthers starters in order to get some reps in and get in the groove before the regular season begins. Some players took advantage of the opportunity (such as YA BOI Brenton Bersin) while others struggled. Let's take a look at who you should be watching.

Panthers Players to Watch

Offense

Donald Hawkins/David Foucault

The Panthers brought in another backup tackle this week, sending a clear message that the depth is currently not getting it done. While the wide receivers shined last week, the quarterbacks were damn near constantly under pressure and the running backs could find any room to get something going. That falls on the back up offensive line, and it showed that the depth is clearly very thin. At this point it's anybody's spot and many of them will get the opportunity to shine. With Kevin Dodd recovering from injury and just recently being activated from the PUP list, the Titans will likely give many people looks to see what they have at the back end of their depth chart.

Beau Sandland/Braxton Deaver

With the emergence of Damiere Byrd, the Panthers could seriously be considering keeping 6 wide receivers for the first time in the Gettleman era. That means that the extra luxury spot at either running back or tight end could be in jeopardy. Last week, the back up tight ends as a whole didn't see a whole lot of work in the receiving game as the running game struggled. I noticed Sandland lining up at full back at times as well. This week, the Panthers hopefully will try to give them more looks in the passing game and we can see them showcase their ability in live situations.

Defense

Arthur Miley/Ryan Delaire

The Panthers defensive ends struggled mightily last week and the face of those struggled was Ryan Delaire. They couldn't consistently provide pressure and contain was given up on multiple occasions. It could be early preseason jitters, but we saw indications of possible struggles last season when the pass rush struggled without Charles Johnson. The Panthers probably won't give a whole lot of work to Johnson or Kony Ealy, so this week there will be reps to distribute.

David Mayo

Last week, David Mayo was phenomenal filling in at middle linebacker. It's not something we've talked about a whole lot, but in run support he was consistently sticking his nose in the intended gap and he jumped off the screen. With essentially four linebacker spots taken, Mayo could potentially cement the fifth one for himself this week. And it's definitely a story to watch because A.J. Klein is likely going to test the waters of free agency following the 2016 season.

Titans Players to Watch

Offense

WR Tajae Sharpe

I found the move to ship Dorial Green-Beckham over to Philadelphia for backup offensive lineman Dennis Kelly to be a bit of a head scratcher this week, so I popped on over to Music City Miracles to see some of the community reaction. It seems that Green-Beckham showed up to training camp out of shape, and with wide receiver Tajae Sharpe currently running with the ones alongside Rishard Matthews, it appears that he became expendable. The Titans also needed a back up tackle who could play multiple positions, so they definitely got their man. I'll be watching rookie 5th rounder Tajae Sharpe, who by all accounts has been really impressive in camp. He will get to see some snaps against the Panthers rookie corners, so that should be a fun battle to watch.

Defense

DL Karl Klug

Klug is a veteran presence on the Titans line who generated 19 pressures last season. The Titans are trying to revamp their defense in order to take pressure off of Marcus Mariota and the offense. Their depth should be a good test for the Panthers backups along the offensive line, and Klug could either be a huge problem or a great battle for the trenches.

Who are you watching, Panthers fans?