The Panthers make their preseason debut tonight against the Texans, so I sent some questions over to Brett Kollmann at Battle Red Blog to get his thoughts on how the Texans look so far this preseason.
Below are my questions with his answers. Be sure to check out Battle Red Blog for my answers to the questions he sent me.
1. How much do you expect the starters to play in this game?
Probably only one or two series at the most, and that predominantly depends on how long the first series lasts. O'Brien might leave some offensive starters out on the field for Deshaun Watson to get acclimated with once Tom Savage leaves the game, but again it would only be one or two series at most.
2. Which QB has the upper hand for the starting job - Savage or Watson? Which one will we see more of on Wednesday?
This has been Tom Savage's job from day one, and that continues to be the case after two weeks of practice. He has looked very sharp throughout training camp, and his chemistry with DeAndre Hopkins is reportedly much, much better than Brock Osweiler's ever was.
As for who we will see more of, expect a heavy dose of Watson throughout the game. I would not be surprised if he plays two or three full quarters to get him some much-needed live game reps. It doesn't hurt that he will be back in front of a hometown-ish crowd in Charlotte as well, so he will have a little bit of extra motivation to put on a good show.
3. Who's one player you expect to have a breakout performance this preseason?
Braxton Miller, as long as he stays healthy. Reports out of camp have been very, very positive, and I truly think that he is going to turn into the next great slot receiver under the tutelage of O'Brien and new receivers coach Wes Welker. The kid's a beast.
4. What's been your best camp battle so far?
I would say quarterback, if only for the fact that reports about both Savage AND Watson have been so positive. For the first time in several years, it feels like the Texans have an actual plan at quarterback and are not just spinning their wheels on retreads and lottery tickets. They have a structure in place that can both help Watson develop at a reasonable pace and help Savage finally display what he's actually made of. It's a very calming feeling, and I love it.
5. I have to ask this because I'm a Gamecocks homer, but how does Clowney look?
As you might expect, he is completely, utterly unblockable. Clowney finally stayed healthy for a full season in 2016, and he was so dominant that he held together the number one defense in the league all by himself WITHOUT the help of J.J. Watt. Now that Watt is back and healthy again, expectations are unfathomably high for this duo.
Keep in mind that Texans fans have waited four long years to see Clowney and Watt be healthy at the same time and play together at 100%. That phenomenon has never happened before, so we honestly have no idea just how ridiculous this defensive line is about to be. It was already among the league's best with just one of them on the field, but BOTH?...oooooh baby this could be legendary.
What are your thoughts, Panthers fans? Are you ready for tonight’s action?