Will Grier vs Kyle Allen. Elijah Holyfield vs Jordan Scarlett. Rashaan Gaulden vs Ross Cockrell. These are just a few preseason position battles going on for the Carolina Panthers right now. But how do these battles look after the Carolina Panthers preseason Week one contest?
The preseason game against the Chicago Bears might have answered a lot of questions about who’s winning their position battles and who will make it on the 53-man roster by Week one. Below is a Carolina Panthers preseason Week one breakdown, including some positional battles.
Carolina Panthers Preseason Week One Break Down
The Panthers bested the Bears 23-13 in Week one of the NFL preseason. Carolina got off to a frustrating start, as they were not able to get the ball into the end zone and were forced to settle for two field goals.
But rookie kicker Joey Slye proved that he was no slouch by drilling a kick through the uprights from 55 yards out. Coach Ron Rivera said that Slye taking all of the kicking reps was a precautionary measure and not to give competition to Graham Gano; however, if Slye gets a consistent rhythm going and Gano keeps missing kicks that any high school kicker in America can make, the coaching staff will have no choice but to re-evaluate that position.
Panthers fans were very pleased with the way the pass rush looked early on before the Bears first score in the second quarter. Carolina’s defense looked as ferocious and aggressive as fans and coaches remember. One man that stood out in particular, to no one’s surprise, was the first-round pick, Brian Burns. Burns was an absolute nightmare for the Bears offense and there’s no question that he’ll cause the same issues for the other offenses across the league.
Marquis Haynes also had a similar performance in the second half of the game. For fans and players alike, it’s refreshing to see so much speed, aggression and youth on the defensive side of the ball again.
Will Grier got off to a very shaky start. His accuracy was off on several passes and he even threw an early interception. Granted, as time went on, he was able to turn things around with his arm and even with his legs, but there’s no doubt that Kyle Allen is winning the backup quarterback battle.
Overall Grier didn’t show much in his first ever game, even though he came into the league with a lot of hype, with some people even saying he could be the heir to Cam Newton‘s throne. Moving forward, expect his reps to increase and he may even end up starting over Kyle Allen in a game or two this preseason, but as long as Allen keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll easily become Newton’s backup.
Speaking of shaky starts, Elijah Holyfield started off his night with a fumble. This was the worst possible way to start since his competition Jordan Scarlett was inactive. But after that fumble, there was no looking back as Holyfield finished the night with two total touchdowns. Time will tell who wins this battle, once Scarlett is healthy.
Overall, the team looks very polished for this only being their first outing together. As the team moves forward, look for more starters to get in the game just to get their feet wet.