Some quick thoughts on the Panthers' final exhibition, a 17-16 loss to the Steelers Thursday night:
1) Carolina did the right thing keeping basically every starter out of the game. What's the sense in getting someone hurt in a game that never should be played in the first place? Four preseason games is two too many, as I've said for years.
2) Watching from home on TV, I thought several of the most interesting moments came with Panther GM Marty Hurney in the TV booth in the third quarter, joining Mike Morgan and Mike Rucker for an in-game interview.
Hurney watched live when Armanti Edwards got his hands on a ball in the end zone in close coverage but was not be able to come up with it and said Edwards really needed to catch "contested balls" like that.
Hurney also mentioned that Justin Medlock should and would be able to make field goals of "55 yards plus" -- although Medlock missed from 56 and 50 Thursday night, with the 50-yarder a potential game winner.
And the GM said he thought that the Panthers put more money into the running back position than any other NFL team.
One other note on the TV broadcast: Kudos to all involved in the Sam Mills feature that was shown at halftime on the late Panther linebacker and assistant coach. It was excellent.
3) If I'm the Panthers, I find a way to keep RB Armond Smith around -- practice squad, something. I know the position is crowded, but that guy can play.
4) Incidentally, with Edwards, I saw nothing to change my mind from this blog post where I advocated releasing him. There are a number of new comments on both sides of that issue if you want to check it out(remember, I now moderate all comments for this blog since a very few users kept posting R-rated rants -- you never have to agree with me to have your comment published, but severe profanity is the one thing that rules it out.)
5) I thought this was the best I've seen Jimmy Clausen look in a long time. Yes, it was against scrubs, but normally against scrubs Clausen still can't get the offense in the end zone. This time he threw two TD passes and had the team in position for a possible game-winning field goal (which Medlock missed).