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Five standouts: Panthers at Steelers

RB Cameron Artis-Payne: The first half of the final preseason game featured vintage Panthers offense, with legs and the clock churning thanks to a physical running game.

A rookie running back played the leading role in the rendition.

"I definitely want to get that type of work, especially in the new setting that the NFL is for me," said Artis-Payne, a sixth-round selection in the 2015 draft. "The offensive line did a great job. They really wanted to come out and get some push onto their side of the line of scrimmage, and that's what we did."

The blockers set the stage for Artis-Payne to go to work. He carried the ball 10 times for 65 yards in the first quarter alone – on five of Carolina's first seven snaps and then on each of the first five snaps on the next drive. He gained at least five yards on six of those 10 carries.

OT Daryl Williams: One of the key blockers for Artis-Payne's 67-yard night – and for Jordan Todman's 72 yards and Brandon Wegher's 64 yards – was the Panthers' fourth-round rookie.

Williams got the start on the right side and played most of the game there. He gained valuable experience and helped the running game accumulate 226 yards to go with 228 passing yards and no sacks allowed.

WR Brenton Bersin: Bersin just kept doing what he does – catching the ball when it comes his way. He paced the passing game's balanced attack with four receptions for 29 yards on five targets. Bersin finished the preseason with seven receptions – tied for first among receivers still on the roster – for 88 yards.

View the top photos by team photographer Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez from Carolina's preseason win over Pittsburgh.

DE Mario Addison: The defense played its typical physical style as a unit, and Addison made a relatively atypical play given his style. Normally reliant on a burst of speed, Addison manhandled an offensive lineman, pushing him into the lap of quarterback Michael Vick for a sack.

"It was one-armed," Addison said. "I came off the edge and used his momentum against him."

The Panthers are counting on Charles Johnson to be ready for the season opener after not playing the entire preseason and on second-year pro Kony Ealy to step up to the starting role opposite Johnson. But it's going to take more than two guys, and Addison is showing he can be more than a handful.

LB Jason Trusnik: Head coach Ron Rivera said special teams will play a role in how the 53-man roster is selected, and that could be good news in a crowded linebacker room for Trusnik. The eight-year veteran who signed with Carolina in the offseason also reminded folks that he can play a little linebacker as well, leading the Panthers with six tackles including a tackle for loss.

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