Five takeaways from Dave Gettleman's interview

View practice photos from the fourth week of the preseason.

PLEASING PERFORMANCES: When general manager Dave Gettleman met with the media during Tuesday's practice, he was asked to identify the things he's been most pleased with throughout training camp and the preseason.

Two new starters immediately came to mind.

"I'm most pleased with Michael Oher. He's been solid. That's a heck of an upgrade for us," Gettleman said of Carolina's left tackle, who signed as a free agent this offseason after being released by Tennessee.

"And I'm really pleased with the progress that Kony Ealy has made."

CONFIDENT IN PASS RUSH: Ealy's growth is one of the reasons Gettleman has plenty of confidence in the defense's ability to consistently rush the passer in 2015.

Defensive tackle Kawann Short, who overcame a back injury during training camp, is also showing progress.

"Kony has come on, he's gotten better. KK is getting better," Gettleman said. "We are going to be able to create pressure."

Gettleman reiterated, as he often has, that the defense is looking to create more sacks with pressure from the back seven in 2015.

NEWTON ON RIGHT TRACK: Gettleman is encouraged by what he's seen from franchise quarterback Cam Newton as he enters his fifth NFL season.

"He'll continue to improve," Gettleman said. "Friday night against the Patriots he really played well. He was 17-for-28 with five drops. That's where he's going. He's progressing, and we're really pleased."

OVERCOMING MISCUES: Speaking of drops, Gettleman was asked to describe his level of concern after seeing several catchable passes hit the ground against the Patriots.

"There's a reason they call the position receiver," Gettleman said. "It's disconcerting for everybody, but you just keep working."

WILLING TO TRADE: When the Panthers acquired wide receiver Kevin Norwood from Seattle, it marked the first time Gettleman had added a player via trade.

The third-year general manager is prepared to do whatever he deems necessary to enhance the roster and create competition.

"You've got a million avenues to improve your roster," Gettleman said. "And shame on you if you don't explore every avenue."

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