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Game preview: Panthers vs. Dolphins

The Panthers typically don't go deep in their scouting of opponents for preseason games, but this isn't a typical set of circumstances.

The Miami Dolphins will visit Bank of America Stadium on Saturday night after spending two days sharing the Wofford College practice fields with the Panthers to wrap up Carolina's training camp.

"I guess we know what to expect," tight end Greg Olsen said. "The preseason games are what they are, but I think this will ratchet it up a little bit going live with them.

"We've seen them in a pretty full-speed environment the last couple of days, and now we're going to try to go out there and play well."

Regardless of the opponent or the circumstances leading up to the game, playing well is the name of the game. Like last week in the preseason opener at Buffalo – a 25-24 victory for the Panthers – head coach Ron Rivera's buzzword is "consistency."

"It will be a little bit of a chess match on Saturday, but hopefully we can pick up where we left off and get some good work done," Rivera said. "It's about being able to control the ball and control the clock on both sides of the ball. It's about not making mistakes, about not giving up big plays while making big plays.

"We've got to continue to work that way."

Looking back to the Buffalo game, Rivera was pleased with the progress shown in the red zone but called the third-down results on both sides of the ball "terrible."

The defense will be tested on third downs by Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who methodically picked the Panthers apart at times in practice with a series of short passes.

"Tannehill has become a lot smarter," Panthers cornerback Josh Norman said. "He has a lot of poise in the pocket, and if his read is not there, he's not going to make a bad mistake and throw it. He's still getting better, and he's already a real formidable quarterback."

The starters won't go against each other the whole game, but the Panthers plan to stick with the first team a bit longer than they did in the opener, when they played roughly a quarter. Rivera said the plan was to play the first team for 20-25 plays, roughly into the middle portions of the second quarter.

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