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Grill Bill: After costly win, what now? 


Website submission from Bill in Lakewood, WA: Bill, It feels like a big deal losing two All-Pros to injuries in the first game. No one seems to be making a big deal about it. Am I missing something?

Hey Bill. Cool name.

You must not spend much time on social media. That's probably for the best, but trust me, plenty of people are making a big deal out of the loss of Daryl Williams and Greg Olsen. It certainly was a costly win. Yet …

It was a win, and those aren't easy to come by. That's why I don't think there's a "sky is falling" feeling around here this week.

Remember, the Panthers did manage to win 11 games last season despite only having Olsen for the entirety of four of those wins. And this time around, Cam Newton has a new coordinator and more weapons to help carry the load. The bigger concern is how the line will hold up after taking hit after hit for seven weeks now.

Which leads to …


@jbonemeyer With Moton locked into the LT spot, who is going to start on the right side?

Amini Silatolu replaced Williams against the Cowboys, but in that emergency, it wasn't surprising the coaching staff went with someone who has experience in the system over Corey Robinson, who'd been here for just a few days. Now with a second week of practice under his belt, the Panthers will probably feel more comfortable putting Robinson out there.

As far as Moton goes, kudos to him for doing this in his first NFL start:

But I'm not so sure he's "locked into" left tackle. Because …


@DxunT _Is Chris Clark more likely to be at LT or RT? I heard from Texans fans that he's far better at LT.

Ron Rivera on Thursday heavily hinted they see Clark on the left side partly because he's "primarily a left-handed player."

I don't think they'd start that way against the Falcons, but the Panthers could consider shifting Moton over to his natural right side while plugging Clark in at left tackle.

What they could get out of Clark right now is a big question. He hasn't been on an NFL roster since November, so even if he's in good shape, he's not in game shape. Plus, it's hard enough to get a firm grasp on the offense when you've been here a while. Clark's been here for two practices.

With all that said, he did play in more than 100 games over the past 10 seasons. So if you're a team desperate for tackle depth in the middle of September, it's worth taking a flier on someone with a wealth of experience.


@ArticPanther86 Is Larsen still alive?

And well. You may even see proof on Sunday.

With Trai Turner (concussion) unlikely to play this week, the Panthers have three potential replacements: Larsen, Silatolu or rookie Brendan Mahon. My guess is they'll go with Larsen, who's been a solid if unspectacular backup when pressed into duty the past two seasons.


@panthrsfan123 With Olsen and a significant portion of the line out, how and where do you see Armah fitting in for the foreseeable future?

I don't think you'll see him become the NFL's second tight end with three straight 1,000-yard seasons. Armah's only two receptions as a pro were in the 2017 preseason, so his last catches in a regular season came when he had eight for West Georgia in 2016.

Rivera said Armah, Ian Thomas and Chris Manhertz will all get time at tight end now, but only Thomas is a true pass catcher. Armah and Manhertz are mainly blockers, and with the issues on the offensive line, blocking is what the Panthers need most out of those two.


Website submission from Charlie in Wendell, NC: In the game against Dallas, I thought C.J. Anderson needed more touches. I think if the OC gives Anderson more touches, it will make Christian McCaffrey more of a surprise to the defense. Seems the defense was expecting CMC most of the time. What's your thoughts?

I'm not sure using McCaffrey will ever surprise defenses, but I agree with you on Anderson. I'd like to see him more involved, especially this week.

Atlanta finished 15th against the run last year, and that was with defensive tackle Dontari Poe, linebacker Deion Jones and safety Keanu Neal. Now Poe is in Carolina and Jones and Neal - two of Atlanta's defensive stalwarts - are on injured reserve.

Anderson averaged 5.0 yards on seven carries against the Cowboys. He could do some damage to the Falcons if given the opportunity.


Website submission from Ray in King, NC: Cam said more than once last year that he wanted the chance to play as a receiver. I'm sure he has seen the "Philly Philly" play from Thursday's game between the Eagles and the Falcons. Is Norv Turner likely to come up with a play like that? Can you imagine the end zone celebration when Cam catches a pass & takes it to the house? Would he give THAT ball to a kid in the stands or would that be one he decides to keep?

I saved this question from late last week so I could ask Newton this week.

If he catches a touchdown pass, he said he'd still do a giveaway because "it's no fun if you're bottling all this joy for yourself."

But will he ever have the chance?

"Listen, I've been here for eight years and I've just got one reception," said Newton, whose only catch was a 27-yarder his rookie season. "I have the best hands on the team. Like no kidding, no façade. I catch the ball every single snap when we're in shotgun, so it's kind of like catching the ball from the JUGS machine, so I have adequate practice. I mean, I'm a mismatch out there. You know?"

Yes, Cam, we know.

And now … the lightning round:


@Kwag88 _Why are all of our players hurt

Because football.


@saltydontcare Can you explain the blind spot the Panthers staff seemingly have for Silatolu?

I know this reasoning won't suffice for many of you, but here's a little something from Rivera on Thursday: "Amini gives us some versatility at probably four positions: Left guard, right guard, left tackle, right tackle."


@pantherBarstool Bill, this ones for you: chicken or beef quesadillas?



@TheWhiteRozay Any news on Searcy? Colin Jones is nice on special teams but I do not enjoy seeing him at Safety.

Searcy is fine. He just cramped up last week.


Website submission from Jeff in North Aurora, Ill.: With Greg out with injury any chance of bringing in Dez Bryant?

Example No. 2,043,049 of why I avoid "any chance" questions.


Website submission from Larry in Summerville, SC: Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?

That's one lame duck.

Get it?!?

I'll see myself out …

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