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Grill Bill: How will Eric Reid fit in? 

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@LewPharmD Two questions: what do you think Eric Reid’s impact to the defense will be and 2. Do you think he’ll be a distraction with his continued protests?

In the immediate, I think he’ll have the biggest impact on the run defense.

Sure, Atlanta’s 170-yard performance skews the stat that shows the Panthers rank 19th in rushing yards allowed per game, but the defense was also iffy at times against the Bengals, who had to abandon the ground game while playing behind in the second half.

Heading into Week 5, the Panthers are 28th in rushing yards allowed per attempt. Reid should help shore that up and let the guys in front of him play with more confidence.

As far as a distraction, that word is often used as a scapegoat when things go awry. At this point in the week, I can tell you there’s very little sense of anything like that. Sure, players were asked all sorts of Reid-related questions on Monday and Wednesday, and depending on what he does during Sunday’s pregame, there could be more questions afterward. But during the game, no one on the field is going to be thinking of what Reid does off of it.

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@dmaniscalco5 hey bill just wanted to say love the work and interaction with the fans you do. My question is now that Reid is a panther (thank god) if he does well, do you think he will be the future for the panthers safeties and accept an extension if offered by the panthers ?

Continuing from my previous answer …

If Reid helps the Panthers win, odds are the “distraction” worries will fade away relatively quickly. We all knew there would be an initial wave of interest, but once that passes, I bet things will begin to settle down.

Because he’s essentially on a one-year prove-it deal, your question about Reid's future here is a good one. If he plays well, sure, I’d imagine the Panthers would want to keep him in their plans. But first, we’ve got to see if he’s going to play well. Then, we’d have to wait until the offseason to see how much the Panthers would want to invest depending on interest he may get elsewhere.

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Website submission from Craig in Statesville: With the signing of Reid (I'm sure that some will be butthurt about the signing but let's be honest we are talking about making the football team better, which we did) and how well our O-line is playing, what do you think is our next biggest need? I would say we are pretty solid once we get Thomas Davis back.

Getting vertical on offense.

Cam Newton hasn’t completed a pass that’s gone 20 yards past the line of scrimmage and he’s only had five such attempts in three games.

Which leads to …

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@tybrjo How do you expect them to work Curtis Samuel and Byrd into the receiving rotation?

Like many of you, I’m curious if the return of the speedsters will help the vertical game get going.

As I wrote shortly before the season, if all six wideouts are healthy, I think Damiere Byrd will be the odd man out come game day. So he may have to wait to continue where he left off last season. Samuel, though, should be active Sunday and I’d expect him to get about 15 snaps. And that doesn’t include chances he could get as a returner.

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@panthersfan2134 Is dj going to get more snaps this week? #GrillBill

Samuel could take back the special teams snaps Moore was needed for during the first three games, which in theory would free Moore up for more looks on offense. But I still wouldn’t expect him to see a huge spike from the 33 he got against the Bengals.

What’s more important than getting increased snaps is finding ways to get him the ball when he’s out there.

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Website submission from Ian in Stonehaven, Scotland: Hey Bill. As the No. 1 Panthers fan in Scotland, I would be interested to know how the teams are selected for the London games. The Panthers are among the only teams not to have made the trip so does this mean I should start making plans for a trip to London next year?

There are so many variables as to who gets London games, it’s not even worth getting into on here. But I can tell you after taking a 48-hour trip with Efe Obada last weekend, many folks over there are more than just hopeful the Panthers will make their first visit soon.

Considering Obada’s ties and the new regime’s desire to expand the Panthers’ footprint, I’d think you’ll have a chance to see these guys in person sometime in the next couple of years.

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@iPhoneWiz _Would you say that Greg Olsen has an outside chance in playing next week?

I’d give him more than an outside chance.

Clearly, Olsen was bummed when he suffered the injury. But when he got good news a day after, there was a sense he could miss just one month. Now he’s on pace to do just that.

What’s more is the Panthers don’t play on turf again until their Week 11 trip to Detroit. That gives Olsen a little more confidence that he won't suffer an immediate setback like he did when he returned last season at MetLife Stadium against the Jets.

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Website submission from Alex in Silver Spring, MD: On the Bengals first drive they were called for a hold on their first down play with 7:51 left in the first quarter from the Panthers 1-yard line. The next play was somehow still first-and-goal from the 1. Why didn’t they get moved back? They scored on that next play and it drove me crazy. Please help!!! Thanks!

If you were watching this in a sports bar or something, I get the confusion.

The referee pointed toward the offense while saying “number 24,” which was awkward since the Bengals don’t have a guy who wears that. But the foul was indeed on James Bradberry.

And now, the lightning round …

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@johndelliott Are the Panthers still expected to be granted a third-round compensatory pick for the Andrew Norwell signing?

Yes.

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@WesleyWarren5 How are you? Does any ever ask about how you are doing?

They don’t. Thanks for asking. How long ya got?

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@ExpatParadise What do you see as the @Panthers biggest hurdle for a deep playoff run this season? #KeepPounding

Staying as healthy as possible. Going out on a limb with that one, I know.

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@TheBernanke _Top 3 cart talks you’d like to do with non-Panthers players and why

Usain Bolt – My favorite athlete of the past decade.

Jimmy Buffett – My spirit animal.

Pope Francis – I’m a product of a Jesuit education, plus, how cool would those GoPro shots be from the Popemobile?

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@panthersince95 I dont like this matchup we always play poorly after a bye and this giants team is under crazy pressure from local media and fans do you see a muddied sqeaker or we steamroll them

If they always play poorly after a bye, how are they on a three-game post-bye win streak?

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@yankeemegg Baseball fan? If so, who are you picking?

Roll Tribe.

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