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“It all starts with him,” Arians said of McCaffrey.
The Panthers saw many of the possibilities during encouraging moments in the matchup with the Raiders. They sense that with some tweaking, they can achieve the kind of results that they covet.
The Carolina defense was exposed, unable to prevent another lead change after the Panthers overcame a 12-point fourth-quarter hole. The unit is stocked with youth and expects to build on the positives.
“There was a lot of good football played on our end,” Panthers linebacker Tahir Whitehead said. “We proved ourselves in most cases that we could go out there, we can play and we have the grit to go out there and continue to grind all the way until the fourth quarter.”
The Panthers are uncertain about the status of defensive tackle Kawann Short, who missed practice time this week after suffering a foot injury against Las Vegas. Cornerback Donte Jackson, who left the opener with an ankle injury, was in action for midweek practice.
Tampa Bay’s main injury concern relates to receiver Chris Godwin, who was in the concussion protocol. He had a team-high 79 receiving yards in the opener.
When Rhule was a college coach, he visited Arians-coached Arizona Cardinals teams to study what the NFL team did defensively.
Carolina is 24-15 all-time against Tampa Bay, including a 12-7 road record. The NFC South rivals didn’t meet last year in Tampa because the designated Buccaneers home game was contested in London, where the Panthers won.
–Field Level Media