Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had a good time jawing with the fans during joint practices with the Tennessee Titans this past week in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I can’t right now, brother,’’ Newton told fans wanting a moment of his time Thursday. Kelvin Benjamin Jerseys “I’m working. I’ve got to keep my lights on. I’ve got to keep my bills paid. You know what I’m saying?’’

Newton didn’t do much to pay the bills during Wednesday and Thursday practices as he continued to rehab his surgically repaired shoulder. Luke Kuechly Jerseys He threw some in individual drills and 7-on-7 drills but didn’t participate in team drills.

He won’t play in Saturday's 3 p.m. preseason game at Nissan Stadium, where the 2015 NFL MVP introduced the world to the dab two years ago.

But there are plenty of other things to keep an eye on as the Panthers try to run their preseason record to 2-0. Here are five things:

Offensive consistency -- Coach Ron Rivera used the word “terrible’’ to describe all of the bad plays made Thursday. Star Lotulelei Jerseys He wasn’t happy with the rhythm, the dropped passes and the fundamental mistakes. Even without Newton and several other stars, Rivera told players that if they expected to be great, “you’ve got to be great every day.’’ He says that even if it’s backup quarterback Derek Anderson running the offense and lesser-known receivers catching passes, as was the case Thursday. Cam Newton Jerseys There are no guarantees Newton will be ready for the opener, even though that is the target. So it’s imperative the offense look sharp with Anderson & Co.

What’s next, McCaffrey? Rivera wasn’t the only one unhappy with Thursday’s practice. Even rookie Christian McCaffrey said the Panthers have “higher standards.” McCaffrey set the bar pretty high for himself in the preseason opener, rushing for 33 yards on seven carries. Greg Olsen Jerseys He almost broke a couple of runs. What he didn’t do was catch a pass, one of the big reasons he was selected with the eighth pick in the draft. While the Panthers don’t want to show their entire game plan for McCaffrey before the opener, they’ll want to see what the former Stanford star can do in the passing game against an opponent other than his own defense. Getting him one-on-one in the open field will be a big part of this offense no matter who is playing quarterback.

 

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