Carolina Panthers quarterback Matt Moore clapped his hands after completing a full-team drill at Wofford College.
As tackle Jordan Gross left the field he was given a pound by Moore.
Next, Moore gave tight end Jeff King five as he trotted off to the sideline.
After that, Moore gave some words of encouragement.
“Nice job, nice job fellas,” he said to the first-team offense as the remaining starters left the field at Gibbs Stadium. “Nice job, D.”
Despite the struggles of the offense during the first preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, Moore still has a belief the offense can do some nice things against the 2010 version of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” The Panthers will get another chance to show how far the offense has come on Saturday night at Bank of American Stadium against the New York Jets.
“It comes down to doing the simple things,” Moore said. “Not making the mistakes, especially against a defense like the Jets. Baltimore is a very good defense, and the Jets are very good as well. And try to stay out of third and long offensively, and shut down their offense on the defensive side. We just need to do our jobs and take care of the small things.”
Moore said he likes where the passing game is at this point in the season, but he said the offense made some mistakes against the Ravens. Everyone from the offensive linemen to the receivers can work on something, he said. He said it is good for the offense to play two tough defenses in its first and second preseason games.
Tight end Jeff King said he would like to see the offense be more consistent. King also said he wants to see players become cleaner on their foot work and the offense put some scoring drives together.
King would also like to see an improvement from the Ravens game. But King doesn’t put as much emphasis on winning a preseason game because building confidence, sustaining scoring drives and playing well are more important to him.
“I don’t think looking at wins and loses at the end of the day is what you do, but when (you) break it down play by play you want to see success,” King said. “I think that is what you need to have. Build that confidence. Last thing you want to do is go into that first game and doubt what you are doing.”
King did say the Panthers did a good job on the first-team offense because it didn’t go three and out against Baltimore. Coach John Fox said the Panthers have to improve in every phase of the game besides the passing game. He said the Panthers need to improve in areas such as the running game, run defense and pass defense.
“We are still baby steps along in the preseason,” he said. “So, I’m pleased with the effort, and there work ethic, so we will see can we improve from last week to this week.”
Moore knows it is a challenge to make the next step, but he said the mistakes made against the Ravens can be fixed.
“I think we need to tighten things down just a little bit more, whether it be routes, protection, whether it be adjustments to the things the Jets are going to show,” he said. “Realizing what you see and reacting to what you are going to see. That is a test. It is hard, and guys really need to trust their eyes and know ‘OK this (is) what we are getting, (and) OK because we’re getting this, this is what we need to do.’”
Moore also said he is aware cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is holding out for a new contract, will be absent. He said Revis is a good defensive back, but Moore said he prefers to worry about what he is doing as the quarterback and what the offense is doing as a unit.
He notes Jets coach Rex Ryan has done an excellent job, and the Jets’ defense will come at a quarterback from every angel. Moore said the key against the Jets defense is to be aware of the where their players are on the field.
But Moore said the Jets still have quality players on their defense besides Revis. The game plan is not like a regular season game, so the approach of the offense is to make sure it is performing well, Moore said.
Moreover, the first-year starter has an overall positive view of the team. He said the experience in Spartanburg has allowed the Panthers to develop more chemistry.
“It is not like guys are done with practice and meeting or whatever, and guys get in their cars and go home,” he said. “Guys are in here. Guys are in the dorms. Everybody is together. Whether you are Steve Smith or Jordan Gross or a free agent rookie, we are all hanging out. You need those things to be a successful football team.”