The first exhibition game is for working out kinks against a team you haven't been practicing against for the past two weeks.
With a lot of moving parts -- guys getting the night off, different personnel groupings -- these exhibitions are always on the choppy side.
Some of the Panthers' missteps Friday against the Bills were obvious, such as the defensive penalties that had Panthers coach Ron Rivera biting off his words when he talked about the flags after the game.
And while the first-team offense was slow to get starting, the Panthers managed to get some things done even when it looked like they weren't going anywhere.
One such example: Despite a relatively quiet crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Panthers used a silent snap crowd to get ready for those road games when they won't be able to hear Cam Newton's cadence.
"I think anytime we go to an away game, even though it wasn't loud, we practice it," center Ryan Kalil said. "We have some new guys aren't used to the silent count."
The Panthers also went to their hurry-up offense in the first quarter after having success with it last season. Their use of the no-huddle in 2014 forced Newton to read defenses and call audibles on the fly, and he improved in both areas.
So while Kalil would have liked to have seen the offense move the ball a little better Friday against a tough Buffalo defensive front, he's been around long enough to appreciate the bigger picture.
"We have some new guys. We have some new stuff we're doing. We've got to work on it," Kalil said. "It's a great opportunity to work against a team that hasn't been seeing it every day in practice."