Panther Tracks

Social media buzzes about Steve Smith, Christian McCaffrey, more during Panthers-Texans NFL exhibition

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) fends off Houston Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson (30) and free safety Andre Hal (29) after making a reception in the first half in their preseason game at Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. The Panthers led 17-10 at halftime.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) fends off Houston Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson (30) and free safety Andre Hal (29) after making a reception in the first half in their preseason game at Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. The Panthers led 17-10 at halftime. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Kelvin Benjamin caught a touchdown. The Panthers offense moved the ball, with more than 200 yards of offense in the first half alone. And Christian McCaffrey (who was trending on Twitter all night) showed why everybody who saw him in camp has been talking about him.

Here’s what social media had to say about Carolina’s first exhibition game against Houston Wednesday. The Panthers won 27-17.

The Stanford Star

Let’s start with McCaffrey. He showed off the quick burst and good vision -- and was able to get down quickly to not take a lot of punishment.

Every time he did anything -- and we mean anything -- Twitter lost its social media mind.

Smitty’s back

Former Panther Steve Smith drew some media attention (and hugs from Cam Newton) for his return to Bank of America stadium for Wednesday’s game. Smith was working for NFL Network. Before the game, Smith put out an interesting tweet pregame pictured with Panthers interim GM Marty Hurney.

Smith, of course, had major issue with former Panthers GM Dave Gettleman, who ushered him out of Carolina. When Gettleman was fired about a week before Panthers training camp, Smith trolled him hard with this tweet that went viral.

You had to wonder was the Hurney tweet Wednesday night another (slight) shot?

Comment from discussion Cam and Smitty.

Oh, and here’s the hug scene with Cam.

On Cam and Deshaun

As for Newton, he didn’t play, but he made sure to give another warm NFL welcome, this one to former Clemson national champion Deshaun Watson.

Speaking of the former Clemson star, there’s been a lot of good reports from Texans’ camp about Watson’s play. And, sure enough, Watson had some good moments. At the end of the third quarter, for example, he led a long Texans’ touchdown drive and finished it with a 15-yard scramble.

All night, Watson’s name was plastered all over Twitter.

Like this:

And this:

The return of the Luke

While Newton didn’t play, Carolina’s other big star did. Linebacker Luke Kuechly got his first on-field action since that scary concussion he suffered against the Saints last year. Kuechly played two series and, sure enough, he laid a Luke Kuechly type hit on Texas running back Lamar Miller for a three-yard loss early.

The sound you heard? LUUUUUUUKKE!!!

The Webb-Byrd Connection

Panthers backup QB Joe Webb had some nice moments, including tossing two TD passes to Damiere Byrd. A Saints fan chimed on Twitter to drop a sarcastic, if not humorous, shot at Newton. But Webb got his fair share of Twitter-love.

To wit:

And Byrd got some love, too, with Panthers fans thinking he may deserve a roster spot.

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