It’s about 50 degrees or so and the sky is gray. Trent Dilfer was one of the first guys to start warming up. He came out with a gray, sleeveless shirt and no hat and has been throwing passes to Bryan Gilmore since about 10:45 a.m. (eastern). He stayed out until 11:20 and then walked back into the locker room with Jim Hostler. Alex Smith and Shaun Hill also were out. Hill threw short passes to Smith who returned them … underhanded. Smith will have a follow-up visit to the doctor’s this week to see about the progress of his shoulder. The very first guys to take the field – at around 10:30 – were Joe Staley and Adam Snyder. I may be wrong, but Staley really seems like a guy who soon will take a leadership role in the locker room.
The 49ers inactives are Smith, Marcus Hudson, Shawntae Spencer, Patrick Estes, Atiyyah Ellison, LeRon McCoy, Jason Hill and Ray McDonald. There is no third quarterback. (read: Michael Robinson). For the Panthers, David Carr is the third quarterback meaning rookie Matt Moore is backing up injury-prone Vinny Testaverde.
As far as stadiums go, Seattle’s Qwest Field and Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium are two of my favorites. But this park in Charlotte is really nice, too. It’s just off the downtown and it meshes well with the neighborhood it’s in. The charcoal-gray exterior is sharp and they’ve done a good job of planting trees around the stadium. It doesn’t look like it was plunked down in the middle of a parking lot. Most importantly, the press box is nice and low.
The P. Willie Nickname Challenge continues to suffer from an overzealous voter. Apparently he/she has rigged a bug that allows him/her to continuously for one of the entries. Dear Sir or Madame, If you want a Bee t-shirt that badly, I’ll send you one …
-- Matt Barrows