SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) -- Go ahead, you try telling Carolina's Byron Bell and Thomas Keiser the NFL preseason doesn't matter.
They know better.
Bell and Keiser arrived at Panthers training camp last summer as undrafted rookies and heavy underdogs to make the 53-man roster. Both overcame those odds after strong performances in the preseason and are now expected to be key contributors for the Panthers.
Bell made the opening-day roster last year, started 12 games at right tackle and is now viewed as the team's long-term answer at that position. Keiser's relentless motor prompted the Panthers (No. 20 in AP Pro 32) to sign him to the practice squad, where he eventually fought his way onto the roster and registered four sacks in eight games as a reserve defensive end.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said both should serve as motivation for other undrafted rookies and first-year players who think they're facing an uphill battle to make the roster entering the preseason, which kicks off Satur...