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Damiere Byrd makes case as Panthers' deep threat

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The preseason matters to Damiere Byrd.

The Panthers wideout and return man made the most of his snaps on Wednesday night with a four-catch, 98-yard, two-touchdown fiesta in a 27-17 win over the Texans.

"Coach [Ron] Rivera talks about it all the time, 'Make those opportunities count,'" Byrd said. "I think I've put myself in a great position. I just have to continue to do things well."

Byrd made a case for himself as Carolina's new deep-threat by hauling in a 50-yard scoring bomb from third-string passer Joe Webb, who later found the wideout for another 8-yard touchdown.

The preseason is largely a swampy mystery to observers, but Byrd's speed stood on on the long grab that saw him utterly dispose of Texans cover man Robert Nelson, Jr.

"Me and Joe, we talked about it in the huddle," Byrd said, recalling the play. "We knew what we were going to get, so really it was just going out there and executing it."

Entering his third year with the Panthers, the 5-foot-9, 180-pound Byrd made his NFL debut in Week 17 of last season. With Ted Ginn, Jr. now a member of the Saints and rookie Curtis Samuel -- another burner -- off to a slow start, Byrd looms as a genuine option for the Panthers.

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