Forget that it's only Week 1 of the preseason - Kelvin Benjamin is ready to roll. The Carolina Panthers wide receiver has a big chip on his shoulder heading into this season. He decided to shed it with one big play on Wednesday night. It didn't matter much from a winning standpoint - remember, this is the preseason, where the points don't matter. But it did prove that this has the potential to be a big year for Benjamin.

Benjamin catches a bomb

In Week 1 of the preseason, the starters don't tend to get a lot of run.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera seemed willing to play his starters for at least the first quarter. That's all they really needed to show off some impressive abilities against the Houston Texans. Benjamin made the most acrobatic play of them all, embarrassing the Texans' secondary with a phenomenal touchdown grab that required all of his massive frame.

The athletic grab was a 23-yard catch courtesy of backup quarterback Derek Anderson - Cam Newton got the day off.

It was one of just two catches Benjamin made all night, but he was only targeted twice, so that's a perfect conversion percentage. He ended the night with 40 yards to his name. There wasn't much doing for the Panthers star besides the one highlight, but it was the exact kind of play he needed to make to shake any demons, especially questions about his weight over the course of the offseason.

Benjamin on the loose

When offseason workouts began, Benjamin looked different - heavier. Sure enough, he had shown up to camp out of shape, a warning sign for NFL teams, but also something that is not uncommon for football players who simply need some time from taking such precise care of their bodies.

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With the help of drills and the Panthers, Benjamin was able to quickly drop the weight and get back into playing shape.

Now, they need him to be dynamic. He exceeded 1,000 yards during his rookie season in 2014, before losing all of his 2015 season to an ACL tear. He came back in 2016 and looked on par with his rookie year, but didn't show much growth over the course of a somewhat inconsistent season. The Panthers offense is retooled this season, with a different offensive line and a dynamic new weapon in the backfield in rookie running back Christian McCaffrey.

If Benjamin can show the same explosion from his rookie season - and Devin Funchess can develop into a solid second option - Carolina can start to dream of reaching their Super Bowl heights once more.

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