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Found 46 results

  1. Well I'm not doing any updates but hope my good pals @Saca312 or @Captain Morgan will??? many pies
  2. One lazy argument people like to say is the statement that "Cam Newton doesn't have touch." They assume all he does is rocket every single pass he ever throws over receivers heads on every throw. Well, this throw right here pretty much eradicates that argument: On the play above, watch as Cam Newton steps up with feet facing the receiver. After the step up, Cam launches the ball into the air on one of the most beautiful passes I've seen. It lands right where only Benjamin could catch it, and turns into a pretty good play. Whether you assume this is a supposed new development or not, understand Cam Newton can and has thrown with touch. Discuss.
  3. The weather was dismal, and the Panthers passing game wasn't far behind. Today, the Carolina Panthers just could not put it together offensively. The day started like any other, Cam Newton gave Offensive Line Coach John Matsko a fist bump to start off the day. But from the very first drills, you could tell how this day was going to go. Simple connections from Cam Newton to Kelvin Benjamin in passing drills misfired. When those misfire.... you are in for a long day. Things did not get easier for the offense once the defense took the stage. Josh Norman has a solid day today, breaking up multiple passes and performing very well against Kelvin Benjamin. This is good news for the Panthers, as they will face taller receivers from time to time this season. This is how the entire day went. Passes were more often off than not. And when the passes were on target, often times they were broken up by a hungry defender. Melvin White made a very nice break on a ball intended for Brenton Bersin and received much praise from the defensive coaching staff for his efforts. Sometimes the ball never made it into the picture frame, probably not a good thing. Corey Brown was able to get behind Josh Norman for what could have been a touchdown, but could only watch as the ball landed well in front of him. Colin Jones, not wanting to be left out, also got in on the act. Of course, not all of the passes were miscues. Devin Funchess did show signs of life over the middle with a nice grab from Cam Newton. Funchess took a shot from safety Kurt Coleman, but administered more of a blow than he received. Funchess continued on with the play as Coleman lay on the ground. While an interesting play to watch, I doubt the same result would have occurred if pads were on and contact allowed. Overall, the Panthers offense today seemed like it was either jumping ahead to practice against the Miami Dolphins tomorrow, or ready to head back to Charlotte. The intensity wasn't there. The focus wasn't there. If they play this was tomorrow, they may get embarrassed on their own practice field against Miami. I don't think that will happen. Look for the Panthers offense to rebound and use today's performance as motivation. Until then....
  4. The weather was dismal, and the Panthers passing game wasn't far behind. Today, the Carolina Panthers just could not put it together offensively. The day started like any other, Cam Newton gave Offensive Line Coach John Matsko a fist bump to start off the day. But from the very first drills, you could tell how this day was going to go. Simple connections from Cam Newton to Kelvin Benjamin in passing drills misfired. When those misfire.... you are in for a long day. Things did not get easier for the offense once the defense took the stage. Josh Norman has a solid day today, breaking up multiple passes and performing very well against Kelvin Benjamin. This is good news for the Panthers, as they will face taller receivers from time to time this season. This is how the entire day went. Passes were more often off than not. And when the passes were on target, often times they were broken up by a hungry defender. Melvin White made a very nice break on a ball intended for Brenton Bersin and received much praise from the defensive coaching staff for his efforts. Sometimes the ball never made it into the picture frame, probably not a good thing. Corey Brown was able to get behind Josh Norman for what could have been a touchdown, but could only watch as the ball landed well in front of him. Colin Jones, not wanting to be left out, also got in on the act. Of course, not all of the passes were miscues. Devin Funchess did show signs of life over the middle with a nice grab from Cam Newton. Funchess took a shot from safety Kurt Coleman, but administered more of a blow than he received. Funchess continued on with the play as Coleman lay on the ground. While an interesting play to watch, I doubt the same result would have occurred if pads were on and contact allowed. Overall, the Panthers offense today seemed like it was either jumping ahead to practice against the Miami Dolphins tomorrow, or ready to head back to Charlotte. The intensity wasn't there. The focus wasn't there. If they play this was tomorrow, they may get embarrassed on their own practice field against Miami. I don't think that will happen. Look for the Panthers offense to rebound and use today's performance as motivation. Until then.... View full article
  5. Play of the Day - Ted Ginn

    Ted Ginn and Josh Norman have been going at every day in Panthers training camp. Today, Ted Ginn had the upper hand. On a fly route, Ginn was able to get just enough separation to make a fantastic catch from a Cam Newton pass for 30 yards. Josh Norman really could not have played better defense. He was in Ginn's hip pocket the entire play, just where he needed to be. Ginn just made a fantastic play that defenses will give up from time to time. After the catch, Ginn held the ball high signaling he still had the ball. When he got up, Ginn spun the ball in a "Steve Smith-esque" type move, letting Norman subtly know he had been bested. This type of play is exactly what was missing from the Panthers offense for the majority of last season. Just the threat of having Ted Ginn out wide should open up things for Cam a great deal.
  6. Ted Ginn and Josh Norman have been going at every day in Panthers training camp. Today, Ted Ginn had the upper hand. On a fly route, Ginn was able to get just enough separation to make a fantastic catch from a Cam Newton pass for 30 yards. Josh Norman really could not have played better defense. He was in Ginn's hip pocket the entire play, just where he needed to be. Ginn just made a fantastic play that defenses will give up from time to time. After the catch, Ginn held the ball high signaling he still had the ball. When he got up, Ginn spun the ball in a "Steve Smith-esque" type move, letting Norman subtly know he had been bested. This type of play is exactly what was missing from the Panthers offense for the majority of last season. Just the threat of having Ted Ginn out wide should open up things for Cam a great deal. View full article
  7. Here's a thread for today's training camp tweets, etc. I can be online much of the next 2 hours until 10:30 Eastern, but then will be offline most of the day until late afternoon.
  8. Day 4 of the Carolina Panthers Training Camp is in the books. With a heat index of 109 in Spartanburg, the Panthers still managed to have a spirited practice that yielded some good things. Thomas Davis was taking a veterans day off. However, he still managed to act as an additional coach of sorts, helping rookie linebacker David Mayo at times. This did not keep Mayo from performing his rookie tasts, such as fetching helmets for the veteran players. The Carolina Panthers coaches were especially energetic and vocal today. This could be due to the return of head coach Ron Rivera. Sean McDermott kept a close eye on his defensive unit and was not shy in pointing out where they were lacking. Dave Gettleman kept a watchful eye over practice, and was joined by aspiring GM but current Panthers safety Roman Harper at times. Ted Ginn continues to impress in camp. When asked today if he was still the fastest guy on the field, he answered in the affirmative. The Panthers offense struggled early today, mainly due to poor offensive line play. Cam Newton scrambled out of the pocket more than once, something Panthers fans have gotten quite used to seeing. Newton was visibly upset for a brief moment, expressing to his offense they would need to pick up their game. This may be redundant, but Kelvin Benjamin continues to make plays. At some point I may stop reporting this, as you can probably just take it as a given. Gamecocks product Damiere Byrd had his best day of camp so far. Damiere is proving himself not only a deep threat that the team desperately needs, but also a weapon on the end arounds. His end around run today was the prettiest of camp so far. Brenton Bersin continues to field second string punts, and guess what.... he looks pretty good. Many people are hard on Bersin for last year's punt return performance. They forget, however, that Bersin had zero punt return reps in practices up until he was asked to field them in a live game. Punt returning is 100% about repetition, without it no player would do well. Michael Oher improved from his lackluster performance yesterday, although he did have help at times. As many have pointed out, if the Panthers can get Oher to just the level of serviceable, it will be an upgrade over last season. Jordan Todman was fighting a stomach bug but still practiced in between trips to the sideline to vomit and hydrate. You have to admire his resolve. Todman is not a lock to make this roster, and he knows every snap counts. Mike Remmers beard. Thats all. Today's Climbers: - Damiere Byrd - As stated earlier, his best performance of camp. - Cameron Artis-Payne - CAP had the prettiest touchdown scamper of camp so far. He also appears to be improving in pass protection during second team drills. So far, so good for this rookie. - Mario Addison - Addison may be the most improved defensive player on the roster. I am very impressed what he has brought so far. He appears to be well ahead of Kony Ealy at this point. - Lee Ward - Caught a nice ball out in the flat, made some killer blocks in pass protection.
  9. Day 4 of the Carolina Panthers Training Camp is in the books. With a heat index of 109 in Spartanburg, the Panthers still managed to have a spirited practice that yielded some good things. Thomas Davis was taking a veterans day off. However, he still managed to act as an additional coach of sorts, helping rookie linebacker David Mayo at times. This did not keep Mayo from performing his rookie tasts, such as fetching helmets for the veteran players. The Carolina Panthers coaches were especially energetic and vocal today. This could be due to the return of head coach Ron Rivera. Sean McDermott kept a close eye on his defensive unit and was not shy in pointing out where they were lacking. Dave Gettleman kept a watchful eye over practice, and was joined by aspiring GM but current Panthers safety Roman Harper at times. Ted Ginn continues to impress in camp. When asked today if he was still the fastest guy on the field, he answered in the affirmative. The Panthers offense struggled early today, mainly due to poor offensive line play. Cam Newton scrambled out of the pocket more than once, something Panthers fans have gotten quite used to seeing. Newton was visibly upset for a brief moment, expressing to his offense they would need to pick up their game. This may be redundant, but Kelvin Benjamin continues to make plays. At some point I may stop reporting this, as you can probably just take it as a given. Gamecocks product Damiere Byrd had his best day of camp so far. Damiere is proving himself not only a deep threat that the team desperately needs, but also a weapon on the end arounds. His end around run today was the prettiest of camp so far. Brenton Bersin continues to field second string punts, and guess what.... he looks pretty good. Many people are hard on Bersin for last year's punt return performance. They forget, however, that Bersin had zero punt return reps in practices up until he was asked to field them in a live game. Punt returning is 100% about repetition, without it no player would do well. Michael Oher improved from his lackluster performance yesterday, although he did have help at times. As many have pointed out, if the Panthers can get Oher to just the level of serviceable, it will be an upgrade over last season. Jordan Todman was fighting a stomach bug but still practiced in between trips to the sideline to vomit and hydrate. You have to admire his resolve. Todman is not a lock to make this roster, and he knows every snap counts. Mike Remmers beard. Thats all. Today's Climbers: - Damiere Byrd - As stated earlier, his best performance of camp. - Cameron Artis-Payne - CAP had the prettiest touchdown scamper of camp so far. He also appears to be improving in pass protection during second team drills. So far, so good for this rookie. - Mario Addison - Addison may be the most improved defensive player on the roster. I am very impressed what he has brought so far. He appears to be well ahead of Kony Ealy at this point. - Lee Ward - Caught a nice ball out in the flat, made some killer blocks in pass protection. View full article
  10. The Carolina Panthers Training Camp last season introduced us to guys like Andrew Norwell and Corey Brown. Two undrafted free agents who ended up making major contributions to the playoff run of 2015. So who will be the sleepers this season? Well, here are my best pre-camp guesses..... 1. Damiere Byrd - WR South Carolina While small in stature, Byrd has the physical gifts that the Panthers need, namely pure speed. During OTA's, Byrd connected with the Panthers backup quarterbacks for multiple long bomb touchdowns. This local kid has what it takes to shine in camp this year if given the opportunity. Given the uncertain future of Stephen Hill and his recent transgression, Byrd may just get that chance. 2. Lee Ward - FB Stanford I love me some Lee Ward. A bruising throwback fullback who punished his opponent as he lays waste. While not the most glamorous or highlight generating position, the pure blocking fullback is something I would love to see added to the Panthers arsenal. He would also aid in protecting Cam Newton given the unknown skill level of the Panthers 2015 left tackle Michael Oher. 3. Dean Marlowe - S James Madison You haven't read much about Marlowe until now, but that could quickly change. If there is one position on the Panthers roster that an immediate impact could be made, it would be Safety. Marlowe saw plenty of snaps in OTA's and looked sharp. If he can also contribute in Special Teams he may be able to carve out a roster spot. Not an easy accomplishment for an undrafted free agent on this Panthers squad. So there are the top 3 young guys I am hoping can make an impact. Who are yours?
  11. The Carolina Panthers Training Camp last season introduced us to guys like Andrew Norwell and Corey Brown. Two undrafted free agents who ended up making major contributions to the playoff run of 2015. So who will be the sleepers this season? Well, here are my best pre-camp guesses..... 1. Damiere Byrd - WR South Carolina While small in stature, Byrd has the physical gifts that the Panthers need, namely pure speed. During OTA's, Byrd connected with the Panthers backup quarterbacks for multiple long bomb touchdowns. This local kid has what it takes to shine in camp this year if given the opportunity. Given the uncertain future of Stephen Hill and his recent transgression, Byrd may just get that chance. 2. Lee Ward - FB Stanford I love me some Lee Ward. A bruising throwback fullback who punished his opponent as he lays waste. While not the most glamorous or highlight generating position, the pure blocking fullback is something I would love to see added to the Panthers arsenal. He would also aid in protecting Cam Newton given the unknown skill level of the Panthers 2015 left tackle Michael Oher. 3. Dean Marlowe - S James Madison You haven't read much about Marlowe until now, but that could quickly change. If there is one position on the Panthers roster that an immediate impact could be made, it would be Safety. Marlowe saw plenty of snaps in OTA's and looked sharp. If he can also contribute in Special Teams he may be able to carve out a roster spot. Not an easy accomplishment for an undrafted free agent on this Panthers squad. So there are the top 3 young guys I am hoping can make an impact. Who are yours? View full article
  12. Shaq Thompson Making Plays

    Shaq Thompson has officially arrived at Panthers training camp. While being largely absent the first two practices, he started to come into his own on today's third practice. During 7 on 7 drills, Thompson made a speedy break on a Cam Newton pass intended for Greg Olsen. Thompson batted the ball now, marking his first official play made in Panthers training camp. One of Thompson's primary responsibilities will be to cover talented tight ends like Jimmy Graham (now in Seattle). Getting camp experience against pro bowler Greg Olsen can only accelerate his learning and adjusting to the pro game. Thompson continued to impress throughout the day. Another play that sticks out in my mind is a very quick gap stop, halting Fozzy Whitaker's progress. The Carolina Panthers had issues with plugging the correct gap in run defense for a good portion of last season. Shaq Thompson is having more thrown at him than most defensive rookies. He is learning what is probably the most complicated position on the defensive side of the field. While other rookies can be thrown into the mix relatively quickly, Thompson will require more film room time in addition to playing time. If today's performance is any indication, Thompson may be a quick study.
  13. Shaq Thompson has officially arrived at Panthers training camp. While being largely absent the first two practices, he started to come into his own on today's third practice. During 7 on 7 drills, Thompson made a speedy break on a Cam Newton pass intended for Greg Olsen. Thompson batted the ball now, marking his first official play made in Panthers training camp. One of Thompson's primary responsibilities will be to cover talented tight ends like Jimmy Graham (now in Seattle). Getting camp experience against pro bowler Greg Olsen can only accelerate his learning and adjusting to the pro game. Thompson continued to impress throughout the day. Another play that sticks out in my mind is a very quick gap stop, halting Fozzy Whitaker's progress. The Carolina Panthers had issues with plugging the correct gap in run defense for a good portion of last season. Shaq Thompson is having more thrown at him than most defensive rookies. He is learning what is probably the most complicated position on the defensive side of the field. While other rookies can be thrown into the mix relatively quickly, Thompson will require more film room time in addition to playing time. If today's performance is any indication, Thompson may be a quick study. View full article
  14. Ok all, here's a thread to post tweets from today's training camp. Note: Although I'm starting this thread, I'm headed away from the computer soon, and won't be able to post many tweets until later this afternoon. [Mods can you pin this up top? Thanks]
  15. On the way to the practice field, I noticed one player had a little something extra tucked in his sock. I respect that. Old School. Kurt Coleman was out on the practice field early, catching balls from the tire machine. Coleman has looked solid over the weekend and could be a starting day 1 strong safety. KK Short was on a bike again, unfortunately. Star and Charles were working on some of the finer hand details of the position before the initial whistle blew. Younger players need to really pay attention to this. These guys are not fighting for a roster spot, yet they are out there early working on the minutia of the position. Cam had another decent day today, although the protection he was getting was not ideal. ... He was not wearing a superhero shirt today, sadly. David Mayo looks the part of a middle linebacker. He has been fairly quiet in camp, however. Fozzy Whitaker continues to get second string reps behind Jonathan Stewart. Whitaker looks like a solid option as a chance of pace back, but could get pushed by Cameron Artis-Payne and Brandon Wegher as camp continues. Corey Brown has improved since a lackluster start of camp. He is still getting more first team reps than Ginn. Thomas Davis was sure to let Jonathan Stewart know that it was him that tagged his fanny on a running play. Stewart laughed as Davis informed him. The veterans on the team spend a lot of time in between series discussing the plays and the schemes. Pictured are three guys you will not find talking about vacation activities or the night's plans while on the practice field. These guys are 100% football in the moment. Other Notes: - Nate Chandler took most if not all of the second string left tackle reps. - Overall, the defense had the upper hand today. I counted 6 "would be" sacks on Cam Newton. Many times the pass went on to be completed, but in an actual game situation it would have been a downed QB or a Cam Newton scramble. - Mike Remmers looked solid on the right side of the line. My concern over that position is starting to go away. Solid protection against Charles Johnson. - Defensive tackle Kyle Love has made plays in this camp. The Panthers could possibly opt for him over Colin Cole. - Colin Jones made another great play on a Cam Newton pass today, nearly intercepting it. Jones has amazing closing speed that will keep in him in the mix for playing time. Additional Articles From Today's Practice Oher Struggles Early Shaq Thompson Making Plays Also check out Thomas Davis' Visor
  16. On the way to the practice field, I noticed one player had a little something extra tucked in his sock. I respect that. Old School. Kurt Coleman was out on the practice field early, catching balls from the tire machine. Coleman has looked solid over the weekend and could be a starting day 1 strong safety. KK Short was on a bike again, unfortunately. Star and Charles were working on some of the finer hand details of the position before the initial whistle blew. Younger players need to really pay attention to this. These guys are not fighting for a roster spot, yet they are out there early working on the minutia of the position. Cam had another decent day today, although the protection he was getting was not ideal. ... He was not wearing a superhero shirt today, sadly. David Mayo looks the part of a middle linebacker. He has been fairly quiet in camp, however. Fozzy Whitaker continues to get second string reps behind Jonathan Stewart. Whitaker looks like a solid option as a chance of pace back, but could get pushed by Cameron Artis-Payne and Brandon Wegher as camp continues. Corey Brown has improved since a lackluster start of camp. He is still getting more first team reps than Ginn. Thomas Davis was sure to let Jonathan Stewart know that it was him that tagged his fanny on a running play. Stewart laughed as Davis informed him. The veterans on the team spend a lot of time in between series discussing the plays and the schemes. Pictured are three guys you will not find talking about vacation activities or the night's plans while on the practice field. These guys are 100% football in the moment. Other Notes: - Nate Chandler took most if not all of the second string left tackle reps. - Overall, the defense had the upper hand today. I counted 6 "would be" sacks on Cam Newton. Many times the pass went on to be completed, but in an actual game situation it would have been a downed QB or a Cam Newton scramble. - Mike Remmers looked solid on the right side of the line. My concern over that position is starting to go away. Solid protection against Charles Johnson. - Defensive tackle Kyle Love has made plays in this camp. The Panthers could possibly opt for him over Colin Cole. - Colin Jones made another great play on a Cam Newton pass today, nearly intercepting it. Jones has amazing closing speed that will keep in him in the mix for playing time. Additional Articles From Today's Practice Oher Struggles Early Shaq Thompson Making Plays Also check out Thomas Davis' Visor View full article
  17. Last season, then rookie Kelvin Benjamin was selected to get in special reps with Cam Newton away from the other players. Typically, they would go over end zone routes or fine tune a few things here or there. Well, that trend is happening again this year, but they have added one more participant. Devin Funchess During Saturday's training camp session, Kelvin and Devin joined Cam Newton on the opposite field to work together away from the rest of the team. They caught extra passes from Cam Newton while running various routes, and then spoke to Newton about them. Small adjustments were made, and the routes run again. During one of the drills, Funchess had a chance to show off his vertical while going for an overthrown ball. I found it fairly impressive. I realize this may not seem like much, but it could be early signs of a Kelvin/Devin duo taking over the receiving corps. Stay tuned.
  18. Last season, then rookie Kelvin Benjamin was selected to get in special reps with Cam Newton away from the other players. Typically, they would go over end zone routes or fine tune a few things here or there. Well, that trend is happening again this year, but they have added one more participant. Devin Funchess During Saturday's training camp session, Kelvin and Devin joined Cam Newton on the opposite field to work together away from the rest of the team. They caught extra passes from Cam Newton while running various routes, and then spoke to Newton about them. Small adjustments were made, and the routes run again. During one of the drills, Funchess had a chance to show off his vertical while going for an overthrown ball. I found it fairly impressive. I realize this may not seem like much, but it could be early signs of a Kelvin/Devin duo taking over the receiving corps. Stay tuned. View full article
  19. Carolina Panthers training camp 2015 kicked off on Friday night to a good sized crowd, anxious to see what their 2015 squad had to offer. To help get the crowd excited, Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton had a contest of sorts. Which player could get the crowd louder. Tolbert may have won, in my opinion. Cam Newton continued to look very sharp throughout the day. I remarked in OTAs that this may be the best I have ever seen him. One can only hope this development continues when the pads are on. Newton and new left tackle Michael Oher have a special hand shake they do before each series. It is important that these two develop a trust quickly if the Panthers offense hopes to improve on last season. Colin Jones could possibly be the most improved defensive player of the offseason. He may not let go of that buffalo package roster spot as quickly as some think. Jones is the fastest defensive player on the team and a real asset against those offenses that like to spread the ball around. Stephen Hill practiced and improved on a lackluster June performance. My only concern remains his propensity to catch the ball with his body and not look it into his hands. He has a tendency to take his eye off the ball more than any other receiver I have photographed. Ted Ginn, on the other hand, nearly always is looking the ball into his hands.... observe... Fozzy Whitaker showed the explosiveness that the fans grew to love last season. He has some new competition this year in Jordan Todman and rookies Artis-Payne and Wegher, but Fozzy does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon . Even though he is on the sideline, Cam Newton doesn't take a break. He continues to go through mental reps that helps him prepare. Cam's growth as a player has as much to do with what he does on the sidelines as what he does under center. Brenton Bersin made a few nice catches much to the delight of the Wofford crowd. "Here we go Bersin, here we go" was the chant of the day. Josh Norman had a mixed day. While he did may a couple of nice plays on the ball.... He also let Jerricho Cotchery get behind him for a long completion from Cam Newton (would have been a touchdown.). Ted Ginn was first team punt returns, and quickly impressed. As he bolted up field and to the sideline, he received from praise from new Panthers safety Kurt Coleman who exclaimed "Oh, he is fast". Speaking of Coleman, I liked what I saw out of him on Friday. He had an interception and a really nice break up on a Cam Newton to Ed Dickson connection. Note the ball coming out below.... Former Panthers safety Chris Harris is back in a Panthers uniform, this time coaching up the defensive backs as an assistant. He and Peanut Tillman spent a lot of time going over the finer points. Damiere Byrd got in a few snaps late. While he was able to get behind the defenders, he was then slowed by contact that probably would not have drawn a flag. Byrd needs to learn the finer points of playing through such contact on a pro level. He has time, and I feel the Panthers are impressed enough with him to keep him in the mix and see if he improves. Overall, it was a solid first practice. I was happy with the tempo and enthusiasm. The Panthers are looking less like a young team in search of an identity and more like a veteran team on a mission.
  20. Carolina Panthers training camp 2015 kicked off on Friday night to a good sized crowd, anxious to see what their 2015 squad had to offer. To help get the crowd excited, Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton had a contest of sorts. Which player could get the crowd louder. Tolbert may have won, in my opinion. Cam Newton continued to look very sharp throughout the day. I remarked in OTAs that this may be the best I have ever seen him. One can only hope this development continues when the pads are on. Newton and new left tackle Michael Oher have a special hand shake they do before each series. It is important that these two develop a trust quickly if the Panthers offense hopes to improve on last season. Colin Jones could possibly be the most improved defensive player of the offseason. He may not let go of that buffalo package roster spot as quickly as some think. Jones is the fastest defensive player on the team and a real asset against those offenses that like to spread the ball around. Stephen Hill practiced and improved on a lackluster June performance. My only concern remains his propensity to catch the ball with his body and not look it into his hands. He has a tendency to take his eye off the ball more than any other receiver I have photographed. Ted Ginn, on the other hand, nearly always is looking the ball into his hands.... observe... Fozzy Whitaker showed the explosiveness that the fans grew to love last season. He has some new competition this year in Jordan Todman and rookies Artis-Payne and Wegher, but Fozzy does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon . Even though he is on the sideline, Cam Newton doesn't take a break. He continues to go through mental reps that helps him prepare. Cam's growth as a player has as much to do with what he does on the sidelines as what he does under center. Brenton Bersin made a few nice catches much to the delight of the Wofford crowd. "Here we go Bersin, here we go" was the chant of the day. Josh Norman had a mixed day. While he did may a couple of nice plays on the ball.... He also let Jerricho Cotchery get behind him for a long completion from Cam Newton (would have been a touchdown.). Ted Ginn was first team punt returns, and quickly impressed. As he bolted up field and to the sideline, he received from praise from new Panthers safety Kurt Coleman who exclaimed "Oh, he is fast". Speaking of Coleman, I liked what I saw out of him on Friday. He had an interception and a really nice break up on a Cam Newton to Ed Dickson connection. Note the ball coming out below.... Former Panthers safety Chris Harris is back in a Panthers uniform, this time coaching up the defensive backs as an assistant. He and Peanut Tillman spent a lot of time going over the finer points. Damiere Byrd got in a few snaps late. While he was able to get behind the defenders, he was then slowed by contact that probably would not have drawn a flag. Byrd needs to learn the finer points of playing through such contact on a pro level. He has time, and I feel the Panthers are impressed enough with him to keep him in the mix and see if he improves. Overall, it was a solid first practice. I was happy with the tempo and enthusiasm. The Panthers are looking less like a young team in search of an identity and more like a veteran team on a mission. View full article
  21. Kelvin Shines in Camp Debut

    Over the past several weeks, Kelvin Benjamin had to live with the first bit of real negative press about him concerning his weight. Of course, we all remember in June when Ron Rivera remarked he was 10 pounds overweight, which played a role in his hamstring pull. Well, if the first training camp practice of 2015 was any indication, Kelvin Benjamin has turned that criticism into motivation and made a statement saying exactly that. Kelvin made multiple catches from Cam Newton, finding a nice soft spot in the zone defenses and making the grab. While being covered by a variety of players, from Boston to Byndom to Norman, Benjamin made play after play, and did it with style. Towards the end of practice, Kelvin hauled in a long bomb form Cam Newton in which he out bodied and out jumped Carrington Byndom for what would have been a first down in the red zone. I think it is safe to say we can all officially put to rest the concerns over Kelvin's conditioning (which I never fully bought into in the first place.) Kelvin has picked up exactly where he left off last season, namely the most dangerous receiver on the team.
  22. Over the past several weeks, Kelvin Benjamin had to live with the first bit of real negative press about him concerning his weight. Of course, we all remember in June when Ron Rivera remarked he was 10 pounds overweight, which played a role in his hamstring pull. Well, if the first training camp practice of 2015 was any indication, Kelvin Benjamin has turned that criticism into motivation and made a statement saying exactly that. View full article
  23. Sometimes a photo is a snapshot of a moment, but sometimes it is a glimpse into the future. Here are 10 photos of the 2014 Carolina Panthers Training camp that have somewhat of a different meaning today. Cam Newton struggles to get situated as he is protected by Amini Silatolu and Nate Chandler. Silatolu and Chandler both ended the season on IR. Both were replaced by players who out performed them. (Remmers and Norwell) Then Special Teams Assistant Bruce Dehaven has been promoted to Special Teams Coordinator, replacing Richard Rodgers. I remember being impressed with Dehaven's demeanor throughout camp. He is hands on and vocal. Bene Benwikere stands confidently in front of Charles Godrey and poses. Benwikere finished the season as one of the highest rated corners in the league as a rookie. Godfrey was released after failing to perform at nickel adequately. Jericho Cotchery signals towards Brenton Bersin. Berin rose above many others in camp and contributed last season with key first down catches. Bersin did struggle in punt returns, but in all fairness he should have never been put in that position. Deangelo Williams embraces Greg Hardy. At the time, no one knew Hardy would only play a single game in 2014. Both Hardy and Deangelo are unlikely to be on the Panthers roster in 2015. Cam Newton receives encouragement from Ken Dorsey after a rough practice. Cam Newton had a rough year, literally. He was roughed up more than any other season due to inadequate line play early. How he is feeling in this photo must have continued well into the 2014 season. Derek Anderson and Kelvin Benjamin develop a chemistry. Without this chemistry, the Panthers could have lost at least one game this season (in Tampa). Getting the backup QB snaps with the starting wide outs is never a bad move. The Panthers face a March without a left tackle. If they allow Byron Bell to become a free agent, there are left with literally no one that could adequately protect Cam Newton's blind side. Cam Newton celebrates a touchdown with rookie Corey Brown. Brown emerged as the Panthers only deep threat this season and provided two much needed touchdowns late in the season. Luke Kuechly intercepts a Cam Newton pass. Kuechly's interception against the Bucs sealed the game and kept the Panthers in the division title hunt. Without it, the Panthers could possibly have missed the playoffs entirely. There you have it, 10 photos from training camp 2014 that have a different meaning today. As always, I will be covering the action through the lens again in 2015 and providing even more extended bonus content to the All-Pro section.
  24. Training Camp Wrapup - August 6

    Today was another practice without full pads, so the action was relatively light. Still, I was able to capture some interesting things. Mike Tolbert and Frank Alexander noticed me early and mugged a little for the camera. I hear the guys have been enjoying my camp coverage, which is nice. Nate Chandler was back in action today with a noticeable brace on his right knee. This is a scary omen for Panthers fans. Nate Chandler needs to remain healthy this season. I feel there is a huge step down in talent from Chandler to Garry Williams, who would take over his starting role should he not be able to play. Though he is the receivers coach, Ricky Proehl is also helping to develop the punt returners. Who is more qualified on the team in teaching the intricacies of catching and running with the ball? He gave Kenjon Barner some extra attention today. Spending time with Proehl will only make Barner a more complete player. Proehl gains instant respect from the players as a former NFL star himself. During Passing drills Pilares was once again making plays. Pilares is also returning kicks. I don't have him on my first mock roster, but I certainly would not be shocked if he winds up with a locker. Brenton Bersin also had a solid day today both in individual and team drills. You don't hear as much about Bersin these days, but that is not because he isn't performing well, but because it is no longer a shock that he is performing well. When the media is bored with your solid play, it means you have arrived. I was sure to pay attention to AJ Klein in coverage today, and I liked what I saw. AJ has a nice quick burst and turns his hips well, not often out of place. Solid fundamentals from the second year player. Today featured the most complete kickoff return drills of the camp. It was more of a dress rehearsal. Jordan Gay was given a shot at kicking the ball off. The Panthers will often pick up an extra kicker to save the leg of the starter for when it counts. I am fairly certain Ricky Proehl understands what a gem he has to work with in Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin is the first elite prospect that Ricky has had to mold. In many ways Proehl will be judged on Benjamin's development. Sometimes I think Cam wears his clothing in such a way, as if to just dare someone in the media to comment on it.... no comment. Kelvin Benjamin got his first real taste of being jammed at the line today, and Josh Norman did a nice job of frustrating Kelvin. Kelvin can improve his hands at the line, not allowing receivers to grip him and take him off his route. These fine details of the game are rarely mastered by a rookie. There isn't a more aggressive or less intimidated player pound for pound than Josh Norman. Part of me hope he makes it on the field again mainly because his trash talk it top notch. The fact that he smiles while informing you how awful you are only makes me like him more. Philly Brown had a great day today including a long TD where he burned by Robert Lester. Lester could not catch Philly once he was beaten. Bene Benwikere, however, could. Benwikere was also beaten by Philly Brown early on a deep fade... The difference is that Benwikere has the closing speed and athleticism to catch up and make a play for the ball and causing the incompletion. After practice, Cam Newton once again got in some extra time with his new receivers under the careful eye of offensive coordinator Mike Shula. Cam and all of the other QBs have done this every day of camp. In fact, the quarterbacks consider themselve members of a special club, complete with a secret handshake. They are the wolfpack.
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