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Ruff's 7-28 Camp Observations


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#1 Dollar Store Dave

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:49 PM

*
A WHOLE PIE!

So, I decided to mosey on down to Spartanburg today and watch the practice. It went really well. It was the nicest its felt (at least, at the beginning of the practice) than it ever has when I've been to Spartanburg. There was an insanely nice breeze, clouds, etc, and I imagine that it felt great on the players.

 

Secondly, I spotted the almighty Zod. :o

 

I got in around 9:05am, so I missed the players who were getting there first. I also missed the first part of a swag giveaway, where the fans got a Nike gym-back-pack thing with the Panthers' logo and Academy sports written on it. I did, however, get there in time to get a solid black hand-towel with the Panthers' logo on it. It's pretty cool. Suck it, terrible towel. I hope something like this is the new Prowl Towel.

 

Cam came out and there was the normal fans who cheer just because he's arrived. Truly a star QB.

 

The first thing I noticed when I got there was Chase Blackburn was taking practice long snap reps to Gay. I don't really know why he was. I'm sure it has to do with Gay just wanted some extra feel from snaps, loosening up, etc. JJ has the long snapper job locked down. At least, in my estimation.

 

Also regarding the special teams, JJ and Nortman took the first reps as 1st team punter/LS. They went through about half-speed. Then, they went to punting drills later on, actually kicking to punt returners. The punt returns that fielded went in order: Joe Adams 1st, Ted Ginn, Kenjon Barner, Hixon, LaFell, Smitty. Joe looked nervous as it was coming too him, but he caught it sure handed. Everyone else did as well. Gay punted after Nortman, and, in my opinion, they both look about equal. They both had punts that went too fast to the returner that would've been large returns, and they both had booming kicks. Gay, in particular, hit a sky-high, thudding punt. Where I was sitting the fans literally "oohed".

 

Let me talk about Ted Ginn for a second. I know it's been tweeted over and over, but the dude played incredible today. He made some amazing catches in traffic, and some amazing snags during passing drills. There were a couple of times when the ball hit him dead in the hands and it fell out (there was one particular time when he ran a route to the middle of a zone, was wide open sitting in the zone, Cam hit him in the hands, and he dropped it). I will say this, though, I guarantee Ted Ginn is our #3 receiver the first game of the season and will look great in that spot.

 

Speaking of receivers, Joe Adams also looked really well today. He caught all of the punts with ease (after the first one where he seemed tentative). He ran crisp routes, and he burned the ever living daylight out of Nakamura on a 1-on-1 drill. He got to the inside of Naka off the line, and Jimmy hit him in the numbers in stride and Naka was just lost after that. My guess is that Naka doesn't make the squad this year.

 

Speaking of safeties, Robert Lester did get yelled at once during a drill where the DB was supposed to come off the line, contact a player in front of them, get passed them, hit a player and try to strip the ball from the 2nd player (who was standing there to have the ball stripped from them). Robert didn't attempt to strip the ball from him and a coach called him out. Loudly. For it. Still, Robert looks like a quality player. How he went undrafted is beyond me.

 

Some surprises from camp to keep an eye on: Bersin, the WR from Wofford, will probably make a team. He's tall, he runs like a gazelle, and he can catch. I don't think he's very fast, though, but damn he is trying hard. During a passing drill, one of the QBs soared the ball about four feet over his head, Bersin jumped, fully extended, grab the ball with his hands in the air, touched down, and made sure to two-tap two feet inside the line. awesome work by the dude. Also, Jimmy Clausen looked sharp. As mentioned before, his throw is longer now, but damn if it doesn't show, he has some fire on the ball when he throws it. Don't be disappointed, but Jimmy is going to stay around for the 3rd QB.

 

Speaking of QBs, I read people ragging on Colby Cameron, and I don't understand why. He played well today. He did throw pick (he would've been sacked well before the throw), but everything before and after was solid, on-time, and accurate. You can tell with how fast he throws he was part of a spread-type offense in college. The ball is snapped, and the defense doesn't have time to react. The ball is in his hand and gone. Some guys behind me said, "Why can't we see more of #16. That guy looks pretty good." I wondered the same thing.

 

Also, on the "why didn't they play much" list, is Gaydosh. I was waiting for the farm beast to get out there. But, I never seen him in drills. Granted, when the DTs did 1-on-1s, my vantage point was less than stellar. But, during team drills, I never seen him out there. The guy is massive. He can literally just eat space.

 

Let me say this as well, Kenjon Barner is fast. With a capital F. He's by far the fastest of any running back we have. If he doesn't see play day 1 of the regular season, I have no idea what's going on. He drew praise from the coaches, from Cam, from everyone. He sees a hole, and he's gone. I mean, five, ten, twelve yards downfield before anyone even knows where he is. It was awesome to watch. He's our future at RB for a change of pace.

 

Other things I seen that were interesting: LB blitzes FOR DAYS. During the team drills, I seen an LB blitz on four out of five straight plays from the 1st team defense, with the whole house coming on two of those. Luke would've sacked Cam during one of those. Chase Blackburn also is a blitzing machine. He's going to give the nightmare fits when he's out there. It looked great to see. Truly looked like a Jim Johnson style defense.

 

Drayton Florence took a pick, ran past the guys on offense, back across the players watching, and into the end zone on the other side. The crowd went insane. There was also at least one other occasion when he got his hands on the ball for a pick, but it deflected into LaFell's hands. Florence looks like he has that ability to be around the ball, anywhere and everywhere. He's your starting CB, I promise.

 

That's about it, let me know if you have any other questions.



#2 Swaggasaurus

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:59 PM

Nice write up...I think Florence will have a starting job week 1 as well. 



#3 DeAngelo's #1 Fan(CRA)

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:00 PM

As quirky as LS is....you need a guy on your roster who can step in if JJ got hurt in a game. Chase is old school....he likely could be that guy and practices for a reason. I'm sure we had someone besides JJ last year as well that gets a couple reps in at some point....even if not in a live drill.

#4 OnlyPantherFaninMaine

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:00 PM

:cam:    :rr:  :dw:  :lk:  :cam1:  :cam2:  :ss:

All these camp observations make me feel as if I am there! Thank you! 



#5 Carolina Cajun

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:03 PM

I'm curious about Melvin White (for obvious reasons) but has anything been said about him/has he looked comfortable there?  I know we have a need in the secondary and with his frame and athletic ability, I think he could turn into a steal.



#6 rayzor

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:04 PM

love the writeup. i have had this feeling that barner will lead the RBs in TDs.



#7 Panther4lyfe

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:04 PM

How was David Gettis? If you go down there tomorrow can you tell me how he is looking? Also who will win the opposite side corner? I really like Josh Thomas in that spot, but who is it looking to be?



#8 Chimera

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:09 PM

Re: Colby Cameron.
He's very deceptive. He has that hitch in his throw a la T3b0w and early Kerry Collins. But the velocity and quick decisions are top notch.

#9 carolina-chuck

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:10 PM

Ruff, thanks bro!



#10 DeAngelo's #1 Fan(CRA)

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:16 PM

love the writeup. i have had this feeling that barner will lead the RBs in TDs.


Still quite a log jam at the position...going to be hard to get him reps if all are healthy.

I think he may fit what we were doing better than any.....if he transitions to next level

#11 nosuchthingasapanther

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:19 PM

Still quite a log jam at the position...going to be hard to get him reps if all are healthy.

I think he may fit what we were doing better than any.....if he transitions to next level

 

if stewart isn't rushed back and williams starts the season slow like he traditionally has, barner could see more reps than people think. 



#12 Chimera

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:25 PM

if stewart isn't rushed back and williams starts the season slow like he traditionally has, barner could see more reps than people think.


Poole should make the roster as well

#13 nosuchthingasapanther

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:26 PM

Poole should make the roster as well

 

unfortunately for poole, barner is already higher on the totem pole than he is.



#14 DeAngelo's #1 Fan(CRA)

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:26 PM

if stewart isn't rushed back and williams starts the season slow like he traditionally has, barner could see more reps than people think.


Well....

Williams and Barner I think represent 2 guys that fit 2 different things. We haven't been lining up RBs behind a FB playing smash mouth....and that is Williams. He is patient and really thrives with a good lead block. Barner more of a spread back who just hits his hole.

Williams would fit more of what Shula did in Tampa. Barner would fit more of what Chud had been doing.

Williams is a good RB in the schemes Fox had. I don't expect to see him consistently excel again unless we get back to that....and with Cam
I don't want it. Even though he finished the last game going ham on NO.....he was equally unimpressive right up to that game.

Barner pass protection will determine if Barner gets real chances in my opinion. He likely already would be the most dangerous runner and receiver from those shotgun spread looks.

#15 La Pantera

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:29 PM

We kept only 3 backs on the roster last season. I see 4 making the team Dlo, Stew, Tolbert and Barner. I dont see a way another makes the 53, barring injury.


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