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Jeremy Igo

Member Since 16 Mar 2012
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Training Camp Photos and Observations - Day 3

Yesterday, 08:32 PM

It was an exciting day at training camp. Getting to see the guys in pads for the first time this season revealed a few new things you just cannot see without contact.

Unfortunately, photos were not allowed to have been taken during the full team drills. As such, many of my observations will be without images.

Most players did not sign autographs while coming on to the practice field. Kelvin Benjamin, Luke Kuechly, and Antoine Cason made at least some time for the fans, so big ups to them.

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Some players made time for mosquito repellant. Those things will eat you alive in the shady areas.
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But I digress....

The day started with the usual drills.

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Then, the passing drills started.

Kelvin Benjamin had a great day. I am not sure it is possible to overthrow the man.
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He made catches on the sidelines and over the middle. I didn't see him drop a single catchable ball all day. I am telling you all right now that he is the real deal and will have an immediate impact on the offense as a rookie. At this point, and I know its early, I would be shocked if he is not a day 1 starter.

He looks better right now than Brandon Lafell ever did.

Bersin also continues to impress. I spoke to a Panthers staff member who told me he would be shocked if Bersin did not make the squad.
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I enjoy watching Cotchery play. He does all of the little veteran things to gain advantage. A little grab here, a little push there, but never enough to draw a flag. It quickly becomes obvious the guy just knows hot to play the game at the highest level.
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Bene Benwikere flashes from time to time. He has a knack for closing quickly in and getting a hand on the ball. The coaches spend quite a bit of time with Bene. That tells me they see real potential in him
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Ken Dorsey ran the QB drills on the far field where I was the only one to look on. I am glad I did. Included in this year's drill selection is a heavier emphasis on moving in the pocket and avoiding contact. While having to hi step over obstacles, Dorsey would rush in and grab a shoulder. I think getting these guys accustomed to improvising in the pocket is a great thing, especially considering the question marks surrounding the Panthers offensive line.
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Speaking of offensive line... today we saw the offensive line vs defensive line, full contact, for the first time this season.

Lyndon Gaydosh has a size advantage over Brian Folkerts, but was unable to take advantage.
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Star won the battle between he and Amini Silatolu. Amini did fairly well though and in all fairness not many guys could go one on one with Star and do very well.
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Kawaan Short versus free agent offensive tackle Oscar Johnson went ... well... the picture says it all.

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Nate Chandler took on Charles Johnson and Chandler actually had the upper hand. It is unclear if Johnson had poor footing or if Chandler actually dominated him.

The most interesting matchup was Trai Turner versus the veteran Dwan Edwards. During the first round, Trai Turner easily won. For round two, turner was outmatched by Edwards and was pushed back about 10 yards. Apparently, Edwards did not appreciate being handled by the rookie in round 1. At that point Turner was pulled aside and coached up.

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Turner bounced back and did very well all day long in the team drills, at one point pushing Edwards several yards up field.

It appears, folks, that Turner really is the road grader he was billed as.

Brief intermission... here is a picture of Ryan Kalil. I am not sure I have ever seen him smile on the practice field this year, and I am OK with that.

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Players Rising:

- Kelvin Benjamin. So far he appears to be everything he was supposed to be, and more.
- Trai Turner. Playing with the first string and already looking competent. On one particular play he was able to pull right and seal off the block for a Kenjon Barner screen. Pretty advanced stuff for a rookie.
- Philly Brown. Has made key plays two days in a row now in the passing game. If he can learn to hang on to punts a roster spot could be secured for him.
- Tight Ends. Probably the most impressive offensive unit the Panthers have. Brandon Williams caught a beautiful long bomb today, catching it over his should, in perfect stride. Possibly the best catch of training camp so far. A;l of the tight ends made plays today. Four Tight End set anyone?
- Bene Benwikere. Really like this kid's game, I think he could potentially contribute quickly.
- Nate Chandler. Chandler is still getting a lot of time at left tackle and looks very solid. At this point, I think the job may be his to lose.

Players Falling:

- 2nd and 3rd string offensive line. These guys are getting obliterated out there. The Panthers have little depth in this area, pray for a healthy season.
- Punt returners. At this point Cason looks to be the best of the bunch, but he has only returned 2 punts since 2011. The Panthers may need to look for an experienced hand here or once again special teams may cost them a game (or two).

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Camp Photos and Observations - Day 2

Yesterday, 06:28 AM

Camp opened up in Spartanburg in the sweltering heat. Attendance is said to have been 17,000 but I am not so sure of that number. It was a decent crowd, but did not seem as large as last season. Curious, after a playoff season that it was not more crowded.

As the players warmed up I noticed Kuechly and Deangelo talking. Sometimes I think players talk to Deangelo just to check themselves out in his helmet shield.

Kugbila was at practice. He has yet to be claimed off of waivers, and will probably not be. In all likelihood he will be on the Panthers IR list this season.

Tiquan Underwood is looking better in camp than in the OTA's. While he doesn't appear to have the speed that Ted Ginn did, he does know how to run routes well enough to get some separation. His hands seem to be pretty good as well. I feel he is a lock to make the team.

Rivera looks as relaxed as he ever has in camp. Its amazing what job security can do for your stress level.

Cam wears a helmet shield in practice. It is unclear why, but once could imagine a stray lineman finger in the eye would be devastating for this team, so why not wear the shield.

Charles Johnson is probably one of the more under appreciated players on the team.

Not only is Charles one of the better defensive ends in the league, but he also can return punts. Although, to be fair, he waived for the fair catch. What is the point of a defensive lineman returning the ball if he isn't going to run with it?


Bene Benwikere had a few technical miscues in drills and was quickly coached up by defensive backs coach Steve Wilks. Bene has looked pretty good overall, and the occasional miscue early can be expected.

Defensive line coach Eric Washington is a big guy in his own right. He isn't afraid to get in and grab the guys to get their attention either.

The crowd got excited when passing drills began. Cam looks like he does at every camp in his career. Mostly sharp, but has the occasional overthrow.

One quick fix for the overthrows could be to throw to Benjamin more. I ran into Kelvin in the media room yesterday and was reminded how tall he really is. Sometimes rosters fluff the height numbers a bit in favor of the player, but Bejnamin is every bit of 6'5. One thing I noticed was how perfect his hands are when catching. He really does wrap those huge hands around the ball. It is textbook fundamentals every dad teaches his son. I will be showing this image to my boys before our next round of football toss.


Greg Olson is also having a great camp so far this year. He has made some acrobatic one handed grabs. Greg isn't the most talkative guy on the practice field, instead he lets his play do the talking. However, I have seen him really help out the younger tight ends on their route running. Greg fits the wise veteran mold well.

During blitz drills, Derek Anderson connected with Pilares deep on badly blown pass coverage by the defense. No safety was anywhere close to Pilares. However, before you get too excited... Derek Anderson would have been sacked long before the throw was made by a blitzing Jason Williams.


I noticed a curious thing Cam has been doing lately that I did not notice last season... or at least that I can remember. In a play action drill he squats down, seemingly to hide behind the line. Could this be a way to compensate for his height?

Nate Chandler was at left tackle for the majority of the last half of practice. I felt Chandler would end up at left tackle this season during OTA's, and my opinion has not changed on that matter. Nate can get off the ball and into position very quickly. Below he has Greg Hardy matched up right off the snap.

Byron Bell was in at right tackle with Nate at left....


...but then did get some more time at left tackle before the practice was over. While Byron is larger and takes up more room, his feet are heavier. It is a trade off that the coaches will have to decide on.


Mike Tolbert had a few more carries at running back with Stewart and now Tyler injured. Tolbert somehow gets lost in all the running back talk sometimes, which is a shame. In my opinion, he is the most talented and effective guy we have that can run the ball.


Cam also targeted Tolbert in the passing game. Tolbert caught every ball.

Philly Brown made a really nice grab at the end of practice. He was able to get behind and out leap Cason, who is a starting defensive back in this league. This is great news for Philly Brown fans.

I hope you enjoyed these photos and will share this link on your social media sites. Sharing the link is the single most important thing you can do to keep the Huddle plugging away.

Today is the first practice in pads. I will be there covering the action. Follow @CarolinaHuddle for updates on twitter.


Official 7-26 Practice Thread

26 July 2014 - 03:58 PM

For those of you at practice please post observations. For those of you at home please post interesting tweets.

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For Lola

26 July 2014 - 10:50 AM


Exclusive Fan Fest Photos

25 July 2014 - 09:52 PM

Yet again Fan Fest has come and gone.


Due to the CBA regulations, the players did not wear pads. So, unlike in years past, fan fest did not feature an actual scrimmage. Still, it was great to see the guys in action.


Before practice began, Cam had some encouragement for Greg Hardy, who was fairly quit for the practice. It an awkward situation Hardy is in, but everyone is trying to make the best of it.




I noticed KB tends to stick his tongue out quite a bit. It worked for Jordan, but I am not so sure its a great idea in football...




Cam Newton and Ryan Kalil continue to develop great chemistry. I think it is under appreciated how well these guys do together.



Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis threw on the sidelines for a while. Davis kept putting some heat on the ball and causing Luke to drop them with the crowd watching, which wasn't appreciated. The two really do seem like brothers.






The usual conditioning and training drills began.








We got our first look at Tyler Gaffney. Gaffney may see increased snaps at the start of training camp due to Jonathan Stewart's hamstring pull. Gaffney really needs to take advantage of it.




Chandler and Bell once again split time at both tackle positions throughout the day. 





Dave Gettleman was seen on the sidelines looking over his squad. He was joking around with Charles Johnson a bit and seems to really have the respect of the players. I think they relate to him well as an ex-football coach.



Cam looked healthy and was able to perform all that was asked of him.



It is not surprise that Josh Norman looked good. He always looked good in camp and in practice. Can he make his way out of the dog house this season?





Tavarres King made a really nice grab that was initially bobbled in the air during wr/cb matchups. In an actual game, it may have been picked off by a safety. None the less, it was impressive to watch.



Byron Bell was drawn offsides by Charles Johnson. The flag would probably gone against Johnson I believe, Cam's hard count the credit.



There is little doubt in my mind that Trai Turner is our day 1 starter at right guard. The man is a double wide.



Swole Bones Brandon Williams also made some nice grabs with the first string. If he can produce this year it is going to be huge for the Panthers offense. Hello two tight end sets!



Any time I can take a picture and have two future All Pro players in the frame, its a picture worth taking.



Benjamin made a nice grab from Cam in heavy traffic and headed for the end zone. He continues to flash and could be a breakout player this year.



Deangelo looked good, as usual. He has never had an issue with conditioning in camp. We tend to take that for granted. Could Vinnie Testaverde's influence on him still linger? 


Kenjon Barner is quick. He gets to the outside faster than any running back on the roster. He also made a couple of really nice grabs. I know some of you have written him off, but I haven't.



Cam had a blast directing "the wave" with the crowd. I can't think of another player in Panthers history with so much likeability and charisma.





The best play of the day goes to Bersin with a gorgeous TD grab over Byndom.



After practice, it is easy to see who is the most sought after player by the media for a quote.



Hope you enjoyed these photos.


I am heading to Spartanburg on Saturday for the kickoff party. If you are there, please be sure to say hello!

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