Panthers Fan Fest Wrapup
There are lots of play by play threads here so I won't be redundant. If you want to read a play by play visit the main fan fest thread here.
First things first, this is the most impressive Topcat squad I have ever seen. Keep your eye on this promising young rookie...
Star walked on to the field and took a moment to soak it all in. This was his first time walking out of the tunnel with a crowd cheering for him. Star appears to be a very quiet and serious guy. It was nice to see him take a moment and get to know the house he will dominate in for years to come.
Charles Johnson was pulled on to JR's cart for a chat. People tend to forget how much respect JR gets from the player. They really see him as a father figure. Having the only NFL owner who played the game at its highest level is something we should all appreciate more.
I am willing to bet that once Luke Kuechly makes the hall of fame, he will give some credit to Thomas Davis. Davis has taken on a real mentoring role with Kuechly.
I like CJ's hat, thinking about picking one up.
Common themes are starting to develop in my camp threads. That probably means there is much truth in them. Brandon Lafell is having his best camp to date. This is the season many WR's break out and have amazing years. Like Mushin did, I am hoping Brandon does as well.
I know, I know, I talk about Barner a lot. But there is good reason. Look at that tiny hole in the defense that he is able to cut through. Notice how close his feet are together yet able to keep balanced. This may not have been a big gainer, but last season if we could have traded a few no gains for a few 2 -3 yard gains we would have had a better record. Many times Deangelo would have kept running to the outside and passed on this gap to run through (usually resulting in no gain or worse).
Byron Bell got into a scuffle with Frank Alexander. No big deal, it happens every year. Its hot out and the big men start to get angry. To me what was more interesting was who stepped in to calm down Brandon Bell. None other than GM David Gettleman. I never saw Marty Hurney do anything of this nature. Finally having a football guy in the GM seat has its benefits. You cannot have too many figures of authority to give direction to these young guys.
Luke Kuechly wraps up the ball in fumble drills. I can't help to think about how many of you guys would like to be that ball. Yeah I said it.
Speaking of Luke, he and Blackburn have spent a lot of time together on the field. Keep your eye on Blackburn this season. He is a former Giant that Gettleman brought in for good reason. Blackburn was a Giants team captain at one point. He also has a college degree in mathematics. How many football players have that?
Again I kept a close eye on Garry Williams (pictured below against Kawaan Short). Garry didn't allow Short to get much of a push up the middle in most cases. I am becoming more and more comfortable with Garry in the RG spot.
Tedd Ginn is still the first guy taking Kickoff snaps. Special Teams returners are something nearly impossible to predict in camp. We really have no idea how these guys will do until preseason when there is actual tackling. Every kick return looks great in practice.
Byron Bell catches a lot of heat sometimes, but fans sometimes forget this guy has to go up against the Kraken, many times on an island, every single practice. Think about that. When it comes to playing other teams, Byron will probably be relieved he doesn't have to go up against Hardy.
Other things of note:
- Josh Norman is trying to make his way out of the dog house still. He had a really nice leaping INT, but otherwise has been fairly inconsistent.
- There was a really good crowd at Fan Fest. Not as good as last season, but still pretty decent.
- Barner saw snaps with the first string offense. That is not something Poole or Smith can say.
- Brandon Williams had a couple of really nice catches from Jimmy Clausen, but also had a drop or two. I am really pulling for Brandon, it will all come down to preseason for him. If he can make a few plays, I believe he makes the team.