The Carolina Panthers kick off their 2016 mini camp this Tuesday. The three day event is the last time the Panthers players will have a chance to practice together until the official Carolina Panthers training camp in late July. (Specific dates TBA)
Here are my top 5 questions heading into Panthers mini camp.
5. How much will Bene Benwikere participate for the Carolina Panthers?
Panthers corner back Bene Benwikere has been mending a broken leg since last season. The break, located near the bottom of his leg, has kept him from practicing fully this entire offseason. The good news is I spotted Benwikere having an increased amount of activity last week during Carolina Panthers OTAs.
Bene was last seen running and catching balls from the jugs machine. Compared to only a couple of months ago when his leg was in a boot, that was real progress. The Panthers desperately need Benwikere to be healthy for training camp. He may be only a third year player, but on this Panthers squad of younger DB’s he is a seasoned veteran.
4. Will Daryl Williams see more playing time at right tackle?
Last season Daryl Williams was a promising rookie Offensive Tackle that showed flashes of excellence. Unfortunately, injuries slowed his progress early in the season. Now, with an entire year under his belt Williams looks ready to increase the level of competition at right tackle.
Current starting right tackle Mike Remmers signed an extension this offseason, so he cannot be counted out just yet. This is an exciting match up to watch for you fans of the Hog Mollies.
3. Will Stephen Hill continue to improve?
I was a huge Stephen Hill skeptic last season, I admit. Hill had severe issues catching the ball from day one. He had the size, he had the speed, but he in no way had the hands.
Fast forward to the 2016 Carolina Panthers OTAs and Hill is catching nearly everything thrown his way. If he can add this last piece to his game he could be a huge piece of the Panthers offense this season. Pair that with the return of Kelvin Benjamin, and the number one ranked offense in the league just got a whole lot better.
2. Will rookies Bradberry and Worley continue getting first string reps?
It wasn’t long before the 2nd and 3rd round picks for the Carolina Panthers 2016 draft were starting together on the same practice field. James Bradberry and Daryl Worley both worked their way into a starting role in practices. The two have already shown a great chemistry together both on and off the field.
If Bene Benwikere does return, does he play the nickel position and leave the rookies on the outside? Could very well be.
1. Will Kawann Short attend Carolina Panthers minicamp?
After attending the first week of Panthers optional OTA workouts, Kawann Short was a no show for the remainder. This puzzling move came days after Short telling the media he was not focused on a new contract.
No one is worried about Short’s ability to play defensive tackle should he miss the remainder of offseason practices. However, the Panthers have new defensive tackles and ends that could use the time with Short to develop their chemistry with him. Short’s absence not only sets back his own time table on being ready for the season, but also those who play next to him as well.
The good news in all of this? Rookie Vernon Butler has looked stellar so far in these practices. The extra first string reps he is getting due to Short’s absence will pay off in the long run.
UPDATE: According to our good friend Bill Voth of BBR… Kawann Short has shown up to minicamp check in.
Per source: Kawann Short showed up at stadium today for minicamp checkin.
— Black & Blue Review (@BlackBlueReview) June 13, 2016
Carolina Huddle will be attending all three days of Carolina Panthers mini camp. Be sure to check back for the latest.