Have you heard? Lately, there has been a large amount of scuttlebutt surrounding Carolina Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin and his conditioning. Rumor has it he walked into OTAs double fisting boxes of Twinkies and toting a Yoo-hoo filled camelback to wash them down (actually, that sounds like an amazing idea). As it turns out, rumors may have gotten out of hand. Unfounded speculation may have been made. Half truths may have been told. Such is the way of the internet and social media. This is nothing new to Carolina Panthers fans.
It is easy to see why Kelvin Benjamin was my main focus of today’s Carolina Panthers OTA practice. I kept an eye on Benjamin for most of the session. Here is what I found.
Does Kelvin look bigger than in years past? Yes, he does. Is he dramatically bigger than at this time last year? No. Benjamin does look a bit heftier than last year, but in person the difference is not nearly as dramatic as seen in some unflattering photos and videos lately. I have to admit that I was a bit concerned heading into OTAs, but that concern is now more of a point of interest. While his conditioning could be better, it isn’t nearly to the point of no return.
What really put my mind at ease today had more to do with what he actually did on the field, not how he looked while doing it. Kelvin spent the day lined up across from second year corner Daryl Worley. Benjamin proceeded to do anything he wanted to and there wasn’t anything that anyone could do about it. Benjamin was the biggest play maker of the offense today, and it wasn’t close. He caught every single ball thrown his way, many of which were contested by solid defensive play.
In short, Kelvin looked like Kelvin.