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  1. 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. Some players made time for mosquito repellant. Those things will eat you alive in the shady areas. But I digress.... The day started with the usual drills. Then, the passing drills started. Kelvin Benjamin had a great day. I am not sure it is possible to overthrow the man. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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. Kawaan Short versus free agent offensive tackle Oscar Johnson went ... well... the picture says it all. 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. 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. 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).
  2. 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. Some players made time for mosquito repellant. Those things will eat you alive in the shady areas. But I digress.... The day started with the usual drills. Then, the passing drills started. Kelvin Benjamin had a great day. I am not sure it is possible to overthrow the man. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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. Kawaan Short versus free agent offensive tackle Oscar Johnson went ... well... the picture says it all. 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. 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. 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). Click here to view the article
  3. Hello everyone, and welcome to this edition of the Carolina Huddle Training Camp Update. While walking to the field, I noticed the black and white striped of NFL officials. I wasn't the only one that noticed them. Mike Mitchell, who looks like he may be a starting safety, shows a veteran move and starts making nice with the officials right away. Thats how its done, young fellas. You need those guys on your side. I spotted a new drill I had not seen before for the linebackers. It looked like a drill for the eyes. The players didn't touch the ball, they just practiced watching it and tracking it to the ground. I know many of you are counting Jon Beason out, but I'm not. Big Beas was in good spirits at practice and still providing that veteran leadership to the defense. Then in a surprise move, David Gettleman had all the players stop practice and search for more salary cap room... I kept a close on on new starter Garry Williams and am happy to report he held up well. There was no drop off in run blocking and there may have been a slight improvement in pass protection. Cam had more time to throw, which allowed him to show better technique out there. He had a much better day than Tuesday. The linebacking corps had a solid day in pass coverage. Luke Kuechly broke up a pass to Greg Olsen. Luke has shown real improvement in his pass coverage. If he can excel in that area, he may be the most complete linebacker in the league. Rookie linebacker AJ Klein had a really nice deflection on a ball intended for Kenjon Barner. Klein has the closing speed needed to cover some of the shiftier backs. Klein will make the team and see time on special teams. After a short rain delay, the sun came out and it got hot. I mean real hot. So hot that a water bottle is no longer meant only for your mouth. Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott takes a hands-on approach to the defensive drills, making corrections and taking time to explain the play further. I have heard rumblings from fans that Derek Anderson may lose his second string spot, but I just don't see that happening. Anderson is having a great camp. He may even be having a better camp than Cam Newton, although against a second and third string defense. It was a productive day for the Panthers tight ends. Greg OIsen, Ben Hartsock, and Brandon Williams all had nice catches. Brandon Williams caught a pass on a crossing route and rumbled into the end zone. Cam Newton yelled "YOU DON'T WANT NO THIGHS FOR DINNER!" to put an exclamation point on the play while eluding to Brandon's physique. Steve Smith worked the slot most of the day, covered by nickel back Captain Munnerlyn. Smith won the battle, making catch after catch. There was even an "after catch ball spin", a Smitty hallmark. I know I have said it before, but it really is pretty amazing how Kenjon Barner has corrected his biggest flaw so quickly. I can't recall a rookie that has progressed so fast. Kenjon is running low, and following his blockers as well as any running back on the team. I've seen Derek Anderson throw many shuffle passes this year. I am not sure if that is a planned thing, or just a Derek improvisation. Either way, it has been working. Overall is was an upbeat practice where the offense was more productive. This is great news for those doubting Garry Williams can fill in for the recently released Geoff Hangartner. Panthers whose stock is rising: - Tedd Ginn - Looks to be our kick returner. A sure way to earn a roster spot. - Armanti Edwards - Even as a critic of Armanti, I must admit he is having a great camp - Armond Smith - He had a terrible fumble earlier in the week, but his speed out of the backfield on passing downs is something to behold. No linebacker has a chance. Panthers whose stock is falling: - David Gettis - now seeing playing time only with the third and fourth strings. - Haruki Nakamura - His neck tackle of Barner yesterday was almost a horse collar. If you can't control yourself in camp going half speed...well... Thats it for this edition of Camp Update! I will be on the field at fan fest and will report back Saturday.
  4. When the Carolina Panthers drafted RB Kenjon Barner in the 2013 NFL draft, there was a collective groan across the internet from Panthers fans. Another running back? What about our offensive line? The fans were upset, and some would say rightfully so. However, it appears that this draft day gamble is paying off. Kenjon Barner is quickly rising in the ranks of the Panthers crowded offensive backfield. A crowded backfield is nothing new to him... On the first day of training camp, Barner saw time mainly with the 3rd and 4th string units. More recently he has been running with the second string unit led by Derrick Anderson. It appears Barner's stock is rising. Kenjon Barner The transition from college to pros may not be as difficult for Barner than players from other systems. Having played under Chip Kelly in Oregon, Barner is accustomed to a higher paced pro style offense. Barner has also shown to be a highly coachable player. Kenjon's biggest concern coming out of college was his propensity to run upright, not staying low to the ground. Unlike Eric Shelton (who never corrected this problem), Barner has changed and now runs as low as any player on the roster. Running low gives defensive players less to wrap up and keeps the runner's center of gravity low, allowing for better balance. The next concern about Barner was his pass protection ability. Again, Kenjon has shown great improvement in less than a week of camp. While pass protection is not his strength, he has shown the ability to at least hold off a defender should Cam Newton audible to a passing play from a run formation. Kenjon Barner So what does all of this mean? First, it means if Kenjon can continue to improve and prove himself throughout training camp and preseason, he may see real time this year. If that happens, the heavy financial load of a Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart backfield becomes a tempting target for GM David Gettleman. If Barner does have a solid year on a sixth round rookie salary, this will be the last year for either Williams or Stewart as a Panther. Secondly, it could be the spark the Panthers running game has been missing. Barner has a quicker first step than any back on the roster. Behind an average offensive line, he may have more ability to hit a quickly closing hole where the other backs do not. I have not been this excited about a rookie running back since the drafting of Jonathan Stewart. Is Barner a definite contributor? Not yet, but if he keeps rising he soon will be.
  5. When the Carolina Panthers drafted RB Kenjon Barner in the 2013 NFL draft, there was a collective groan across the internet from Panthers fans. Another running back? What about our offensive line? The fans were upset, and some would say rightfully so. However, it appears that this draft day gamble is paying off. Kenjon Barner is quickly rising in the ranks of the Panthers crowded offensive backfield. A crowded backfield is nothing new to him... On the first day of training camp, Barner saw time mainly with the 3rd and 4th string units. More recently he has been running with the second string unit led by Derrick Anderson. It appears Barner's stock is rising. Kenjon Barner The transition from college to pros may not be as difficult for Barner than players from other systems. Having played under Chip Kelly in Oregon, Barner is accustomed to a higher paced pro style offense. Barner has also shown to be a highly coachable player. Kenjon's biggest concern coming out of college was his propensity to run upright, not staying low to the ground. Unlike Eric Shelton (who never corrected this problem), Barner has changed and now runs as low as any player on the roster. Running low gives defensive players less to wrap up and keeps the runner's center of gravity low, allowing for better balance. The next concern about Barner was his pass protection ability. Again, Kenjon has shown great improvement in less than a week of camp. While pass protection is not his strength, he has shown the ability to at least hold off a defender should Cam Newton audible to a passing play from a run formation. Kenjon Barner So what does all of this mean? First, it means if Kenjon can continue to improve and prove himself throughout training camp and preseason, he may see real time this year. If that happens, the heavy financial load of a Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart backfield becomes a tempting target for GM David Gettleman. If Barner does have a solid year on a sixth round rookie salary, this will be the last year for either Williams or Stewart as a Panther. Secondly, it could be the spark the Panthers running game has been missing. Barner has a quicker first step than any back on the roster. Behind an average offensive line, he may have more ability to hit a quickly closing hole where the other backs do not. I have not been this excited about a rookie running back since the drafting of Jonathan Stewart. Is Barner a definite contributor? Not yet, but if he keeps rising he soon will be. Click here to view the article
  6. I have not seen much training camp chatter out there about Brandon Lafell, which is strange because Lafell is having the best camp in his career. Lafell is coming off his best year as a pro and is determined to maximize his final year under his rookie contract. Carolina Panthers Brandon Lafell eludes Captain Munnerlyn and Josh Norman Typically Lafell is plagued by lapses in concentration and drops at Panthers training camp. But this year he is catching everything thrown his way. Going into training camp, it was assumed David Gettis would be providing Lafell with a healthy dose of competition. However, the Gettis stock has been falling steadily. Lafell's competition for a taller possession type receiver is now Domenik Hixon, who's stock has been rising since camp began. Hixon, a 2 time Superbowl Champion, has slowly added veteran leadership to the wide receiver corps. This is possibly the first time in many seasons that someone other than Steve Smith has played a leadership role. Domenik Hixon If Brandon Lafell can continue to show improvement into the regular season, we can expect David Gettleman to lock him up to a contract extension before he can test the free agent market.
  7. Greetings from Spartanburg, where the chicken is always fried and the sweet tea runs like the river Nile. Today was a very spirited and competitive camp. If you are a fan of defensive football, it was awesome. If you are a fan of offensive football... not so much. The day started with a gladiator type competition between the defensive and offensive units. The guys really got into it, with Cam being the ring leader. There was plenty of trash talk as 3 OL and 3 DL lined up and went at it in the middle of a player circle. Here is Cam jumping around and getting his unit hyped up. Steve Smith was not in pads today, but his presence was still felt. He seems to have more of a bond with Lafell this year. There was a great pass blocking drill, defensive players vs offensive players (RBs and TEs). This is a crucial drill to keep Cam injury free. Captain Munnerlyn lined up against Deangelo Williams and Captain absolutely blew DWill up. This got the defense pumped and a loud "You asked for it and you got it" was heard. Captain continued to jaw DWill a bit to make sure he got the point. Barner had mixed results in this drill, but seemed to improve as it developed. He was able to hold his own against Luke. Between Barner running low and now showing blocking improvement, he may be the most coachable rookie on the field. The run offense was able to create a few holes again for the guys to go through. But unfortunately for Armond Smith, the D was able to strip the ball and recover his fumble. Credit Ben Jacobs with the strip. One thing about Luke Kuechly that has contributed to his quick success, is how many questions he asks. He isn't afraid to stop a drill and seek advice the coach or Thomas Davis. This is something I think a lot of young players don't understand. The coaches do not expect you to know everything, and the fact that you are asking relevant and intelligent questions would only impress them. Captain Munnerlyn jumped an Armanti Edwards route and made a really nice interception. Cam was off target and Captain took advantage. I don't think there was much Armanti could have done to prevent it, just a great heads up play by Captain. I saw A LOT of this today. See Luke near Cam and slowing up? Thats a sack. If Luke was allowed to stay at full speed his arms would be around Cam by the time this frame is taken. I saw a lot of this today as well. Cam not following through on passes, bad form when he did have the room to put everything into the throw and stepping into it. Hixon made some nice grabs today, I feel his stock is rising. We need this 8 year vet to show some leadership to the other young guys when Smitty is not there. The defense made some very nice plays today in pass defense. Here Russell grabs an interception. He came down with it clean. Could be a decent safety prospect. Brandon Williams is starting to get some notice. He had some nice grabs today. This picture is guaranteed to drive you crazy. Want to give up an easy TD? How about having Fua and Nak in the mix. Cam did have a rough day today. DWill gave him some words of encouragement after practice. Better to get this stuff out of your system and fixed now as opposed to a month from now. This is what training camp is all about. Thats it for today folks. No camp tomorrow, but I shall be back at it on Thursday.
  8. Really good practice today at Wofford. The weather wasn't to hot, and the mosquitoes were manageable. When I arrived Star Lotulelei was getting some one on one mentoring from a defensive coach. He was fine tuning his hand placement and shedding blocks. Star appears to be self motivated and a student of the game. These two things are as important as his physical traits, if not more so. Luke Kuechly stopped on the way in to sign a few autographs. The fans love this guy. Luke appears to go to the kids first for autographs, as he should. Rivera lit a fire under the team today. He apparently wanted a more uptempo practice. Very little time was taken between snaps, sometimes not even allowing players to leave the field after their rotation. The offensive line remains my biggest concern. I have to think Gettleman is on the phone and the wire daily. Cam continues to have his best camp yet. He is clowning around less, and showing more leadership. I think he may be maturing a bit. Barner is a shifty guy. He is 5'9 which isn't very short, but he runs much lower than that. He disappears easily behind the offensive line and gives the defensive players only shoulder pads and legs to grab on to. Good stuff. Greg Olsen is far and away our best Tight End. I am struggling to find something about the other guys worth mentioning. Gettis had an up and down day. While he did ok in individual drills, he had some drops when being defended. He is also very slow to get up after hitting the ground. I just don't know if this guy has the grit needed for the NFL. The good news is Brandon Lafell is having his best camp so far. He is catching everything near him and following it through with YACs. You just can't help but pull for Pilares. That guy gives it everything he has on every play. He just needs to improve his consistency with positive results. For some reason Armond Smith did a TD "point to the sky" move during a typical routine drill. Made me laugh, don't know why. There is some good news regarding the offensive line. They were able to open up some pretty big holes today for the running backs. The offensive line a few times had a hard time containing Star. Jeff Byers here isn't showing effective technique I don't think. I like Lafell's LSU shoes and gloves. I don't like our secondary being abused by them. Jerry RIchardson and Jerry West. I am pretty pumped up that I got to meet West. My dad, who is from WV, will be more pumped up. Blackburn saw time today with the starting LB's. He is listed at 6'3 but seems much taller than that. He also has a great motor and is vocal on the field. Ginn and HIxon's stock was on the rise today. Both made some really nice grabs under tight coverage. They may be pulling away from the pack. Armanti had a nice touchdown catch, but I notified him that he only had one foot in bounds. He laughed a bit. There is your camp update for 7-29-13.
  9. Really good practice today at Wofford. The weather wasn't to hot, and the mosquitoes were manageable. When I arrived Star Lotulelei was getting some one on one mentoring from a defensive coach. He was fine tuning his hand placement and shedding blocks. Star appears to be self motivated and a student of the game. These two things are as important as his physical traits, if not more so. Luke Kuechly stopped on the way in to sign a few autographs. The fans love this guy. Luke appears to go to the kids first for autographs, as he should. Rivera lit a fire under the team today. He apparently wanted a more uptempo practice. Very little time was taken between snaps, sometimes not even allowing players to leave the field after their rotation. The offensive line remains my biggest concern. I have to think Gettleman is on the phone and the wire daily. Cam continues to have his best camp yet. He is clowning around less, and showing more leadership. I think he may be maturing a bit. Barner is a shifty guy. He is 5'9 which isn't very short, but he runs much lower than that. He disappears easily behind the offensive line and gives the defensive players only shoulder pads and legs to grab on to. Good stuff. Greg Olsen is far and away our best Tight End. I am struggling to find something about the other guys worth mentioning. Gettis had an up and down day. While he did ok in individual drills, he had some drops when being defended. He is also very slow to get up after hitting the ground. I just don't know if this guy has the grit needed for the NFL. The good news is Brandon Lafell is having his best camp so far. He is catching everything near him and following it through with YACs. You just can't help but pull for Pilares. That guy gives it everything he has on every play. He just needs to improve his consistency with positive results. For some reason Armond Smith did a TD "point to the sky" move during a typical routine drill. Made me laugh, don't know why. There is some good news regarding the offensive line. They were able to open up some pretty big holes today for the running backs. The offensive line a few times had a hard time containing Star. Jeff Byers here isn't showing effective technique I don't think. I like Lafell's LSU shoes and gloves. I don't like our secondary being abused by them. Jerry RIchardson and Jerry West. I am pretty pumped up that I got to meet West. My dad, who is from WV, will be more pumped up. Blackburn saw time today with the starting LB's. He is listed at 6'3 but seems much taller than that. He also has a great motor and is vocal on the field. Ginn and HIxon's stock was on the rise today. Both made some really nice grabs under tight coverage. They may be pulling away from the pack. Armanti had a nice touchdown catch, but I notified him that he only had one foot in bounds. He laughed a bit. There is your camp update for 7-29-13. Click here to view the article
  10. The Carolina Panthers had their first practice of 2013 in full pads. As expected, it was much more physical and fun to watch. Kenjon Barner is quickly becoming my favorite rookie of 2013. His running style was a stark contrast to Deangelo Williams. Barner is hitting the hole much faster and has a quicker burst. This is something really to keep your eyes on as camp progresses. Mike Shula has been very involved and vocal at practice. The players seem to be responding to him positively. So far, I don't see much difference than the offense Chud installed. Overall the offensive line is losing in the run game. Lets just hope the Defensive line is just that good. The defensive backs have been losing the majority of the battles. We are going to need someone to step up and start making progress quickly. Olsen has shown a little rust, but also has made plays. I don't think it is anything to worry about. Smitty continues to coach up AE on the sidelines. Its easy to see Smith likes him and sees potential there, or he wouldn't bother. Smith isn't shy about calling lazy players out. Short had a solid day, showing much more strength and push than Fua ever has. I overheard an Offensive Lineman talking about Short. He mentioned Short being a "hands guy", eluding to how well Short plays with his hands, as important for a defensive lineman as his feet. Cam would have been sacked multiple times today. Come at me bro! Does his helmet seem too small to you? Overall, the QB's look pretty good. Jimmy appears to have lost a little arm strength to me, if thats possible. Tolbert still appears to be Mr Dependable. Lots of emphasis today on stripping the ball. At least 3 drills conducted, fine tuning it. The Star-Amini battle today went to Star. Amini was unable to hold him at bay. Hard to do while laying on the ground. Keep an eye on Brockel. He is having a really good camp, making lots of solid blocks. Will Shula be able to utilize him correctly?
  11. The Panthers opened camp to a smaller crowd than last season, but it was still one of the biggest crowds in the 19 year history of having camp in Spartanburg. The first day of camp is a lot like the first day of school. No real work is given, the goal is to ease into training camp mode. The players do not wear pads the first two days of camp per their collective bargaining agreement. Once the pads are on, which will happen Sunday I am told, expect more action and the real competition to begin. Notice where the eyes of the coach are in this pic of the fullback and te blocking drills. His eyes are down at the feet in most of the pics. Tells you how important footwork is in blocking, more so than upper body strength. Good to see Gettis out there participating. The knee brace a reminder of why he isn't our #2 guy. Kraken emerges from the water.... Conditioning and strength drills for the wide receivers. Meant to maximize YAC. Jimmy, I promise you it is open competition at starting QB. Everyone just calm down, no decisions have been made... Although there were no pads, it seemed to me the defensive line had the advantage. They swarmed to the ball and closed gaps quickly. If they were allowed to tackle I am not certain the offense would have gained much on the ground. Cam looked good overall. He had a few high throws, but for the most part was on target. Will be interesting to see if the high throws become more frequent once the pads are on and people are in his face. Pilares looked great at times, not so good at others. Consistency has been his biggest issue so far as a Panther. That appears not to have changed. Some players can do drills and chew gum at the same time. I have high hopes for the offensive line this year. If we are to have any running game other than Cam they need to improve, big time. People are already counting out Joe Adams. I think that may be a mistake. He caught everything thrown his way. Will he still have fumble issues once the pads are on? JStew in his familiar training camp routine. Cam pounds it out with a young fan. He was laying down stretching and saw him. Cam teased the boy a bit telling him how much he wanted his sunglasses. The boy denied his request as Cam went over and greeted him. Cam is genuinely great with kids. Star did not crack a smile the entire practice. He is the anti-Cam. Quiet, serious, I like that about him. Just get the job done young man. Hope you enjoy the photos. I am heading down again on Sunday for another update.
  12. Panthers WLB Jon Beason restructured his contract Wednesday. Beason, 28, was scheduled to earn a $5.25 million base salary this season. Considered a potential cap casualty early in the offseason process, the injury-prone linebacker kept his spot simply because there's too much money left on his six-year, $51.338 million deal. Beason, MLB Luke Kuechly, and SLB Thomas Davis comprise one of the best-looking linebacker groups in the league on paper, but Beason has appeared in just five games over the last two seasons.
  13. Once again it is time to get a first look at our Carolina Panthers. Their practice schedule is listed here... Here are a few tips you won't read on the Panthers official webpage.... - Autographs are given before and after practices. Line up at the fence near the athletic buildings about an hour before the scheduled practice. Not all players will sign. Some of the regulars that will sign most of the time are Steve Smith, Jon Beason, Jordan Gross, and Deangelo Williams. Ron RIvera will also usually sign. - Kids are given priority during autograph time, as they should be. If you are an adult trying to push aside a child you will be called out and shamed for it. - When you first arrive, look for the video cameras at the top of the large blue lifts. Whichever field they are pointing at will be the field that sees most of the action that day. Pick your spot accordingly. - Bug spray, bug spray, bug spray, bug.... spray. - If you visit the Beacon restaurant, be sure to say "a plenty" after your order to ensure maximum heart clogging damage - Cameras are allowed, but video cameras are not. You may be asked to put them down. - If it seems like players are ignoring you and your screams at them during practice, its because they are. They are there to work, not to listen to your opinions. - Shade is at a premium. Get there early to grab a spot under one of the trees on the hill. Training Camp veterans please feel free to add to this topic.... -
  14. Rookie camp is basically an introduction for the rookies and undrafted free agents of note and a chance for scores of other players to try to get an invite to the regular camp. In all honesty there is not much going on except the extreme fundamentals of the game. They break down the rookies with the basics and keep an eye out for others that show them something. There is no real contact allowed, so we can only watch and notice the footwork and strength of the lineman in dummy drills and such. So anyways on with some pics and general observations.... 1- Gettleman is awesome. He has a much different personality than Hurney. Very outgoing. Just seems like a great guy. He reminds me of a highschool football coach from his demeanor to how he wears his shorts. He also chews tobacco, not redman, its out of a tin. A Copenhagen man. Here David Gettleman takes time to sign an autograph. 2. A couple guys you may not have heard on but possibly keep an eye on.... Tori Mobley - Guard from Jacksonville State - 6'3 290. Undrafted Free Agent Casey Walker - Defensive Tackle from Oklahoma. 6-1 335. This guy is HUGE. 3. Star Lotulelei is as advertised. He instantly makes you aware of what has been missing. He just has a presence about him. I was watching him in drills. Nimble feet, tons of power, and it all just seems to come to him naturally and effortlessly. 4. Kawaan Short - Looked fine in drills. The biggest thing was he was not corrected on anything. This was a day you really did not want your name called. 5. Matt McGloin our new QB prospect. He actually looked pretty sharp. The receivers were extremely sub par, but he seemed to hit most of them in stride. Not a big guy and doesn't seem to have a huge arm, but is very fluid. Maybe our own Andy Dalton (ginger reference). Gettleman was keeping a close eye on him (pictured below) 6. Ron Rivera seemed to be in really good spirits. If he is a man with his job on the line you couldn't tell by looking at him. 7. AJ Klein - Good guy. Took the time to sign autographs on the way in. Again, didn't hear his name all day which was a good thing. Bigger than I thought he would be (twss).
  15. Rookie camp is basically an introduction for the rookies and undrafted free agents of note and a chance for scores of other players to try to get an invite to the regular camp. In all honesty there is not much going on except the extreme fundamentals of the game. They break down the rookies with the basics and keep an eye out for others that show them something. There is no real contact allowed, so we can only watch and notice the footwork and strength of the lineman in dummy drills and such. So anyways on with some pics and general observations.... 1- Gettleman is awesome. He has a much different personality than Hurney. Very outgoing. Just seems like a great guy. He reminds me of a highschool football coach from his demeanor to how he wears his shorts. He also chews tobacco, not redman, its out of a tin. A Copenhagen man. Here David Gettleman takes time to sign an autograph. 2. A couple guys you may not have heard on but possibly keep an eye on.... Tori Mobley - Guard from Jacksonville State - 6'3 290. Undrafted Free Agent Casey Walker - Defensive Tackle from Oklahoma. 6-1 335. This guy is HUGE. 3. Star Lotulelei is as advertised. He instantly makes you aware of what has been missing. He just has a presence about him. I was watching him in drills. Nimble feet, tons of power, and it all just seems to come to him naturally and effortlessly. 4. Kawaan Short - Looked fine in drills. The biggest thing was he was not corrected on anything. This was a day you really did not want your name called. 5. Matt McGloin our new QB prospect. He actually looked pretty sharp. The receivers were extremely sub par, but he seemed to hit most of them in stride. Not a big guy and doesn't seem to have a huge arm, but is very fluid. Maybe our own Andy Dalton (ginger reference). Gettleman was keeping a close eye on him (pictured below) 6. Ron Rivera seemed to be in really good spirits. If he is a man with his job on the line you couldn't tell by looking at him. 7. AJ Klein - Good guy. Took the time to sign autographs on the way in. Again, didn't hear his name all day which was a good thing. Bigger than I thought he would be (twss). Click here to view the article
  16. According to their Twitter, the Carolina Panthers have signed 8 players from their Rookie Camp. Carolina Panthers ‏@Panthers2m The #Panthers have signed eight players following their participation at the team’s minicamp this past weekend: http://pnth.rs/11zbQFF Carolina Panthers ‏@Panthers1m The #Panthers have signed WR Brenton Bersin (Wofford), TE Logan Brock (TCU), C Brian Folkerts (Washburn) and DT Linden Gaydosh. Carolina Panthers ‏@Panthers1m We have also signed WR Taulib Ikharo (Louisiana Tech), LB Ben Jacobs (Fresno State), DE Louis Nzegwu (Wisconsin) & WR R.J. Webb (Furman). Carolina Panthers ‏@Panthers1m The #Panthers have waived WR Trey Diller, LB Damario Jeffery, DE Thomas Keiser and OL Zack Williams. These players will have a chance to compete for a Carolina Panthers roster spot.
  17. According to their Twitter, the Carolina Panthers have signed 8 players from their Rookie Camp. Carolina Panthers ‏@Panthers2m The #Panthers have signed eight players following their participation at the team’s minicamp this past weekend: http://pnth.rs/11zbQFF Carolina Panthers ‏@Panthers1m The #Panthers have signed WR Brenton Bersin (Wofford), TE Logan Brock (TCU), C Brian Folkerts (Washburn) and DT Linden Gaydosh. Carolina Panthers ‏@Panthers1m We have also signed WR Taulib Ikharo (Louisiana Tech), LB Ben Jacobs (Fresno State), DE Louis Nzegwu (Wisconsin) & WR R.J. Webb (Furman). Carolina Panthers ‏@Panthers1m The #Panthers have waived WR Trey Diller, LB Damario Jeffery, DE Thomas Keiser and OL Zack Williams. These players will have a chance to compete for a Carolina Panthers roster spot. Click here to view the article
  18. Better know a prospect: Quarterback Colby Cameron - 6'2 210lbs out of Louisiana Tech. Hometown: Newberry Park, California Signed as Undrafted Free Agent by the Carolina Panthers Colby Cameron is known as an excellent decision maker. He currently owns the NCAA record for passes thrown without an interception at 444 passes. This broke the record of a guy named Russel Wilson. Cameron won the 2012 Sammy Baugh award as the nation's top passer. The award had been previously won by guys like John Elway and Steve Young. Colby compares himself to another California native... Aaron Rodgers. The Carolina Panthers have brought in two young prospects to compete with Jimmy Clausen for the third string QB position. Colby Cameron and Matt McGloin will take snaps throughout the offseason OTAs. While McGloin was brought in well after the draft, Cameron was signed as an Undrafted Free Agent which suggests his stock may be a bit higher than McGloin's. Colby Cameron Carolina Panthers Rookie Camp During rookie camp, Cameron had mixed reviews. While his mechanics and arm strength appeared to be up to par, his accuracy was a tad off. Of course, this is to be expected as he is throwing to guys he just met the day before. Cameron has a few months to prove to the coaching staff that he can replace Jimmy Clausen and help save a bit of cap room in a season that every penny counts. Colby Cameron Carolina Panthers Rookie Camp Typically the Carolina Panthers keep 3 or 4 quarterbacks in training camp, which may mean that either Cameron or McGloin won't make it past either OTA's or possibly even rookie camp.
  19. Kenjon Barner is a wiry 5'9 and 196 which is a good contrast to Stewart. His running style is more like Deangelo's than Jonathan, relying more on being elusive than powering through the defense. The biggest knocks on Barner coming out was his propensity to run high and cut to the outside too much instead of taking it between the tackles. Fast Forward to May practices outside of Bank of America Stadium. Jim Skipper is once again the running backs coach. If he sees progress with Barner will that push the Deangelo cap issue to the forefront? How much progress will need to be seen? For instance, lets say they coach him into running lower relatively easily. This shows real promise that he will improve as a prospect throughout camp. Some running backs NEVER learn to run lower (Eric Shelton). So if he shows at least some real progress in just a few weeks, would that be enough to cut Deangelo Williams and save millions? Do you think the friendship between Jim Skipper and Deangelo Williams effects his judgement or will Gettleman not allow personal feelings to be involved?
  20. It is July once again, which means Wimbledon is on TV. Whenever I see those tennis players on the grass court, I am reminded that Football season is once again just around the corner. Here are a few tips for those that have not been to training camp before... 1. Yes, practices and parking are free. A schedule of the practices can be found here. 2. You will notice many evening practices this year, but the sun will still be brutal. Shade is at a premium on the hill that overlooks the practice field, get there early if you need to stay cooler. 3. Autographs are signed at the fence that is closest to the facilities. Players typically take the field about 30 minutes prior to the scheduled practice time. Children typically get first dibs on autographs, as it should be. 4. When you arrive, notice where the large lifts are with the video equipment on top. They are there to film the main practices. Whichever field they are pointing at will be the place where some of the best action of the day takes place. 5. The Beacon is a famous place to eat in Spartanburg, but from personal experience, be sure a restroom is near by. The Pizza Inn in Spartanburg is actually a 1980's time warp, the 3 inch skin on the pudding proves it. 6. Bring your camera! Pictures can be taken during practices.
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