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  1. One of the more interesting stories of the 2015 Carolina Panthers OTA sessions has been the improvement of Corey Brown at the wide receiver position. A few days ago during practice I was standing next to Bill Voth of BBR discussing Brown's improvement. We came to the conclusion that the best sign of his arrival as a player was the fact that we were no longer really taking note of his receptions. Meaning, Corey Brown making plays had become routine, not noteworthy. That is a true sign of a player's growth. After the final Panthers OTA practice, I wanted to speak to Corey about his growth and his thoughts of the receivers group as a whole. So I waited, and waited, and waited a bit more. You see, Corey was across the field catching one handed passes with the defensive backs..... View full article
  2. The last OTA practice of 2015 was both the hottest and the practice with the least enthusiasm. With Ron Rivera in California for his daughters graduation, the Panthers seemed to lose focus. It showed both in their demeanor and on the field. It was a rough day for Cam Newton. After looking pristine for most of the OTA sessions, today he looked off kilter. Many of his end zone passes were high. His long throws either short or long. Colin Jones made the play of the day, intercepting Cam Newton in the red zone and taking it for what would have been a pick six. Cam Newton was visibly unhappy about the interception, and tried chasing Jones down.... without luck. Colin Jones also made a beautiful break on a ball from Newton later in the practice, nearly intercepting another ball meant for Ted Ginn on a curl route. Yes, Colin Jones is my player of the day. The first defensive player of the day I have named... which should tell you how the day went. Other Notes: - Brandon Williams struggled as he dropped a catchable 30 yard bomb from Cam Newton. Williams had both hands on the ball, but could not hold on. - Devin Funchess had more second string snaps today, due to Kelvin Benjamin being back on the field. Funchess did get a few first string reps in. When with the second string, he appeared to be running many of the same routes as Benjamin did with the first string. - Cam's sure fire connection to Greg Olsen was just not there today. Both targets in the end zone soared well above Olsen's head. - Both linebacker draft picks, Thompson and Mayo, spent time in the second string together. - Stephen Hill mainly played with the second string, no plays of note to mention. View full article
  3. The Carolina Panthers opened up an additional day for media, which came as a nice surprise this morning. So I rearranged my schedule and headed to Biggs Camera for my gear. Those guys are so awesome they are providing me with equipment this season so that I can bring these images to you. Having them in my corner this year is a load off my mind in terms of equipment. So make sure you show them some love if you are in Charlotte and in need of camera gear or prints. They are good people. Charles Johnson was showing off some nice kicks and a new haircut today. Kelvin Benjamin and Bene Benwikere again were limited in their practice involvement. I spoke to Bene after practice. He is feeling good and should return as soon as tomorrow possibly. After practice coach Rivera mentioned Kelvin also may return. Just because Kelvin is limited in team drills doesn't mean he is taking it easy. He spent a lot of time with the ball machine, catching pass after pass. He seems more aggravated by not being able to participate on the field than by a nagging hamstring...... View full article
  4. Kelvin Benjamin returned to practice today in OTA's, but in a limited role. After missing the entire OTA session last week, Benjamin took part in individual drills (without a helmet). View full article
  5. One of the most important stories of the week that few people are talking about is Cam Newton and his health. After an injury plagued 2014 offseason that only got worse into the regular season, Cam's health probably should be more at the forefront of the Panthers fan concerns. I can remember in training camp of 2014, after practices Cam could barely walk up the hill to the ice tubs. The physical toll after a single practice was obvious to even the most casual observer. He would cringe after each step, soreness from surgery performed on his ankle nagging at him. It would continue to bother him throughout the entire season. Throw in a couple of rib injuries before the end of 2014, and it is easy to see why his health should be a big concern. So at Thursday's OTA session, I was curious to see how Cam behaved. View full article
  6. In the first open media OTA session of 2015 my main objective was to get a real glimpse of how the Carolina Panthers receiving corps were shaping up. With Kelvin Benjamin out with injury and rookie Devin Funchess out of town, there was a real opportunity to see which players would step up and make a case for themselves as that second or third option. Those two receivers today were Corey Brown and Stephen Hill. View full article
  7. Personally I think that it's way too early for excitement and guesswork over the depth chart at any position, much less WR, but I suppose that people the Huddle is busting out out of the cabin like an airbag at the moment of impact of post draft anticipation and subjective prognostication. So, for what it's worth, ESPN's Dave Newton's first write-up after the start of OTAs is worth it's grain of salt also. Though admittedly noting that Corey Brown had a decent showing today, Newton was most impressed by Stephen Hill. Newton noted that Hill's over-the-shoulder catch from Derek Anderson that led to a TD after Hill blew by the protection down field received the biggest reaction of the day from Cam Newton and others. David Newton also noted something that Panthers fans, who have perhaps been spoiled by little big man, Steve Smith, may not necessarily want to hear, and that's that size does matter when it comes to determining who will get the nod on game days (especially, all other things being equal). Ricky Proehl sounds excited also, noting that if Hill can show consistency, then he will be in the mix to not only play on the opposite side of Kelvin Benjamin, but also back up Benjamin if that were ever to become necessary. Hill is still humble and knows that he has a long way to go, much like all of the receivers and potential receivers who will make up the Panthers' 2015 receiving corps. But it's nice to see the competition get off to a nice start for two receivers that so many Huddlers believe have the most promise outside of Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess.
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