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Ted Ginn and Josh Norman have been going at every day in Panthers training camp. Today, Ted Ginn had the upper hand. On a fly route, Ginn was able to get just enough separation to make a fantastic catch from a Cam Newton pass for 30 yards. Josh Norman really could not have played better defense. He was in Ginn's hip pocket the entire play, just where he needed to be. Ginn just made a fantastic play that defenses will give up from time to time. After the catch, Ginn held the ball high signaling he still had the ball. When he got up, Ginn spun the ball in a "Steve Smith-esque" type move, letting Norman subtly know he had been bested. This type of play is exactly what was missing from the Panthers offense for the majority of last season. Just the threat of having Ted Ginn out wide should open up things for Cam a great deal. View full article
Punt returners became a bit clearer at OTA practice today, and kept the same rotation throughout practice. In order... Ted Ginn Brenton Bersin (Don't shoot the messenger) De'Andre Presley Damiere Byrd Obviously, Ted Ginn is the favorite to win the starting punt return position. He has proven effective there in the past for the Panthers. For me, the most interesting prospect here is Damiere Byrd. During rookie camp I noted the Panthers would probably be taking a look at him at punt returns. South Carolina Gamecock fans were quick to point out the fact he had never attempted punt returns in college. None the less, the Panthers appear to be giving him a shot. And with his quickness, why not. Any hint of daylight and Byrd could be in the end zone. Byrd looked pretty comfortable for a guy that had never fielded punts before. I saw no drops on any catchable punts. Ted Ginn did drop an easy punt. Go figure. It will be interesting next week to see how this unit is shaping up.
Now that Ted Ginn has been signed and Brenton Bersin re-signed I thought it would be helpful to take a look at the Carolina Panthers roster as far as wide receivers are concerned. Kelvin Benjamin - 6'5 240lbs Second year player. Huge target. Had a solid year as a rookie aside from more drops than the Panthers wish he had. Has solid #1 receiver potential. Ted Ginn Jr - 5'11 185lbs Speedy nine season veteran return man and receiver. A nice deep threat and end around runner. Capable of stretching the defense. a 3rd or 4th receiver option Brenton Bersin 6'3 210 Local dark horse receiver that beat the odds and made it to the pros. Had key first down receptions in 2014 that Panthers fans seem to have forgotten about. 3rd receiver at best. Jerricho Cotchery 6'1 205lbs Twelve year veteran. Great leadership and locker room presence. Questions linger on how much he has left in the tank. A solid second receiver earlier in his career. No better than a third now. De'Andre Presley 5'10 190lbs App State QB that has seen time at corner and receiver. A long shot to make the Panthers squad this season. Corey Brown 5'11 180 A lot like Ted Ginn, but less punt returner and more receiver. Proved himself late in the season as a deep threat. A long term 3rd or 4th. Looking over this roster it becomes clear that the Carolina Panthers are missing a true number two receiver. A guy that can take the pressure off of Kelvin Benjamin and force more single coverage. Last year, the Panthers learned a lesson at the receiver position. They had too many 3rd and 4th receivers, and not a legitimate 2nd. Jason Avant, Jerricho Cotchery, Brenton Bersin.... all three basically the same. The result? No one getting open, Cam Newton being sacked. Looking at this year's roster.... don't they have the same problem? At least for now, it appears they do. However, look for the Panthers this season remedy the situation before the season begins. This current roster is not complete. Two, or possibly even three of names on it now will not be on it come September. The Panthers will try to fill the number 2 receiver void through the draft (probably) or free agency (less likely). This post has been promoted to an article