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Training Camp Photos and Observations - Day 1


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Is Coleman doing the "Peanut Punch?"

Glad Ginn's still got speed.

WR, gotta think that at the moment, Cotchery & Bersin are just about locks, especially if it takes Funchess a bit of time to adjust to NFL-level play.  Personally, I'd be glad to see Bersin make good.  It's fun having a local guy on the team.  Byrd excites me, just can't see how he can get a spot on the 53 this year.

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Re: your "team on a mission comment" - I think the back to back NFC South wins and taste of the playoffs, esp. a playoff victory, has helped breed that.  They've tasted success & want MORE.

Also, having a huge number of returning starters this year breeds continuity.  This is a team where the core know & trust one another, again critical to a cohesive & strong identity.

Edited by KB_fan
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I'm really glad to hear that Colin Jones looks so improved. I always liked having that guy fly around on the field on special teams and during the buffalo package. He shows a lot of hustle when he is on the field and is always looking for an opportunity to be a playmaker.

Top-notch material as always, Jeremy. Thank you, good sir!

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Carolina Panthers training camp 2015 kicked off on Friday night to a good sized crowd, anxious to see what their 2015 squad had to offer. 

To help get the crowd excited, Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton had a contest of sorts. Which player could get the crowd louder. Tolbert may have won, in my opinion. 

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Cam Newton continued to look very sharp throughout the day. I remarked in OTAs that this may be the best I have ever seen him. One can only hope this development continues when the pads are on. 

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Newton and new left tackle Michael Oher have a special hand shake they do before each series. It is important that these two develop a trust quickly if the Panthers offense hopes to improve on last season. 

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Colin Jones could possibly be the most improved defensive player of the offseason. He may not let go of that buffalo package roster spot as quickly as some think. Jones is the fastest defensive player on the team and a real asset against those offenses that like to spread the ball around. 

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Stephen Hill practiced and improved on a lackluster June performance. My only concern remains his propensity to catch the ball with his body and not look it into his hands. He has a tendency to take his eye off the ball more than any other receiver I have photographed. 

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Ted Ginn, on the other hand, nearly always is looking the ball into his hands.... observe...

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Fozzy Whitaker showed the explosiveness that the fans grew to love last season. He has some new competition this year in Jordan Todman and rookies Artis-Payne and Wegher, but Fozzy does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon . 

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Even though he is on the sideline, Cam Newton doesn't take a break. He continues to go through mental reps that helps him prepare. Cam's growth as a player has as much to do with what he does on the sidelines as what he does under center. 

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Brenton Bersin made a few nice catches much to the delight of the Wofford crowd. "Here we go Bersin, here we go" was the chant of the day. 

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Josh Norman had a mixed day. While he did may a couple of nice plays on the ball....

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He also let Jerricho Cotchery get behind him for a long completion from Cam Newton (would have been a touchdown.). 

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Ted Ginn was first team punt returns, and quickly impressed. 

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As he bolted up field and to the sideline, he received from praise from new Panthers safety Kurt Coleman who exclaimed "Oh, he is fast". 

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Speaking of Coleman, I liked what I saw out of him on Friday. He had an interception and a really nice break up on a Cam Newton to Ed Dickson connection. Note the ball coming out below.... carolina-panthers-training-camp-2015-519

Former Panthers safety Chris Harris is back in a Panthers uniform, this time coaching up the defensive backs as an assistant. He and Peanut Tillman spent a lot of time going over the finer points. 

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Damiere Byrd got in a few snaps late. While he was able to get behind the defenders, he was then slowed by contact that probably would not have drawn a flag. Byrd needs to learn the finer points of playing through such contact on a pro level. He has time, and I feel the Panthers are impressed enough with him to keep him in the mix and see if he improves. 

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Overall, it was a solid first practice. I was happy with the tempo and enthusiasm. The Panthers are looking less like a young team in search of an identity and more like a veteran team on a mission. 

 

 

 

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Your last paragraph hit the nail on the head, that's exactly the impression I got from the practice as well. This team seems to have grown and matured greatly and I got the vibe this is more of a seasoned, confident and well oiled team as opposed to the last couple training camps I have been to.

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