SPARTANBURG, SC - JULY 30: Teammates Cam Newton #1 and DeAngelo Williams #34 of the Carolina Panthers during training camp at Wofford College on July 30, 2011 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Sorry that we're a little late in getting this up. Truth be told, I wasn't able to be in Spartanburg yesterday, neither were any of the editorial staff. Instead, I'm relying on the words of a friend of mine who makes the pilgrimage to SC every July with his son. I just got done speaking to him from Spartanburg, and this is more or less who he told me.
- Cam Newton is taking snaps with both the 1st and 2nd team WRs, but much of his work was with the second team on Saturday. It's clear though from the way the players are acting they believe he'll start.
- On Newton: He looks extremely crisp, and passing mechanics are light years ahead of what we saw at Auburn or during the combine. It's clear that work in Florida paid off.
- Hard to tell whether it's the DBs lacking, or the receivers shining... but the WR corps made the DBs look very mediocre on Saturday
- MVP of practice yesterday was Armanti Edwards, he looks like a new player. You have to take it with a grain of salt because this is still unpadded work, but his hands are greatly, greatly improved.
- David Gettis looks faster this year than he did this time in 2010. It was tough to tell who was faster, Gettis or Smitty.
- Steve Smith looked in his element, and his happiness is easily apparent. My friend doesn't believe Smith looks like a man who is being forced to be here.
- Players who signed new contracts couldn't practice yesterday... so unfortunately we didn't get to see the QBs working with Greg Olsen.
- He described the energy as 'different' to past camps. Rivera is giving the players a little more leeway to show their personalities, but he's definitely not letting it get out of control. The players seem looser, and like they're having more fun. There's also a focused confidence that is easily recognizable.