Offense Struggles in Panthers First Padded Practice

SPARTANBURG, SC - JULY 30: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers takes a snap from center during training camp at Wofford College on July 30, 2011 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Truth be told, this title is even a little generous. Tonight in Spartanburg the Carolina Panthers offense hardly looked as cohesive or prepared as they did over the weekend. Despite playing against a decimated defense that didn't feature Jon Beason, James Anderson, Thomas Davis, Charles Johnson (new contracts) or Chris Gamble (illness), the Panthers' QBs looked lost for a good portion of the evening.

Like I said on our Saturday recap this is second hand information given to me by a friend. However, upon comparing his notes with those of the beat writers it seems pretty much in sync. Here's what he told me: 

  • Clausen looks worse than last year. He has absolutely no confidence at this point. Tonight he threw two interceptions one of which was a really bad one. Other than that, it was more of the same from him- rolling out, throwing away, missing targets. If JC is the 'accurate' one in the bunch we have problems.
  • Cam Newton is still clearly a project QB, despite how much people may want him to be ready day one. His passes still aren't where they need to be for the NFL, but these are more natural rookie mistakes. There were times he took my breath away, but more times I shook my head. He did make one nice run which shows his long term potential, and probably why he will start immediately.

More after the jump

  • Derek Anderson is #3, which is very bizarre to see another Oregon State QB wearing #3. He seemed to be willing to help. I saw him talking to Cam and Jimmy and pointing things out on a lot of occasions.
  • Tonight was definitely not a case of the defense being on point; it was the offense being sloppy. They're trying to install a new offense and while everyone buys in, there's still a lot of polishing that needs to happen. I'm just afraid they don't have enough time after losing the OTAs.

It didn't sound too promising tonight, but lets hope it was a lot of 'back in the pads' jitters for the players, young and veteran alike. It's quite disheartening to hear how Clausen is regressing, but it can't be helped.

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