Anybody can stand around and view what is happening, but we like to take it a step further here on CSR and give fans analysis, not just observation. Today in Charlotte was a chance for the media to take a look at the Carolina Panthers, a witness the seeds of the offense and defense being installed. Across several different sources we got a good look at the 'what' was going on, but nothing about the 'why' or 'how'... so we're here to fill in the gaps.
- Joe Person
Ron Rivera said as much leading up to the OTAs, and he's a man of his word. It's important to note that as the day went on Hogan began taking first team snaps. We're discussed it a lot here, but Munnerlyn is a natural nickel back and can still thrive in that role, whereas Hogan is much better in man coverage, and a more naturally athletic corner. You'll also note that Darius Butler didn't figure into these 1st team reps, so for now it looks like it's Captain's job to lose, and from early perception it seems Hogan could very well take it from him.
Jeff Otah working second team behind Byron Bell at RT. Rookie Amini Silatolu working first team at LG between gross and Kalil.
- Steve Reed
Nobody will mistake Byron Bell's talent level for Jeff Otah's, but nobody will confuse Otah's health with Bell's either. This is an example of how the team is run under Rivera. Every player, even the most talented will need to earn their spot on the team. With Otah in a contract year he'll need to show up, earn the job and stay healthy if he's to remain in the NFL beyond his initial deal. Also noticeable is Silatolu indeed playing LG as projected. The pulling guard role is the best spot for him, and it makes the left side of the line very solid in the running game.
More after the jump
Kuechly, Beason and Anderson working with the first-team linebackers.
- Joe Person
This was to be expected. The Panthers were really easing Beason back into the fold- a welcome change from the rapid return of Thomas Davis in 2010. When Beason sat out Kuechly slid over to MLB, and while he made a couple of rookie mistakes, per Jordan Gross- the veteran also said he "sure can cover a lot of ground". This is welcome news for those concerned he had the lateral speed to play sideline to sideline at the OLB position.
During Thursday's OTA, LaFell dropped three of four during a passing drill.
- Jeff Hawkins, CBS
When he first entered the league LaFell showed hands of stone, then they softened up and he looked reliable. The old excuses of 'he'll be good on game day' wont fly with Rivera as coach, and as such #11 will need to ensure he stays on top and keeps working hard if he plans to keep the starting job across from Smitty. These are early days, and certainly no cause for panic- but any time you hear about a veteran struggling it's worrisome.
Chris Manno play of day. One hand.
- Tom Sorensen
With the influx of rookies many have slept on Chris Manno- the WR brought in prior to the draft who had experience working with Cam at IMG academy. He's a tireless worker, and that kind of attitude will go over well in Charlotte. It's easy to write off the scores of WRs brought in as desperation, but if the plan is to light a fire under those currently on the roster, then it's a guy like Manno who could push a veteran.
Finally, the quotes from Cam are most encouraging and give us some insight into the locker room. These courtesy of The Drive:
It's been great. We've had full participation which is a good thing, it's a good start. Everyone has come out here with a mentality to work hard and get better and that's all I can expect right now. All the nicks and bruises have passed and everybody is ready and energetic to be out here. We need the leadership of those guys that were injured, the likes of Thomas Davis and Beason. They are doing an unbelieveable job. Theres nothing like coming out here for OTAs and to get to talk to your coaches & get reps, whether they are mental or physical.
It's too early to tell if things are slowing down but I am hard at work. I'm trying to get the logistics down and I still have a lot to learn from this past year still. Last year there were some good things & some bad things, but even with the good things I think I could've done things alot better. Coach Chud and Coach Shula have been doing a great job with the QBs we have, me, Derek, Jimmy. Everyones just here to help.
Everyone's being held accountable, the playmakers are going to have to make plays & the leaders are going to have to lead. Its already a given who the leaders are on this team and your going to have to hold yourself accountable, on the field and off.
Humble, understands he hasn't arrived yet, preaching accountability... if you have a young QB this is all music to your ears. The Panthers now close off the OTAs again, and the next time we'll get a good look at the players is in Spartanburg.