Panthers Training Camp 1st Practice Notes

Jul 28, 2012; Spartanburg, SC USA. Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95) hits a tackle dummy during the training camp held at Wofford College. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

All right Panther fans, the Panthers first training camp practice of the season is a wrap and I've got notes to share. I had the pleasure of watching the practice with James Dator, BW Smith, Cole, Goose Creek, MF Panther and his friend. I know James is writing up his overall impressions but I'm here to give you the details from my notes.

Weather was hot and mid-90's though there were some clouds to help break the heat up a little. We were sitting in the middle about 5 rows up so we had some good seats. Players were in shells and shorts so no full contact on the day though there was a little hitting.

Warm-ups started with the punters taking turns and though we were concerned at first we later learned Nortman and Harris must have been pooch kicking it because later the kicks starting booming. Both punters showed a strong leg with good hang time. Overall though I think Nortman was the better punter as far as being directional and still getting great hang time.

After warm-ups they started with some position drills in groups throughout the field. Here are my notes from this first session:

  • 1st team defense front seven was: Johnson, Edwards, McClain, Hardy with Thomas Davis at WLB, Beason and then Kuechly at SLB. They later rotated a good bit so I can't say that is the current starting line-up
  • 1st team offensive line was as expected: Gross, Silatolu, Kalil, Hangartner & Bell
  • 2nd team o-line: Campbell, Byers, Pollack, Zack Williams, Garry Williams
  • Players practicing gunner drills: Josh Thomas, Josh Norman, Munnerlyn, Jared Green, Pugh, Hogan, Darvin Adams & Lyndon Rowells
  • Pilares was taking end around hand offs in the back field from Newton
  • 1st Team Safeties: Godfrey & Martin
  • 2nd team safeties: Pugh & Nakamura
  • In the WR drills both Pilares and Louis Murphy looked good
  • All 22 drills, rotating QBs:

    • 1st pass over the middle is picked by Martin who steps in front of the WR
    • Most of the play calls in the first set were running plays
    • Stewart has a nice stretch play to the left that he cut back and looked to make good yardage but actually Kuechly was there but he pulled up
    • D-Will had a strong run but got the hit of day on Beason who hit the ground and took off his helmet like he was a little perturbed but he bounced up quickly; Beason actually spent most of the day working on some individual stuff on the sideline but don't worry, he looks good and just being cautious

    They then went with more passing plays in the next set of All 22s. I didn't note the QB here but these are the WRs that made nice plays:

    • Ajirotutu made a nice back shoulder catch on the fade; he looked good most of the day outside except on a bad route where he went post and should have cut out. Again, otherwise he had a good practice
    • Kuechly stepped in front of a pass intended for Olsen and took it to the end zone (chased by Newton at the end)
    • Smitty had a nice catch on a crossing route totally juking Beason on the cut
    • Tolbert was catching passes all day out of the flat and looked fantastic at it; except this to be a staple of the offense
    • Armanti Edwards had a strong catch down the middle
    • Smitty toasted Josh Norman on a double move where the safety Nakamura bit on the out route too and gave up the TD. You could see Smitty jawing at Norman as he went into the end zone (we knew that payback was coming)
    • Joe Adams had a nice over the should deep catch but otherwise struggled a bit; he dropped a punt and missed a couple balls but you can see he has nice hops
    • Then we had the only moment of total horror as Smitty collided with a player on a crossing route and next down clutching his leg. He hopped though and it looked like he just got his foot stepped on. He was later walking without a limp and after a break continued practice
    • Godfrey had a nice break on a pass to Olsen over the middle that rebounded to Beason who happily grabbed the INT

    7 on 7 Drills:

    • Newton at QB:
      • Murphy in the left flat
      • Olsen on the fade over Kuechly (His welcome to the NFL moment of the day as he was torched)
      • Olsen over the middle
      • Williams in the flat
    • Anderson at QB:
      • Poole in the flat
      • Olsen deep over the middle
      • Over threw Adams
    • Clausen at QB:
      • Adams drop
      • Deep corner TD to Jared Green
      • TD down right side to Lamont Bryant
      • Drop by Avila
      • Brockel in the flat

    Summary by player with the focus on the new guys or bubble players:

    • Clausen was actually spinning the ball well. He threw a nice deep ball but you could tell he had to really step into the throw
    • WR Ajiratutu made some nice catches but his routing might be his Achilles. He had good size though and nice hands
    • CB Josh Norman did display some brashness but the kid can break on the ball. Also, he didn't seem to let the TD to Smitty affect him
    • WR Louis Murphy looks like a good edition. He seemed very consistent, not flashy, but he ran the route and made the catch. Very solid
    • FB/RB Tolbert is going to be a beast in this offense. For a guy his size he is very fast and has great hands; he didn't drop a ball the whole practice
    • Armanti Edwards looked pretty good; not good enough to stick so far given how many WRs the Panthers have on the roster
    • Greg Hardy didn't look 300 lbs but he looked slimmed down
    • Terrell McClain looked slimmed down too
    • PR/WR Joe Adams had a nice catch but overall struggled a bit
    • LB Luke Kuechly looks to be a beast; fast and hits hard
    • OG Silatolu has the build of a great guard; nice footwork
    • S Haruki Nakamura got a lot of reps at FS and has nice size and build; at worst he's going to be great depth
    I would have had this post up last night but the hotel internet was down...argh! So posting from a McDonald's outside the entrance to TC.
    I'll back there again for today's practice with a write up coming tomorrow since I have to drive home afterward. We'll have an open thread up as well this afternoon starting around 4:30pm again with some tidbits as it unfolds.
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