Panther Paw Prints: Week 1 of TC Edition

Jul 28, 2012; Spartanburg, SC USA. Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski talks with a player during the training camp held at Wofford College. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

We've waited all offseason for something to talk about and now we have plenty. Some of these prints might overlap with some of our previous discussion but for those just catching up this is a good post to start with. We are going to work these prints starting with the most recent and go back in time from there.

If you agree #2 CB remains our biggest concern then this should make you feel a little better:

Talking about practice: Day 5
"Darius Butler most certainly has, and Josh Thomas. Those two guys, and Stanford. Those three guys have done a tremendous job, have done yeoman's work. They've had to do a little extra."

We have some nice experience at CB, maybe a little unproven, but we should not feel like the rookie Josh Norman has to step up or we're screwed. The vets are playing well.

I found this print that says Anderson is the 22nd best back-up QB in the NFL:

Which NFL team has the best backup quarterback? - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
22. Derek Anderson, Carolina Panthers Derek Anderson has had his career ups and downs and there’s a chance Jimmy Clausen actually finishes training camp as the team’s No. 2 quarterback, but the gap between him and Cam Newton could be the biggest gap between starter and backup in the league. Newton brings one type of game to the field; Anderson another. Anderson still has a big arm, but who knows if he’d be able to win a game if thrown under center.

Just because he's a lot different QB than Cam doesn't mean he sucks. I think he's looked pretty good so and I wouldn't lose hope if he had to go into a game.

This might be the most important thing I've heard since camp started:

Carolina Panthers megastar Cam Newton still ‘just one of the guys’ | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper
"We haven’t had a guy that gets as much attention in the media as he has since I’ve been on the team. And I think a lot of times that can put some distance between you and your teammates," said offensive tackle Jordan Gross, who is beginning his 10th year with the team. "But Cam fits in great. He’s out there in the stretch line. We goof around. We have fun. We give him a hard time just like everybody else. And he gives us a hard time. "The little things that will really make the team follow somebody is when they know that he’s there and he’s just one of the guys. And he’s a great example to follow."

The sky is the limit for this guy and I plan to witness the ride.

When The Beast speaks you need to listen:

DT Ron Edwards’ return fills a really huge (325 pounds) hole for Panthers | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper
"There’s a play where he gets on the center and peeks this way and kind of throws the center back and makes the tackle," Beason says. "We have an eight-man box and have the extra defender, but he took it on himself to go ahead and make the play. "It was refreshing. Just to get a big, strong wide body in there…it will keep me clean a lot of times. I’m looking forward to it."

That was the thing I noticed about Edwards, he is very thick and large in the shoulders, arms and general upper body. I'm not saying he has skinny legs, because he doesn't. You can just tell this guy will be hard to move off the point of attack and that is what Beason wants and needs.

Rather than moving indoors, I really like the coaching emphasis of planning for the extremes in game situations:

Carolina Panthers camp notebook: Swinging in the rain | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper
"It rained three straight days and it was to our benefit. We played in a game where there was a huge deluge and we didn’t turn the ball over. "It’s all part of the game. You practice in the elements. You play in the elements. I thought we handled it pretty well."

Who can forget the Jacksonville game? I certainly won't since I was in attendance.

You want to know why the 49er defense was so good last season? They created turnovers:

Camp notes: Takeaway training
"The positive that comes in working on takeaways is obviously getting the ball back," Rivera said. "But it also forces your offensive guys to keep in mind that they’ve got to protect the ball." That applies to the defense as well. After defensive end Charles Johnson intercepted a screen pass during team drills, wide receiver Steve Smith chased him down and punched the ball free.

"Without a doubt, that’s exactly what we want," Rivera said. "Even though I may have blown the whistle, I’ve told the offensive guys and defensive guys that they’re allowed to come over and try to punch it out at any time. It’s the mentality that (defensive coordinator) Sean (McDermott) and I had when we were in Philadelphia, and it was the mentality that (secondary coach) Steve Wilks and I had in Chicago and San Diego."

Smitty don't care about no stinkin whistle! If you tell him to punch the ball out if he gets a chance he will do just that! Man I love that guy!

Here's your Panthers fantasy sleeper:

Panthers WR LaFell ready for regular starting role - NFL - SI.com
"When you got a guy like him come in, and he doesn't even know the offense yet but is making plays the first day out there, that's going to make you step your game up,'' LaFell said. "So I feel like I have to stay in my playbook and keep making plays and catch a lot of balls.''

The fact he's worried about Murphy shows how much he's grown as a professional in the past two years.

We need to keep an eye on this situation:

Panthers being careful with LB Thomas Davis | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper
As for how Davis has looked to this point, Rivera said, "He’s on track and doing a lot of good things. It looks like his knee is fine."

I'm not so sure, but I'll leave it at that. I'm not trying to jinx the guy or anything and would be estatic to see him contribute this season.

If you watched the movie 'Contagion' you'll know that the crux of the sweeping virus resulted from 'the perfect bat meeting the perfect pig'. In the Panthers case, the perfect QB has met the perfect OC:

Camp notes: Familiarity breeds confidence
"With Chud there are no (limits)," head coach Ron Rivera said. "The way he teaches, it starts with basic, simple things and from there, the sky is the limit. He's already begun to put the groundwork in. … "You'll see the different packages, the different grouping of players that are out there. There is most certainly a plan."

The result will sweep this nation!

Well this didn't take long:

Camp notes: Kuechly earns respect
"Right out of the gate, he's adjusted great. I've never seen a rookie linebacker come in and pick it up as fast as he has," Beason said. "He's a pro. He stays late, studies, asks a lot of questions. He's very athletic and has great ball skills. "He's prototype – fits the bill. He's going to help our defense tremendously, and I like him, too. He's a good kid."

I still have no reason to believe this will be Marty Hurney's best draft as the Panthers GM. It might be even better than the 2001 draft, but only time will tell that.

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