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Carolina Panthers training camp round up: The Juice is Rhule No. 1

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule demonstrates the energy he expects from his team and coaches.

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule has been preaching to his staff to show some energy in everything they do, or the ‘juice’ as he calls it. It’s infectious and so far the team seems to buying into it.

Matt Rhule gets ‘juice’ flowing for Panthers with high-energy practices - Carolina Panthers- ESPN

“We’ve got a bunch of guys in this group that don’t want to be coddled,” strong safety Juston Burris said. “We want to win. We have a coach we believe in. He has a formula and we’re following behind that.” The formula hasn’t been adjusted just because Rhule is coaching professionals instead of college kids... “If you came to our Baylor practice, it would have been 10 times faster because we weren’t in the huddle,” Rhule said with a laugh. “Sometimes Joe kind of laughs at me because I get a little antsy, ‘Get the play in and go! Get the play in and go! “I don’t want practice to ever feel like drudgery. Let’s rock! Let’s go!”

Not willing to lose any momentum, Rhule shows ‘the juice’ in the defensive lineman drills.

Ignore the double spin move fall down at the end of course. What was that? It’s the effort that counts! He did run through that last tackle though. Call him Rhule the Gridiron! (That’s my favorite Fantasy team name so far by the way)

It’s way too soon to know if what Rhule is doing will result in winning regular football games, but I like the initial approach. It’s going to take time — three full seasons according to Steve Smith Sr — to build a winning culture. That seems reasonable in my view. If you can’t give a head coach three seasons then you shouldn’t have hired him. The Panthers still have some veterans in the locker room to support

Moving to training camp and the first padded practice, wide receiver Curtis Samuel seems to be making it a tradition of making great catches in camp. This one is no exception and might be his best yet.

I’m sure there was a little bit of luck in pulling that ball from the back of his head but let’s assume it was total skill! I’d rather be lucky than good any day I always say.

I’m looking for a big step up in 2020 from Samuel rather than that baby step up we saw in 2019. Samuel has flashed potential in each of three seasons. It’s time to put it together.

There has been concern that left tackle Russell Okung has been leaving practice early. Fear not, it is part of the plan.

Panthers LT Russell Okung leaving practice with the trainer early
Panthers LT Russell Okung leaving practice with the trainer early was part of a plan so he could get some work in the pool to deal with back stiffness he's been dealing coming off last season. Rhule says this probably will be the routine for a few weeks.

Moving on to the Panthers prize rookie draft pick, Derrick Brown displayed some ‘juice’ in the same drill Rhule performed his double spin move.

The big guy is pumping those legs and heaven forbid I should ever get in the way of one of those club moves.

Keep Pounding!