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Initial Impressions: Panthers May 28 OTA

  • First team offense: Anderson, Williams, Tolbert, Cotchery, King, Olsen, Chandler (LT/RT), Silatolu (LG), Kalil, Scott (RG), Bell (RT/LT)
  • First team defenseJohnson, Cole, Lotulelei, Hardy, Davis, Kuechly, Blackburn, Cason, Harper, DeCoud, White. Benewikere/Godfrey nickel
  • QB Cam Newton: All the hand-wringing about him missing these workouts? He was on the field the whole time. He tossed a bit away from drills and then ran through patterns with a group that included Kelvin Benjamin, Kealoha Pilares and Marcus Lucas afterward. Newton and Benjamin walked off the field together and talked about making plans for later today. The quarterback invited the first-round pick to Atlanta this past weekend. Obvious connection forming off the field. Newton did not talk to reporters. Benjamin: “He’s a great quarterback, a great guy. Building that friendship on and off the field … We just went on the boat, went a little swimming, relaxed … We’re always hanging out playing (Madden).”
  • RB Jonathan Stewart: As promised, participated fully. Much further along than he usually is this time of year.
  • RB Kenjon Barner: Had left shoulder wrapped near end of practice.
  • WR Kelvin Benjamin: Didn’t take a significant step back from his impressive showing at rookie minicamp. Worked with third group, as rookies do this early. Made tremendous fingertip grab in position drills. Got into scuffle with cornerback James Dockery, which was broken up quickly.
  • WR Philly Brown, WR De’Andre Presley, CB Antoine Cason: Punt returners. Brown also impressed as a receiver, including on a deep ball against cornerback Josh Thomas.
  • WR Tiquan Underwood: Solid day, making a number of catches during team drills.
  • TE Brandon Williams: Seemed to make most catches in team drills. Great day.
  • OT Nate Chandler: Switched pretty much every drill at left and right tackle with Byron Bell. Said he lost 10 pounds this offseason. “Me and Byron, we don’t look at it ‘I’m going to play this position, you’re going to play that position.'”
  • OT Byron Bell: See above. Knows all about what people are saying and writing about him. Claims it doesn’t bother him a bit. “We’re going to be one of the top duo, undrafted tackles in the league. People are going to underestimate us. Pro Football Focus, everybody wants to write all these things about us, but to be honest with you, I don’t care. As long as my mother loves me and God loves me, I’m good.”
  • OG Edmund Kugbila: Big brace on left knee. Spent early part on bike. Only guy held out completely.
  • OG Chris Scott: Left early because of heat.
  • DE Greg Hardy: Last player to arrive at practice field. Worked with first team. Declined to talk to reporters afterward. Charles Johnson on Hardy, “I don’t get into what people do in their personal life. As long as they come to practice and work, that’s all I care about.”
  • DE Kony Ealy: First on field.
  • LB Luke Kuechly: Walked to practice with different jersey on, showing some personality. Rarely alone, constantly talking to younger defensive players.
  • CB Charles Godfrey: Limited, but did more than many expected. Didn’t have on a brace. Got in a couple good sprints while working at nickel during team drills. “The nickel is very important in this defense. You have a lot of opportunity to make plays.”
  • CB Bene Benwikere: Had pick and pass breakup in back-to-back plays. First guy Ron Rivera mentioned when asked who impressed him, “I don’t want to put any pressure on him, but I kind of liken him to Nate Vasher, who Steve Wilks and I had up in Chicago. He seems to be a very heady football player who has good ball skills and great anticipation.”
  • CB Josh Norman: Excused absence because of dental appointment.
  • S Thomas DeCoud: Listed at 6-2 and certainly taller than most of the safeties around here in years.
  • S Tre Boston: Talked a lot to coaches and Thomas DeCoud.
  • Head coach Ron Rivera: “We really like what we’re seeing out of the wide receivers right now … (Cam’s) been throwing the ball on the side the last few days. He says that foot’s getting stronger and stronger every day, so we’re excited about what’s happening for him.”
  • Overall: I had to spend much more time than usual looking at roster. It’s one thing to know receivers, offensive line and defensive backs have been mostly turned over, but it’ll take some time to get used to. It would be foolish to take away too much from these sessions, but the biggest Wednesday – Newton was out there and he did get in some time throwing to guys. Receiver group will shake itself out, way too early to tell what’s going to happen at offensive tackle, defensive backs are most concerning.


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7 thoughts on “Initial Impressions: Panthers May 28 OTA”

  1. Thank you Bill. This is the kind of insight the lunatic fringe is looking for and one of the few if not the only source we have.

    (And yes anyone looking at a break down of an OTA practice is part of the lunatic fringe but that is a growing demographic when it comes to the NFL)

  2. Scoop of the day on Godfrey’s quote…I swear it.  He see’s exactly what the nickel does in this defense and he’s licking his chops.  I think he’ll fill in Captain’s role just fine.

  3. KissMyConverse Appreciate that. The biggest thing I can do is say thanks and I’m trying. Trying to build something that can then turn into something sustainable for me and for fans. Helps to hear from folks who notice.

  4. I think Philly Brown is the best offseason move.  I believe he will easily fiil the viod of Ginn on ST and will get alot of work when a vertical threat is needed.

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