Quotes to Note: August 12

Bill VothNews, Training Camp

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When asked if all the positions on the offensive line have been decided:

“I think you can see we’re pretty close to settling on a group. Now it’s a matter of them learning to play with each other, get comfortable, trust each other.”

On WR Kelvin Benjamin’s first training camp:

“I’m not unhappy. Kelvin came prepared. He came in very good physical shape. You could see his energy is there every day. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do, and he’s getting better all the time.”

On G Trai Turner:

“He’s 21, and he plays like he’s 25.”

On the offensive line:

“I think there is going to be some growing pains with this group than some of the older groups we have. But we have some really tremendous talent that I think will set us up for years to come.”

On how quickly Panthers fans have embraced him: 

“I think they’re excited for a receiver to come in and start making plays for them.”

When asked if he has heard a lot about former Panthers WR Steve Smith:

“I grew up watching Steve Smith so I knew a lot about him. I knew he was the franchise’s leading receiver here. It’s unfortunate that he’s gone now, but I’m going to try to come in and make my mark.”

When asked if camp wasn’t hot enough:

“I’m used to the humidity. All of the guys have been telling me that you’re from Florida so you have the advantage. The cold weather is what I would be worried about it.”

On telling QB Cam Newton during their first phone conversation that he wanted 1 as his jersey number:

“Yeah, I asked him for number one and he was like, ‘No!’ But it was a little joke just to break the ice on the phone.”

On his biggest unsettled concern:

“Defensive backs are still a bit of a question mark in my mind. What you’d like to do is have that sorted out in the next week or so, in terms of games. We’re going to give some guys some big-time opportunities to find out who that secondary’s going to be. I’m not quite as concerned about safety as I am corner.”

His biggest camp disappointment:

“There’s a toughness that gets built out of practicing in the heat, and we didn’t have enough of it, in my opinion. So hopefully we can get a real good shot of heat in the next week or so.”

What WR Kelvin Benjamin needs to learn:

“It’s not just about going out and making great catches, obviously, but it’s about knowing the offense. It’s about doing the things within the offense. And there’s some things that if teams are doubling you, or teams are rolling to you, they’re trying to take you out. And you’re not doing things within what we’re trying to do, that can hurt us. So he’s young. He’s got a lot to learn.”

On the tight bond between Benjamin and QB Cam Newton:

“They know as they go forward this group of guys can be together 10 years, 11 years, 12 years hopefully. There’s a lot of things that play into it, but hopefully, barring something crazy, those two guys play together 10 years here in Charlotte and for the Panthers and make a big mark.”

How WRs Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant have helped Benjamin:

“It’s interesting how certain relationships get built, and you watch those two veteran guys talk to Kelvin in and out of the huddles, it’s really interesting. I’m behind it, so I get to see the interactions, and stuff like that. It’s really what you hoped for when you brought Cotch and Jvant here. It’s that they would assume that veteran leadership role, and they have done that with those wide receivers.”

On the defense’s BFFs, LBs Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis:

“They do spend a lot of time together, and it’s almost kind of scary, because as you watch them, you watch the rapport that they develop. And this is what you look for, is the unsaid communications. A guy can look or point, and the other guy knows what the other one’s going to do. That type of relationship is key to being successful, whether it’s on the offensive side or the defensive side.”