The Carolina Panthers took the field Thursday for their 8th training camp practice. Here are notes from practice:
Just Play Ball:
The team scrimmaged more Thursday than any other day during training camp. Usually there will be several periods during practice where position groups will gather separately to work on technique. Today, Matt Rhule said he felt it was important for guys to just play ball. Both offense and defense had their moments. Christian McCaffrey popped for long rushing touchdown early in practice and the defense was able to stall several drives. After practice Coach Rhule said he saw a lot of things he likes, including the team’s 2-minute offense, but he did mention the offense had too many mistakes.
Speaking of mistakes…several offensive linemen false started and had to make the long jog to the other side of the field to tough the DBO (Don’t Beat Ourselves) sign. The defense seemed to get a kick out of making their counterparts jump. Guys could be heard yelling “DBO!” when a lineman was flagged.
Sam Darnold showed off his ability to scramble to extend drives. During one possession the first-team quarterback kept a drive going with his feet, gaining 4 yards and a 1st down. Darnold also rushed for 7 yards on 2nd down during a different possession.
The Red Zone:
The Panthers struggled mightily in the red zone last year. The team worked specifically on that yesterday and today. Rhule acknowledged that on both days the offense “functioned well” in those situations.
Back to the QC:
The team will be back in Charlotte on Friday for the team’s annual Fan Fest held at Bank of America Stadium. Last week Rhule wasn’t happy with the way his squad performed during the league’s “Back Together” event at Gibb’s Stadium. Matt doesn’t expect the Panthers to have the same level of seriousness for Fan Fest. Expect players to interact (from a far) with fans and put on a little show for those in attendance. What are the players looking forward to the most about tomorrow?….The Fireworks, of course.