Monday, the “real ball” started for the Carolina Panthers, who practiced for the first time in pads. Here are observations from training camp’s fifth session.
Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield split snaps Monday with Darnold working primarily with the 1’s and Mayfield with the 2’s. 11-versus-11 was the theme for the day as both quarterbacks took snaps from the inside their own 30 and in the red zone. While Darnold had a few pop plays, including a 20 yard scramble and rushing touchdown, Mayfield was noticeably more successful finding the end zone – completing 10-12 passes, including two touchdown throws during the red zone period.
With just one practice in pads under their belts, the battle for QB1 is still up in the air, but Mayfield clearly won day one of “real ball.”
Quarterback Matt Corral may be a fan favorite, but the third round pick isn’t getting many snaps in practice (he and PJ Walker only got a few snaps at the end of Monday’s session). Despite the limited reps, Corral’s mentality hasn’t changed. When he’s on the sideline he’s going through the rep mentally and focusing on making the best of the limited opportunities he does get. Expect to see more of him when preseason games start.
Cornerback Jaycee Horn was removed from the PUP list and was dressed for practice for the first time. The Panthers are slowly working him back after he experience soreness in his right foot. Horn went through warmups and was mainly a spectator after that, but expect him to get more reps se the week goes on.
The Bounce Back
Defense clearly dominated the team’s Together Saturday practice, but the offense somewhat redeemed themselves Monday – scoring in the red zone five times. I don’t think this will be the trend as guy settle into playing in pads.