The Carolina Panthers completed their 8th session of training camp in front of the largest crowd thus far. Here are observations from Friday’s practice.
The Carolina Panthers welcomed defending SCHSL 5A state champion Gaffney High School for a unique joint training camp practice. The two teams went through warm-ups together before going to separate fields to practice. Before 11 vs 11’s the Panthers went to the far field where Gaffney was practicing to watch them scrimmage.
“I thought it was great for our players and those young people to have a tremendous day together,” Coach Rhule said after the joint session.
“This is something they can remember the rest of their life,” Gaffney’s head coach Dan Jones added.
Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold split reps with the first team – both working with the group in team periods. Darnold had one of his best practice’s of training camp – completing nearly all of his passes and scoring two touchdowns in red zone drills. Darnold, who most of camp has erred on the side of caution – opting for the check down as opposed to throwing the ball downfield, took more chances Friday, completing several passes of 15 yards or more.
Baker Mayfield’s day wasn’t as accurate as Darnold’s, but his throws were more impressive. Most notably, Baker thread the needle on a 20 yard pass up the middle to Colin Thompson during 11 vs 11. While Mayfield’s ball placement was better, he didn’t complete as many passes as Darnold – going 6-13 (roughly).
Xavier Woods may play defense, but the the six-year vet has hands. During a drill where the secondary practiced getting out of their back pedal and catching passes, Woods made a reaching one-handed grab that would be impressive for a receiver, let alone a safety.
The Red Jersey
Terrace Marshall Jr, who has had a good training camp thus far, did not practice with a lower leg strain. Matt Rhule says his absence “shouldn’t be too long.” Jayce Horn wasn’t in a red jersey, but didn’t practice. He’s expected to return to action early next week.
The Panthers will practice two hours earlier Saturday at 8:30 am, before having Sunday off. The team is expected to return to Wofford for practice Monday thru Wednesday before breaking camp.