SPARTANBURG, SC – The Panthers wrapped up their eighth practice of training camp Saturday. Here are observations from the day:
Standing Room Only
The Carolina Panthers first weekend practice of training camp brought the largest crowd to Spartanburg in years. When the session started at 10:15 there was a line from the entrance of the practice field all the way to the stadium, waiting to enter the already crowded hill at Wofford College.
The excitement about the upcoming season is palpable, with fans eager about the team’s new direction under head coach Frank Reich and his super star staff, as well as first overall draft pick Bryce Young. The impact of Young’s arrival was no more evident than at the end of practice when hundreds of fans waited around after he completed media duties in hopes of getting an autograph or picture. We haven’t seen this level of excitement since Cam Newton.
Tough Day at the Office
It was a tough day for the Panthers’ offense, with pre-snap penalties and dropped passes plaguing the group all day. Bryce Young completed seven of fifteen attempted passes and the offensive line was flagged for false starts at least five times.
“Too many pre-snap penalties today,” Coach Reich said afterward. “I thought we started out decent on offense, but then the defense really had a good day today. So, just gotta keep cleaning things up. It was a good day today. I was excited about today. I thought our intensity was really good. We just can’t fall into a lapse on offense. We’ve been having some good days, but today was not our best day offensively.”
“Yeah, a lot of stuff to clean up on tape,” Young said. “Defense definitely won the day today. And there’s a lot of things that I gotta do better. As a unit we have to do better. I have to do better individually, all of us. We take responsibility. We take accountability for that stuff.”
But if you think a tough day at the office will bring Bryce down, think again. It’s all a part of the game.
Wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson turned 54 in February, but that’s not going to stop the man who played 14 years in the league himself from being hands on at practice. During individual drills Jefferson put on pads, went downhill, lowered his shoulder and delivered hits to his receivers. His passion for the game is infectious. What other 54-year old is going at 20-something NFL players like that? I’ll put money on it a trip to the cold tub tops his to-do list this afternoon.
- Safety Von Bell had a vet day and did not practice.
- According to Coach Reich, Miles Sanders “tweeked something” during pre-practice warmups and was held out as an extra precaution.
- Austin Corbett, who is recovering from ACL surgery, is ahead of schedule according to Reich, but don’t expect him to be available week one.
- 4th round draft pick Chandler Zavala has been activated from the active/physically unable to perform list. The offensive lineman out of NC State has been sidelined with a hamstring injury.