Carolina Panthers

Cam, Peppers, Kuechly and more: 10 observations from the first full day of Panthers OTAs

Panthers at offseason workouts Cam Newton throws to Devin Funchess and Curtis Samuel

The Carolina Panthers workout during OTAs as Cam Newton throws to Devin Funchess and Curtis Samuel.
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The Carolina Panthers workout during OTAs as Cam Newton throws to Devin Funchess and Curtis Samuel.

The Carolina Panthers began Phase 3 of their offseason workouts on Tuesday, which meant that the full roster of players practiced against each other for the first time this spring.

Ten notable observations:

Quarterback Cam Newton spent last spring and summer rehabilitating his surgically repaired throwing arm and couldn't throw overhand in organized team activities.

But Newton is healthier now than he's been in awhile, and went through his entire workout, including throwing repetitions with receivers.

He also was in his usual enthusiastic, trash-talking "practice mode," and jawed with linebacker Thomas Davis — a yearly tradition.

Veteran defensive end Julius Peppers had surgery this spring to repair a torn labrum and was not a participant in practice although he was present. He ran sprints on the side with a trainer.

Linebacker Luke Kuechly also had labrum repair surgery this spring, but was a partial participant in practice and stayed with his position group instead of working on the side with trainers.

Receivers Curtis Samuel and Damiere Byrd finished last season on injured reserve. They were both back in action Tuesday, although Samuel's participation was limited.

Still, Samuel moved around well in receiver drills and showed nice speed. He also came up with a wobbly deep end zone pass.

New offensive coordinator Norv Turner welcomed Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman to practice Tuesday. Aikman will be in the building all week. As the Dallas Cowboys' offensive coordinator from 1991-93, Turner and Aikman won two Super Bowls together.

Cornerbacks Corn Elder and Cole Luke both participated fully after spending last season on injured reserve. They will both compete with veteran Captain Munnerlyn for the nickel position.

Veteran center Ryan Kalil was back in action after battling a serious neck and shoulder injury for most of the 2017 season.

At left guard, backup center/guard Tyler Larsen took many snaps with the first team and was backed up by Amini Silatolu and Taylor Moton. Three undrafted free agent guards, Brendan Mahon, Taylor Hearn and Kyle Bosch, will also compete to fill depth at the position. The latter three stayed for a few minutes of extra work after practice with run game coordinator John Matsko.

Kevon Seymour took first-team snaps at cornerback opposite James Bradberry. The Panthers hope second-round draft pick Donte Jackson adjusts quickly to the NFL and becomes the starter on the outside.

Free agent acquisition Da'Norris Searcy had a nice practice, even snagging a tipped ball in team drills.

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071; @jourdanrodrigue
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