He said/She said: Observations from Panthers OTAs
The Carolina Panthers went back to work early Monday morning but didn't take long to shake off any weekend rust.
The morning's organized team activity workout was largely for installation and drills, which interestingly featured some veteran players such as wideouts Torrey Smith and Devin Funchess providing instruction for both receivers and cornerbacks.
And there was a new face on the field: Jennifer King, the head coach of the Johnson and Wales women's basketball team and a five-time All American for the Carolina Phoenix women's tackle football team who quarterbacked the Phoenix to a national championship in 2013. According to the Panthers, she will be a coaching intern through next week.
Ten more observations from the day:
▪ Kicker Graham Gano was absent, so Michael Palardy continued to show his versatility and his leg strength. Palardy booted a 60-yard field goal, prompting head coach Ron Rivera to remark after practice that he is Carolina's emergency option at the position.
▪ Right guard Trai Turner, who was absent last week, showed up Monday in a knee brace and worked on the side with trainers throughout the practice. Rivera said Turner's knee was just sore, and holding him out is a precaution through voluntary workouts.
▪ Amini Silatolu slid over to play right guard and Taylor Moton took snaps at left guard with the first team.
▪ Quarterback Cam Newton's first signature "Yeah!!!" scream of the day came when he connected with "Mr. Reliable," tight end Greg Olsen, in the end zone for an easy touchdown in red zone drills. Olsen said earlier this spring that he feels great, after missing most of last season while recovering from foot surgery.
▪ Veteran linebacker Thomas Davis made the first big defensive play of the day in team drills and got the two sides chattering early. He dived to break up a pass from Newton, rolled, hopped up and got to talking.
▪ Perhaps spurred by Davis' success, the defense appeared to have a solid day in team drills. Cornerback Lorenzo Doss intercepted backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert. But not to be outdone, receiver D.J. Moore thwarted a would-be pick from James Bradberry by swatting down an underthrown ball. Moore also had a red-zone touchdown.
▪ Corner Kevon Seymour took some first-team snaps across from Bradberry, and veterans Mike Adams and Da'Norris Searcy ran with the ones at safety.
▪ Safeties Colin Jones and Rashaan Gaulden came in behind Adams and Searcy along with rookie cornerback Donte Jackson. Jones, who at times plays the "big nickel," also played safety with nickel cornerback Captain Munnerlyn on the field, which makes for an interesting coverage option.
▪ Chris Manhertz took first-team snaps throughout practice as the No. 2 tight end.
▪ Running backs Christian McCaffrey and Kenjon Barner and receivers Curtis Samuel, Damiere Byrd and Moore all worked as returners.