First the BBQ. Then football. After hosting their annual kickoff cookout Thursday evening at Wofford College, the Carolina Panthers will officially open training camp with their first practice of the season at Gibbs Field. The Charlotte Observer has you covered throughout training camp with our five-person crew out in Spartanburg that will be providing live coverage of every practice this month.
Must-read training camp primers
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- The 10 building blocks of the Panthers’ reconstruction
7:41 p.m.: Cam obviously unhappy with what just happened as Addison bats the ball in air and Shaq Thompson catches it and jogs in for the touchdown. This prompted some Luke Kuechly chirping as well. — Scott Fowler
7:26 p.m.: So to recap ... Starting OL: LT Williams, LG Van Roten, C Paradis, RG Turner, RT Moton ... Starting D: 3-4 w/ DE McCoy, DT Poe, DE Short, EDGE Addison on right and Irvin on left, Bradberry and Jackson at CB, Gaulden and Reid at S.
7:22 p.m.: Cam Newton goes 25 yards downfield for a connection. Looked comfortable opening up his arm a bit. — Rick Bonnell
7:10 p.m.: An update on my earlier report ... On the same hill, fans are now sliding down it on pieces of cardboard or just simply rolling down like a log. It’s not just little kids either. I spy a few teenagers joining the fun. — Madeline Coleman
7:04 p.m.: Will Grier took second-team QB reps after Cam Newton, and Kyle Allen has come in 3rd. ... Lorenzo Doss had a nice pass breakup against an Allen pass along the sideline. Doss is trying to be in the mix at cornerback.
6:43 p.m.: While the team is practicing various drills in their positions, a fan football game is happening on the hill behind the end zone at Gibbs Stadium at Wofford. — Madeline Coleman
6:40 p.m.: First O line grouping has center Matt Paradis and Cam Newton working on their snaps. Obviously a crucial dynamic that both will need reps with. Owner David Pepper just rolled into practice, too. He’s roaming the sidelines. — Brendan Marks
6:27 p.m.: Much like the first day of school, “senior” Cam Newton is talking the other 3 quarterbacks through the basics: In this case a hundred little movements leading up to swatting hand towels in a throwing motion. — Rick Bonnell
6:15 p.m.: Sweet moment as Panthers enter first practice: Rookie tackle Greg Little reached down to hug the little girl carrying his helmet up the sidewalk to Joe Gibbs Stadium. — Rick Bonnell
6:08 p.m.: Panthers are beginning to walk into Gibbs Stadium for 6:30 practice. Have seen QBs Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke and Will Grier, FB Alex Armah, DEs Efe Obada and Marquis Haynes, T Daryl Williams, and CB James Bradberry, among others. — Brendan Marks
6:04 p.m.: Christian McCaffrey hit the field at Wofford at 6:02 pm for what is ostensibly a 6:30 pm practice. Sounds about right.
Other early arrivals include the 3 backup quarterbacks vying for the No .2 spot. — Scott Fowler
5:21 p.m.: As fans packed the bleachers inside Joe Gibbs Stadium, they were treated to videos on the video board celebrating the four new Panthers’ Hall of Honor members: Jake Delhomme, Steve Smith, Jordan Gross and Wesley Walls. During Delhomme’s video, when he threw his first game-winning touchdown pass for the team, fans erupted as if they were watching the game live.
And away from the actual field, fans had plenty to do to occupy themselves. There was a fan wall overflowing with signatures, photo opportunities with the Top Cats cheerleaders, and even the chance to beat the team’s signature “Keep Pounding” drum. At one point, a blind woman smashed the baton against the drum and was met with a warm round of applause from a small audience. — Brendan Marks
4:27 p.m.: The team’s massive Kickoff Party at Joe Gibbs Stadium, complete with Top Cats cheerleaders and drum lines and, of course, lots and lots of greasy Southern comfort food.
Fans began tailgating outside the stadium as early as four hours beforehand, and the floodgates finally opened at 4 p.m. With a little over two hours before practice officially begins at 6:30 p.m., expect plenty of energy and excitement — and potentially even an appearance by owner David Tepper.
If this does end up being the last Panthers training camp at Wofford College, it darn sure won’t be one lacking energy. — Brendan Marks
Training camp schedule
Thursday, July 25: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Kickoff party, 4 p.m.)
Friday, July 26: 3:10 – 5:10 p.m.
Saturday, July 27: 9:25 – 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, July 28: 9:25 – 11:30 a.m.
Monday, July 29: 9:25 – 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, July 31: 9:25 – 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, Aug. 1: 9:25 – 11:30 a.m.
Friday, Aug. 2: Fan Fest, Bank of America Stadium, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 4: 3:10 – 5:10 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 5: 9:25 – 11:30 a.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 6: 9:25 – 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, Aug. 11: 3:10 – 5:10 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 12: 9:25 – 11:30 a.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 13: 9:25 – 11:30 a.m. Joint practice with Buffalo Bills
Wednesday, Aug. 14: 9:25 – 11:30 a.m. Joint practice with Bills
Note: No practices scheduled for July 30, Aug. 3, 7, 9, 10.