Carolina Panthers

Observations: Cotchery starts off camp with great play

Observations from Carolina Panthers training camp in Spartanburg:

▪  Veteran wideout Jerricho Cotchery turned in one of the nicest plays of the night when he made a route adjustment and got behind Josh Norman from a long TD pass from Cam Newton. After the play, Newton ran down the sideline and yelled at Norman: “I told you I was going to get you!”

▪  No one has worn the jersey numbers of John Kasay (4) and Steve Smith (89) since they left. But it didn’t take the Panthers long to give out DeAngelo Williams’ No. 34, being worn by rookie RB Cameron Artis-Payne.

▪  DE Frank Alexander, competing for a starting spot, beat OT Nate Chandler during 1-on-1 pass rush before starting left tackle Michael Oher locked him out later in the drill.

▪  TE Greg Olsen had a couple of nice catches, including one tipped by LB Luke Kuechly. Olsen went to the ground but held on.

▪  Panthers coach Ron Rivera is leaving Saturday morning to attend his brother’s funeral in Nevada. Assistant head coach Steve Wilks will run the Saturday and Sunday practices while Rivera is gone.

▪  Cornerback Bene Benwikere suffered a hamstring tweak before camp and was limited. The Panthers will work him in slowly. Running back Jordan Todman left practice early with a stomach bug.

▪  Wide receivers Damiere Byrd and Jarrett Boykin stood out with some nice catches on the day. It’s the best Boykin has looked since becoming a Panther.

▪  Stephen Hill stiff-armed Kuechly in the facemask on a short pass at half-speed. Kuechly said “Come on, man” and Hill apologized.

▪  Kurt Coleman made a nice pass breakup on a pass intended for tight end Ed Dickson going to the ground.

▪  Melvin White wrestled an interception away from rookie Devin Funchess on a pass from Derek Anderson. White got a beat on Funchess and stepped in front of the pass.

▪  Norman had a great pass breakup on a deep pass thrown by Newton intended for Corey Brown. Newton slightly underthrew the ball and Norman leaped and batted the ball to the ground.

▪  Ted Ginn Jr., Fozzy Whittaker, Byrd and Brenton Bersin took kickoff return reps, in that order.

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