Carolina Panthers

Observations: Carolina Panthers’ first day in pads off to a fast start

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart, left, and fullback Mike Tolbert cut around pads on Sunday.
Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart, left, and fullback Mike Tolbert cut around pads on Sunday. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Observations from Carolina Panthers training camp in Spartanburg:

▪  The defense was a bit overeager during the early part of the first day in pads. There were no fewer than five offside penalties during one-on-one drills between the defensive and offensive lines. Mario Addison had two in a row. And after a number of offside calls, Wes Horton had one and defensive line coach Eric Washington substituted him out.

▪  Rookie linebacker Shaq Thompson had one of his best plays of camp when he read Cam Newton’s eyes during seven-on-seven drills and broke up a pass intended for tight end Greg Olsen.

▪  Receiver Devin Funchess snagged a high Newton pass with great hands. That’s why they picked him.

▪  Charles Tillman and Roman Harper had a small collision on a Newton pass intended for Jarrett Boykin. They shook it off quickly.

▪  Running back Jordan Todman picked up a Thompson blitz well and didn’t allow himself to get pushed back into the backfield and on the feet of Derek Anderson.

▪  Colin Jones had a nice pass breakup when he leapt in front of a Newton pass for Richie Brockel and batted it away.

▪  Cornerback Chris Houston injured his toe during Saturday’s practice and sat out Sunday. Defensive tackle Kawann Short missed a second day with a back injury.

▪  Tre Boston blew up a bubble screen for running back Fozzy Whittaker for what was his best play of the day.

▪  Kelvin Benjamin had a drop early in team drills but came back and had a nice hands catch with Tillman wrapped around his body.

▪  Second-year cornerback Carrington Byndom had a good interception on Newton as he slipped underneath Funchess.

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