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.