Carolina Panthers

Observations: Do not try to block Luke Kuechly with a running back

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, left, and running back Fozzy Whittaker, right, battle one another during practice on Wednesday.
Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, left, and running back Fozzy Whittaker, right, battle one another during practice on Wednesday. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Observations from Carolina Panthers training camp in Spartanburg:

▪  Linebacker Luke Kuechly is just too much to handle on one-on-one blitz drills. He mowed through Fozzy Whittaker and another Panther before Jonathan Stewart was able to not give up too much ground in the drill.

▪  Last year Kelvin Benjamin didn’t have a dropped pass until the last week of camp. This year he has at least two in the first week. He dropped a simple 5-yard slant from Cam Newon early Wednesday.

▪  No news on Michael Oher is good news for Carolina. The left tackle didn’t get beaten Wednseday.

▪  On the first play of 11-on-11 drills, Benjamin was flagged for offensive pass interference when he skied for a Newton pass against Josh Norman, but only after shoving Norman out of the way before making his jump.

▪  Quarterback Joe Webb hasn’t had the best passes this camp but he had great placement on a low throw to Damiere Byrd where only the 5-foot-9 receiver could get it.

▪  Speaking of Byrd, if roster cuts happened today there’s little doubt he’d be on the practice squad. He’s doing everything to earn a spot as an undrafted rookie.

▪  Cornerback Teddy Williams has had better practices. He allowed touchdown catches by Jarrett Boykin and Benjamin and let an interception bounce off him. That ball would eventually be grabbed by safety Dean Marlowe.

▪  Rookie receiver Devin Funchess had a good day. He made a nice hands catch on an out route from Newton and then fought with cornerback Melvin White to get enough space and catch a Derek Anderson touchdown throw.

▪  Marcus Lucas has made the shift from receiver to tight end, but the experiment has its lumps. He’s still getting his blocking down, and one pass went right through his hands and was eventually picked off by Marlowe.

▪  Defensive end Frank Alexander and offensive lineman Ricky Henry got into the first “fight” of camp when they had some extracurricular activity after one-on-one drills. Alexander took exception to Henry keeping him at arm’s length and delivered a left-handed blow. Henry swung and missed with a right and Alexander connected in the facemask with a right before the two were separated.

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