Carolina Panthers

Observations: Newton dealing with Kuechly and now Norman

Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly (59) signs autographs for fans after practice during Carolina Panthers Training Camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015.
Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly (59) signs autographs for fans after practice during Carolina Panthers Training Camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Observations from Carolina Panthers training camp in Spartanburg:

▪  Cam Newton had a choppy start to team drills. Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly got a hand on Newton’s first two passes, breaking up a throw to fullback Richie Brockel and deflecting a ball wideout Ted Ginn Jr. reeled in.

▪  Newton and Kuechly have had in-practice competitions for several years. But the one between Newton and cornerback Josh Norman is heating up. After Norman laid out to break up a deep ball to Ginn, Newton started jawing at Norman and promising he’d come after him again.

▪  A couple of reserve safeties made good plays that could have been great. Dean Marlowe, undrafted out of James Madison, went up for an interception but came down out of bounds. A couple of plays later, Marcus Ball stretched out for a long pass from Joe Webb but couldn’t hang on for the INT.

▪  Ball’s drop cost him 10 pushups, which were overseen by Norman before the two joined the rest of the defensive backs on the other field.

▪  Defensive end Kony Ealy was able to get past left tackle Michael Oher during team passing, but left guard Andrew Norwell was there to keep Ealy off Newton.

▪  After five consecutive practices in full pads, the Panthers were in shorts and helmets. Ron Rivera wasn’t thrilled with the energy level and wondered if there might have been a hangover from Friday’s Fan Fest.

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