Observations from Carolina Panthers training camp in Spartanburg:
▪ Cornerback T.J. Heath, who signed with the Panthers last week after the surprising retirement of Chris Houston, has already worked his way into the second-team rotation at cornerback. He’s had numerous pass breakups this camp, including two on his first day. He got work at the cornerback position opposite Melvin White after a few down days for second-year player Carrington Byndom.
▪ Now-retired offensive tackle Jonathan Martin broke his silence early Monday morning when he reactivated his Twitter account saying he was “gonna miss football.” “Proud to say I did it, even if not for as long as I wanted. Nothin but love for my Panthers & 49ers teammates,” Martin tweeted, leaving out his teammates in Miami where he was part of a bullying scandal.
▪ Left tackle Michael Oher held up well in his one-on-one battle with Frank Alexander, and then left guard Andrew Norwell won one-on-one against Kony Ealy at defensive tackle. Mario Addison got the better of Nate Chandler on an inside speed rush.
▪ Undrafted rookie receiver Damiere Byrd had what was perhaps his first drop of camp Monday. Derek Anderson fired a pass to Byrd, who had just caught one on the left sideline the play earlier, and it went through his hands. Byrd went down and immediately did 10 pushups.
▪ Safety Tre Boston had a near interception on Cam Newton during team drills. He dropped the pass, but he would have had plenty of momentum to carry him to the end zone had he controlled the ball.
▪ Newton and cornerback Josh Norman weren’t done after the fight. In team drills late in practice Newton fired a pass deep to Kelvin Benjamin but was long. Norman shouted to himself after the play.
▪ Melvin White had interception on Newton in 7-on-7s for his best play so far this camp.
▪ Safety Kurt Coleman lowered his shoulder and tried to hit running back Jonathan Stewart but instead bounced off him and Stewart kept running.