Carolina Panthers

Observations: Rookie CBs, Luke Kuechly, Cameron Artis-Payne make plays on Day 1

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton smiles as he stops to sign an autograph for a fan following practice on Thursday at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton smiles as he stops to sign an autograph for a fan following practice on Thursday at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Observations from practice on Day 1 of Carolina Panthers training camp:

▪  Zack Sanchez continued his intercepting ways in his first training camp practice Thursday. Sanchez, who had 15 interceptions during his time at Oklahoma, picked off a floating pass from Derek Anderson intended for Stephen Hill. Sanchez likely would have taken it to the end zone for a pick-six.

▪  Luke Kuechly, back in team drills for the first time since his offseason shoulder surgery, nearly had an interception on one of his first plays. Kuechly jumped at the line of scrimmage and batted down a Cam Newton pass.

▪  Running back Cameron Artis-Payne is looking to solidify his No. 2 position behind Jonathan Stewart, and he broke off a big run early in drills. There was no tackling Thursday, but Artis-Payne was moving.

▪  Receiver Tobias Palmer had his Achilles tighten on him after conditioning drills and did not practice.

▪  Backup center Gino Gradkowski had some trouble with the snap in 9-on-9 drills. After miscommunication on the one play, he didn’t know they were going on one on the second play and didn’t snap the ball.

▪  Rookie cornerback James Bradberry probably should have had an interception on Newton. The second-round pick had a pass intended, but behind, Brenton Bersin bounce off his hands.

▪  Hill hauled in a Hail Mary pass from Joe Webb behind the back of cornerback Travell Dixon. It was the deepest play of the night.

Carolina Panthers fans lined up outside Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford College anxiously waiting for the team's first practice of training camp on Thursday.

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