The Panthers’ three rookie cornerbacks had their best practice Monday, after which one revealed the group has been dubbed the “Three Amigos.”
With more showings like Monday’s, the name might stick.
Drafted with successive picks a week after the Panthers pulled Josh Norman’s franchise tag, the newcomers each came up with big plays during the fifth training camp practice at Wofford.
Third-round pick Daryl Worley intercepted Cam Newton on the first play of team passing drills, reaching to snag an underthrown ball to tight end Scott Simonson. A few plays later second-rounder James Bradberry ran stride for stride with Devin Funchess on a deep incompletion.
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Later during the two-hour practice, fifth-round pick Zack Sanchez reached out to knock down another deep pass from Newton to Funchess.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the cornerbacks are playing with confidence. Worley said it’s an odd dynamic bonding with players he’s also competing against.
“You have your own contract at the end of the day. So you want to compete with the guys around you, but at the same time we also help each other,” Worley said. “Around the stadium they call us the Three Amigos because we’re always together. We’re always helping each other. We’re always talking and joking around.”
With Bene’ Benwikere on the physically unable to perform list as he recovers from December ankle surgery, Bradberry and Worley have been the first-team corners. Sanchez has been working at both corner and nickel back.
“The guy that’s got the hardest job right now is probably Zack because we’re asking him to learn so much. Not just playing corner, but playing nickel,” Rivera said. “So he’s being taxed right now mentally and physically, having to do the different things and it’s calling for different skill sets.”
Worley didn’t get too excited about his interception, saying: “I don’t get my paycheck to pick off Cam. I get my paycheck to do that to all 31 other quarterbacks.”
And while he’s become close with the other two corners, Worley said the Three Amigos won’t be spending Tuesday’s off day together.
“No, we’re not hanging at all,” he said. “I’m going to do my couch and I’m just going to sit on it the entire day until I have to report (back).”