The conditions were just as hot Monday as the previous day, but cooler heads prevailed at Panthers training camp.
A day after the most intense practice of camp, the mood was noticeably calmer Monday as the Panthers worked out for more than two hours under a bright sun at Wofford.
Coach Ron Rivera was forced to intervene Sunday when cornerback Bene’ Benwikere tried going after tight end Greg Olsen. Rivera said he did not issue an edict for players to dial it back Monday, but he said he’s glad they did.
“Made me feel a lot better, too,” Rivera said. “Honestly, I think it was on them. They took it and handled it themselves for the most part.”
Before team drills, linebacker Thomas Davis went into the offensive huddle, presumably to try to set the tone for what’s typically the most physical portion of practice.
When it was time for the two-minute drill — during which tempers flared Sunday — the starting offensive and defensive units were given a break.
Only during the latter stages of Monday’s practice did a few players begin trash talking. Wide receiver Philly Brown and Davis exchanged words, and wideout Devin Funchess and rookie cornerback Daryl Worley shoved each other.
“It started getting a little chippy at the end, but they can’t help themselves,” Rivera said. “They’re going to find a way to chirp. That’s who they are. They want to compete and stomp their feet and make some noise and get a little attention, so we let them do it.”
The first-team defense had a good day with pass coverage, forcing quarterback Cam Newton to throw three check-downs and twice hold on to the ball during a five-play sequence. Rivera said that particular drill worked in the defense’s favor.
“It was during blitz period and the defense was working on certain things,” he said. “When you don’t get to game-plan for either side and they throw something new at you, it is completely different. That’s where the stymie comes from.”
The Panthers will break camp Tuesday and shift their preseason practices and meetings to Charlotte.