The news at Carolina Panthers training camp surrounded what quarterback Cam Newton did, and didn’t do, on Tuesday at Wofford College. Here are 21 things we saw, and learned, at the sixth practice of camp.
▪ Cam Newton didn’t throw. Watching Newton go through a practice like this where all he does is hand off is like going to a Chris Rock concert where all he does is sing. Rivera has said Newton still isn’t 100 percent, which is to be expected after offseason shoulder surgery.
▪ Ron Rivera told WFNZ that if Cam Newton plays against Houston in the exhibition opener next week, it’ll be very briefly – and he wants the ball out of his hands quickly.
▪ Ron Rivera says Kelvin Benjamin came into camp at 243. That’s a good weight for Benjamin, who reported in about 270 in spring.
▪ Sleepy crowd on Tuesday morning at Panthers camp, in part because for the fourth straight practice most team drills were on the far field, 100 yards from the fans.
▪ Rookie and No. 8 overall pick Christian McCaffrey was working some on kickoff returns, although ultimately he’s a better fit as a punt returner (if he does anything at all on special teams).
▪ As Rivera mentioned last week, the team is speeding up walkthrough sessions to adjust to what they want to be a faster offensive pace this year.
▪ If you had Greg Olsen catching a training camp pass behind him from backup quarterback Derek Anderson with only his left hand in training camp bingo, mark your card. It seems like Greg Olsen at times does one-handed catches – in team drills – just to practice them.
▪ Daryl Worley had a nice interception in the end zone, taking the ball away from Benjamin on an Anderson throw. Worley had been hassling Benjamin all day and finally got the pick. But Benjamin did have a touchdown catch against nice coverage by James Bradberry.
▪ Rookie kicker Harrison Butker had a better day, although he was short on his last long field goal attempt.
▪ Anderson also had a throw a little bit behind Russell Shepard, who still made the catch.
▪ Brenton Bersin made one of the best plays of the day, pulling in a contested catch over the top of Jeff Richards.
▪ Amini Silatolu got some reps at left tackle. He can play tackle and guard.
▪ McCaffrey had another rare drop, his second of camp.
▪ Tight end Eric Wallace had a bad drop off his chest/facemask.
▪ Shepard had a couple of touchdowns against Kurt Coleman in one-on-ones.
▪ Injury update: Curtis Samuel still out with his hamstring injury. Also out: CB Corn Elder (knee) and S Travell Dixon (ankle), DT Kyle Love (ankle). DT Kawann Short was also with the injured guys.
▪ Captain Munnerlyn is back after missing last week with a hamstring issue. Zeek Bigger was back from a nasty stomach bug.
▪ Matt Kalil went through pre-practice drills then spent his time stretching with the trainers. Rivera has mentioned Matt Kalil struggling with the humidity, he also pointed out that he is less than a year removed from hip surgery. Kalil also appeared to have his wrist taped.
▪ Ben Boulware got a shot at Mike linebacker on third-team defense right as practice ended.
▪ Rookie Austin Duke caught another deep end zone ball from Garrett Gilbert, earning another celebratory bump from Newton, who was obviously glad to have something to do.
▪ The Panthers appeared to be working out a couple of defensive backs after practice.