Observations from the first day of Carolina Panthers OTAs:
▪ Robert McClain and James Bradberry got the starting nods at cornerback. Bené Benwikere figures to play in there come training camp when he recovers from leg surgery. Rivera doesn’t plan to have the corner rotation settled until camp.
▪ Receivers Brenton Bersin and Damiere Byrd had nice days. Bersin caught two passes over the middle from Newton.
▪ First-round tackle Vernon Butler tweaked his left knee early in practice. He limped around for a bit before being checked by the head athletic trainer. Butler eventually went back in and showed explosiveness Rivera liked.
▪ Defensive end Kony Ealy seemed to pick up where he left off in the Super Bowl. He was flying around the edge several times during team drills.
▪ Luke Kuechly participated in non-contact drills. He was out there with a helmet but was limited as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery. A.J. Klein started at middle linebacker.
▪ Linebacker Shaq Thompson did not stop to speak with reporters after practice. Thompson was involved in a two-car collision Sunday morning with former Duke quarterback Anthony Boone and was cited for driving left of center.
▪ Undrafted rookie receiver Keyarris Garrett made a nice grab going to the ground to his right on a pass from Joe Webb during team drills.
▪ Punters Michael Palardy and Swayze Waters were much more consistent Tuesday than they had been previously.
▪ Former Panthers linebacker Chase Blackburn was back on the practice field. But this time he’s serving in a coaching role as an intern for special teams.