I was able to go down to Spartanburg, South Carolina this past weekend for the Carolina Panthers training camp. It was hot but it didn't seem to matter to the large crowd. The whole training camp experience was fun, and the Carolina Panthers are looking like a team that could three-peat as NFC South Champions.
Before I left for training camp I asked the fans what they wanted to know about their favorite team. So I went down there and got them answers.
"How much time did the offensive line practice on run blocking vs. pass pro?"
The Carolina Panthers started the day split up all over the practice fields. The quarterbacks started practice by working with the centers and handing the ball off. When the team was scrimmaging the Panthers ran the ball more than they threw it, and they ran it well. It didn't matter who was coming out of the backfield, they seemed to always gain positive yardage. So to answer your question, the Panthers worked on run blocking more than passing.
"Update On Devin Funchess"
Being that close to a player like Devin Funchess was pretty intimidating. What was even more intimidating was seeing Kelvin Benjamin and Funchess standing side by side. I really think that opposing defenses are going to struggle against defending those two players. Funchess practiced with the first team and I didn't see him drop any balls. He also worked at catching long balls over a net with Cam Newton. Funchess continues to improve, and I am beginning to see why the Panthers drafted him in the second round.
"How will Shaq be used?"
I have seen him line up at linebacker but I wasn't able to answer this question, because Shaq Thompson didn't practice. It seems like his hamstring is still bothering him. He showed up at the practice fields, did some warm-ups, and stretched with Bene' Benwikere on the sideline.
"Who were the starting cornerbacks and safeties?"
CB Charles Tillman
CB Josh Norman
SS Roman Harper
FS Kurt Coleman
"How accurate was Cam Newton?"
When Cam Newton and the rest of the offense joined the defense on the same practice field, Newton walked over yelling, "It's going to be a massacre!" He was referring to the Panthers' offense tearing apart the Panthers' top 10 defense. But it didn't start out that way because Cam Newton struggled to complete his first two passes. They were both broken up by Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly. After that Cam seemed to settle down and found his accuracy as the day went on.
"Who is winning the battle for the last wide receiver spot (Damiere Byrd, Jarrett Boykin, Mike Brown & Brenton Bersin)?"
This continues to be a battle, and this will be a hard decision for the Carolina Panthers to make. These four wide receivers had a great day at camp by showing off all of their intangibles. Byrd impressed me with his ability to get open with his speed. Boykin and Brown made some great one hand catches near the sideline. Bersin continues to work hard and shows that he wants to be a part of this team.
If you have any more questions about the Carolina Panthers, please let us know.
By, Justin Raymond
Follow Me On Twitter @JayRay19