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Panthers-Titans Joint Practice: Wednesday Observations

Posted Aug 16, 2017

Everything you need to know from the first joint practice in Nashville.

Here are observations from the first of two joint practices between the Panthers and Titans in Nashville ahead of the preseason contest Saturday.

Injury Updates

Like Tuesday back in Charlotte, rookie wide receiver Curtis Samuel went through early individuals before sitting out the rest of practice. He did work on the side in full pads. 

Quarterback Cam Newton went through individuals but watched live drills. He was, however, very engaged as a spectator throughout.

Following a steamy practice, linebackers David Mayo and Zeek Bigger were battling dehydration.

Here is a full list of players either not dressed or not on trip: safety Kurt Coleman (personal reason), wide receiver Fred Ross, wide receiver Keyarris Garrett, cornerback Devonte Johnson, cornerback Corn Elder, running back Jalen Simmons, guard David Yankey, defensive tackle Toby Johnson, guard Chris Scott, tight end Scott Simonson and defensive tackles Vernon Butler and Kyle Love.

Additional practice notes

Below is an exchange that took place while the Panthers were stretching without music playing.

Cam Newton: “Music!!!”

Russell Shepard: “They ain’t got no music!”

Devin Funchess: “They’ve got an ice cream truck though!”

All was right when the Titans eventually played music during their stretching session. Newton and Funchess immediately began dancing.

One-on-One: Panthers pass catchers vs. Titans DBs

-Funchess said he was looking forward to lining up against rookie cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, and he got his chance right off the bat, winning with a sharp inside route during one-on-ones.

-Wide receiver Mose Frazier ran the best route of the session, completely turning around cornerback Jeremy Boykins.

-Cornerback Kalan Reed was in perfect position to intercept a pass intended for wide receiver Brenton Bersin.

-Some tough assignments for Tennessee safety Kevin Byard, who matched up against tight end Greg Olsen and running back Christian McCaffrey. The Panthers fared well in those one-on-one matchups.

-After that period, esteemed Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau shared some words and a handshake with Olsen. “Hey 88. I really respect what you do.”

Drills in the trenches

-Defensive tackle Kawann Short and defensive end Julius Peppers were paired for a two-on-two drill against Titans linemen Jack Conklin and Josh Kline, and it resulted in some major defensive disruption. As Short said after practice, “A good combo, huh?” Yeah, I’ll say. Take a look below at video of the play.

-The closest thing to an extracurricular activity was some extra shoving between guard Andrew Norwell and Titans nose tackle Antwaun Woods in two-on-twos. Overall, it was a really solid day for Carolina’s offense line.

Carolina defense vs. Tennessee offense

-Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota got the best of Luke Kuechly and Co. early, with a smart read to find a wide open receiver. There were smiles and laughs on the Tennessee sideline. But Kuechly responded on the next play, snuffing out Mariota’s first read and forcing him to dump a pass off. Mariota gave Kuechly a fist bump after that one. “He’s smart,” Kuechly said of Mariota after practice. “He understands the game and what he needs to do against defenses. I think he’s going to do a great job this year.”

-Speaking of Kuechly, he shot through the line to stop running back DeMarco Murray for a loss and tipped a pass down the seam intended for tight end Delanie Walker, allowing safety Colin Jones (the first-team safety in place of Coleman) to make a diving interception.

-Safety L.J. McCray forced fumble near the goal line that was recovered by Mayo.

-Linebacker Shaq Thompson recorded a pick-six against Mariota. 

Carolina offense vs. Tennessee defense

-The prettiest play came courtesy of McCaffrey, who gained separation on a wheel route for a big gain down the sideline.

-Olsen fought off two Titans to tip a pass to himself for a nice gain against the sideline.

-In the red zone, quarterback Derek Anderson threw a pass over the middle that was nearly intercepted by safety Johnathan Cyprien. Newton responded by screaming, “I know why you’re at safety now, bro!”

-Quarterback Joe Webb lined up at wide receiver and caught a pass from quarterback Garrett Gilbert. Moments later, Webb threw a pass that was intercepted by linebacker Jayon Brown, causing the Titans sideline to erupt.

-Wideouts Russell Shepard and Austin Duke made a number of receptions throughout the practice, with Duke coming up with the offense’s longest reception on a flag route he caught near the goal line.

Noteworthy visitors at practice:

-Former Titans running back Eddie George

-Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher

-ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit

-NFL Network analyst Charles Davis

-A snow cone truck that the players thoroughly enjoyed.