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Select Panthers get jump on training camp

Posted Jul 23, 2012

CHARLOTTE - The Panthers kicked off a three-day camp Monday featuring rookies as well as selected veterans.

The veterans taking part are a select group indeed.

All three Panthers quarterbacks, led by starter Cam Newton, were among the 35 players who participated, as were three key defenders who barely played in 2011 because of injuries – linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis and defensive tackle Ron Edwards.

Beason sustained a torn left Achilles in Week 1, Davis suffered his third major right knee injury in Week 2, and Edwards tore his right triceps muscle in his first training camp practice. Edwards also sat out Organized Team Activities (OTAs) in late May and early June and a mini-camp in mid-June as a precaution because of a hamstring injury.

"It was great to see Ron Edwards and watching him moving around, and it's good to see Jon Beason and Thomas Davis on the field. That was exciting," Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. "And our quarterbacks, having all three in here and throwing the football, that's good for us to see."

The camp will help get rookies and recovering veterans up to speed and help the quarterbacks continue their perpetual preparation in advance of training camp, which begins Saturday at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.

"This gives the rookies three days to get used to running the plays again and get away from making mental mistakes," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said. "And for the injured guys and quarterbacks, it's a chance to get reps, to get back in the swing of things so that when we get started at Wofford, they'll be that much better."

Defensive end Charles Johnson, who sat out OTAs and mini-camp while recovering from a minor knee procedure, also participated Monday, as did defensive linemen Terrell McClain, Andre Neblett and Frank Kearse.

"It was good," Rivera said. "Last week we brought the rookies in and got them re-acclimated, and this week we've got our quarterbacks in and selected vets, and we just want to get their feet wet.

"We want to get them back into what we're trying to do, and we are able to gauge that we're getting what we want, that the guys are healthy and ready to go when we get started on Saturday."