SPARTANBURG, S.C. – There's been some debate as to whether cornerback
When you've got that many in one session it's easy to lose count.
Regardless, it was quite a day for the rookie from Coastal Carolina who missed a large part of training camp with a hamstring injury.
"It felt great. A big relief," Norman said. "The hardest thing for me was sitting down on the sidelines, riding that bike every day, watching the guys go hard in practice. I just wanted to be out there."
Norman had several pass breakups in the red zone to go along with his countless interceptions on the day. The rookie seemingly had his hands on the ball every other play.
His teammates had their own explanations for Norman's remarkable success.
"Fresh legs, he didn't practice in a week, he's doing all this holding and grabbing," Norman said of the taunts he heard. "It's all in good competition. It's all in good fun."
Head coach Ron Rivera was happy to see Norman on the field and producing, but tempered the high praise, pointing out Norman's tendency to create contact downfield. Contact that might draw flags in games.
"He did some good things, but one of the things he's got to understand is that you can't touch guys downfield. This is the NFL; it isn't college football," Rivera said. "I don't want to take anything away from Josh, but he has to understand that when you get downfield, you have to be careful."
"It goes back to some things that we want to do on defense this year – play with vision, see things as they happen. … Josh plays with tremendous vision."
Rivera will be looking forward to seeing if Norman carries the confidence and swagger developed on the practice field into Friday's game against the Dolphins.
"He worked real hard on the side with (head athletic trainer) Ryan (Vermillion) and (strength and conditioning coach) Joe Kenn," Rivera said. "I was pleased to see him work real hard; now we'll see how he reacts tomorrow. If he doesn't complain, you know he's ready for the next step. If he does complain, you know you have to slow him down."
--The Panthers worked the two-minute drill with the ones vs. the ones, twos vs. twos and on down the line. Norman ended the first-team session with a leaping interception of a
The offense bounced back in the second-team matchup, with
Medlock, whose short kickoff set the stage for a 90-yard kickoff return by the Houston Texans on Saturday, had a good practice kicking off, consistently sending them five yards deep into the end zone. Mare, who ranked second in the NFL with 53 touchbacks last season, has been more consistent in that area.
--In punting drills, veteran
--While Norman was coming up with multiple interceptions, fellow cornerback
--There were a couple of other takeaways on note. Safety
NEXT UP: The Panthers will wrap up training camp on Wednesday with a 10:30 a.m. practice, then return to Charlotte to continue preparations for Friday's preseason game against the Miami Dolphins (8 p.m., Panthers TV).
Max Henson and Bryan Strickland contributed to this report.