View the top photos from the second practice of training camp at Wofford College.
BACK A-GINN: Wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr., announced his return to the Panthers in resounding fashion Saturday. His first highlight was the high point of the practice, when he got a step on cornerback Chris Houston and was still going full speed when he hauled in a long pass from quarterback Cam Newton in the end zone. Both he and Harris hurdled a fence lined with fans behind the end zone.
"You can tell what athletes they are because both of them just jumped over the fence, and it was a joy to see them come back," assistant head coach Steve Wilks said. "Great throw, great catch, and it was good that nobody got hurt."
Ginn, who enjoyed one of the best years of his career in his one season with Carolina in 2013, later showcased his speed again, this time at the expense of cornerback Josh Norman. Newton put everything he had into the throw, and Ginn – seemingly effortlessly – tracked down a ball that flew nearly 70 yards.
ON THE RUN AGAIN: The running game sparkled for the second consecutive day. Jonathan Stewart set the tone by bursting through a seam created by the right side of the offensive line, then Fozzy Whittaker did the same to the left side and rookie Cameron Artis-Payne added a nice run soon after. The defense, of course, will quickly remind you (as it should) that pads don't go on until Sunday, so it's hard to gauge how those runs would have played out live. How well the backs looked with the ball in their hands, however, isn't up for debate.
DEFENSE ANSWERS: The defensive side struck back late in practice, really coming alive right after defensive coordinator Sean McDermott found another gear of intensity during some defensive drills. In short order, linebacker Luke Kuechly sniffed out a trick play; the defense collectively left Newton with no options on a pass play; and Houston, safety Tre Boston and cornerback Lou Young took turns making plays. Safety Kurt Coleman capped the flourish with an interception on a deep ball bound for Kelvin Benjamin – his second pick in as many days. But Benjamin, it should be noted, sandwiched a long hookup with Newton and a leaping catch in traffic on a Joe Webb pass around the interception.
LEGGING IT OUT: A good day for Carolina's kickers. After effortlessly booting a 60-yard field goal off a tee in warm-ups, Graham Gano ended a session of increasingly long field goals that included the snap, hold and a token rush with a 53-yard bomb. Earlier in the period, a successful kick by Gano grazed a Panthers cameraman positioned on a crane raised to near the top of the goal posts. Ginn's catch/fence leap got the biggest cheer of the day, but the crowd also let punter Brad Nortman hear it when he uncorked a punt that appeared to travel 70-plus yards in the air.
MORE CROWD PLEASERS: Speaking of the crowd, Panthers fans showed up in large numbers for the first practice on the three practice fields that sit behind Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford College. Those in attendance were among the first to enjoy the improvements made to the hill where fans sit through a partnership between the Panthers and Lowe's. The upgrades are both functional – from a softening of the hill's slope to nine umbrella-covered seating areas – and colorful. Flowers and plants line the upper portions of the hill, giving the area a park-like vibe.
EXTRA POINT: Defensive tackle Kawann Short missed practice with nagging back pain. Wilks said they don't want to push it with the third-year lineman. Cornerback Bene Benwikere missed his second consecutive practice with a hamstring injury, while running back Jordan Todman returned from a stomach bug that ended his Friday practice early.