Grill Bill: Most under-the-radar training camp standout? 

Dennis Daley lines up

Website submission from Richard in Fayetteville, NC: Hi Bill, After training camp in Spartanburg, do you have any players who stood out other than Curtis Samuel? #KEEPPOUNDING #PANTHERNATION

Funny, cause the last time I wrote this column, Samuel had to be at the top. Same this time around. That’s how good he’s been this spring and summer. But since you’re asking for a name other than the third-year wideout who forced us to notice him day after day, I’ll present Dennis Daley.

After the Panthers used a second-round pick on left tackle Greg Little, Daley, who played tackle for two seasons at South Carolina, has flown well under the radar. But the sixth-rounder sure has coaches excited.

At 6-foot-5 and 324 pounds, Daley has impressed with his size, length and feet. He’s also shown the position flexibility they covet so much by working at tackle and guard on both sides. It’s still a small sample size, but the more pressing question about Daley isn’t whether he can play at this level, it’s whether he’d be better at tackle or guard – and that’s something the Panthers will be happy to work through.

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@RMSoder What’s the latest on Greg Little? My impression of him is a hard working, talented young man, improving every day. Would he be ready to start early in the season if Daryl can’t play for some reason?

He’s had his ups and downs, which most reasonable folks would expect from a left tackle moving from college to the pros.

Judging by training camp reps, it doesn’t appear Little has been fast-tracked to start Week 1. Could he? Perhaps. But if you can afford to bring a young left tackle along slowly, that’s what I’d do.

And bringing this back to Daley, did you hear the moment in last week's “Camp Confidential” when Ron Rivera told David Tepper that Little and Daley “could be a pair someday”? That probably won’t happen right away, but the potential should have fans excited.

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@KPTVFans When will Brian Burns crack the starting lineup ? Who will he replace?_

Wide receiver and edge rushers are two position groups where who’s on the field for the first snap doesn’t mean much.

Burns will be part of a rotation that includes Mario Addison and Bruce Irvin, and they’ll all play plenty. And while earlier this month Rivera said, “It may only be a three-man rotation right now because (Burns has) really separated himself from all the other young outside’ backers,” Marquis Haynes should work his way into the mix as well.

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Website submission from Jerry in Charlotte: I have read nothing about Christian Miller since he was drafted as a potential “steal.” How about a progress report?

Compared to Burns and even Haynes, progress has been slow. Miller has potential, but it may take him a bit to get a gameday jersey.

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Website submission from Duane in Lebanon, NH: Did anything surprise you about Cam Newton during training camp?

The two deep balls he threw opening night. Maybe it’s because it had been a while since we’ve seen Newton uncork a ball, but I wasn’t expecting that on Day 1.

Because of the way the offense is designed, I doubt he’ll turn into a downfield throwing machine. But from that first night through the end of camp, Newton showed more capability to get vertical than we saw in 2018, and besides getting out of Spartanburg without any major injuries, that’s the best news that could’ve come out of the past three weeks.

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Website submission from Simon in Kannapolis, NC: If Cam offered you $1500 cash to trade plane seats, would you take it?

Depends on how much I paid for the flight. And considering that one was transatlantic – so both pricey and lengthy – I’m probably staying put.

Cam Newton's nicknames for his Panthers teammates at 2019 training camp.

@Rdub24 How is Chris Hogan doing in the offense? Haven’t heard anything about him all camp._

But isn’t that what Hogan does? He’s not a guy you’ll hear a lot about because that’s not his role. He was solid and dependable at camp. Which leads to …

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@ATh2o88 Outside of Samuel and Moore Who is winning the #3 WR spot out of Wright, Smith, and Hogan?

It doesn’t matter who’s 1, 2, 3 – maybe 5 or 6 since those are deeper roster spots – but trying to figure out some sort of order is silly for an offense that hopes to spread the ball to as many targets as possible.

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@nctroutslayer Our secondary was suspect last year. Your true feelings on it going into this season please.

On paper, the starting lineup looks better than it did a year ago. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about depth.

At cornerback, Kevon Seymour started off camp strong, but he’s missed two weeks with a hamstring injury. Ross Cockrell has shown surprising versatility, and Javien Elliott could be an answer for the small nickel package, but things could get tricky if something happens to James Bradberry or Donte Jackson.

It’s a similar situation at safety. Rashaan Gaulden appears more comfortable at big nickel, so keeping Eric Reid and Tre Boston healthy could be vital.

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Website submission from Andy in Sunrise, FL: Is it better to mash toppings into a burger (cheese, bacon, onions etc) or place them on top after grilling them?

I’m out for that mashing stuff. It grosses me out.

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Website submission from Phil in Aberdeen, NC: Is it just me or has the larger football media ignored my Panthers?

Who cares?

Unless you sign an Odell Beckham Jr. or Antonio Brown, national media isn’t going to go gaga in the offseason over a team that finished under .500.

Rivera has used the word “relevant” for years now in the context of you’ll be relevant if you win games. Do that and get more headlines, airtime and reasons to be flexed into primetime.

Talking heads and predictions in the summer are fun but little more than filler to get us to, you know, actual games.

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Website submission from Ray in Tega Cay, SC: Who are the four Super Bowl winners on the Panthers that Coach Rivera had stand up in team meeting in Training Camp Confidential #1? Can you include the team they won with?

There were actually five guys standing:

  • Hogan (2016 and 2018 Patriots)
  • Torrey Smith (2017 Eagles)
  • Bruce Irvin (2013 Seahawks)
  • Matt Paradis (2015 Broncos)

And Lorenzo Doss, who also won a ring with the 2015 Broncos after he made six appearances in the regular season.

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@KiefW Have any non-panthers you would want to do cart talk with?_

That’s a long list, but here are three for starters: Jimmy Buffett, Usain Bolt, Quentin Tarantino.

Take a look at some of the faces under the helmet through three weeks of training camp practice at Wofford College..

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