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Observations: First minicamp practice


—Every player on the roster was present and accounted for as the Panthers kicked off the first day of their three-day minicamp. The only guys who weren't on the practice fields were tight end Evan Baylis (ankle) and defensive tackle Drew Iddings (back). Defensive end Julius Peppers, who's spent most of his spring working inside, did come out to watch a bit and hand out some tips to the youngsters. Peppers is coming off shoulder surgery, and it's not like someone who's played as long as he has needs minicamp reps.

—Trai Turner was full-go. During OTAs, the Panthers limited Turner, who had a sore left knee. With their right guard back, coaches gave Amini Silatolu the bulk of reps at left guard.

—It was unseasonably cool for a practice in June. My Dark Sky app read 66 degrees when players were walking onto the field.

—An excited Cam Newton is nothing new. Tuesday he put everyone on notice early yelling, "I'm feeling good today!" It's easy to see how Newton's screaming probably gets on defenders' nerves, but these practices would often feel downright boring if not for the energy he brings. Plus, he's not out there to care about the feelings of the guys across from him. "Don't waste your film on the white jerseys," Newton yelled to a videographer who had pointed his camera toward the defense.

—Newton fired a screen pass to Alex Armah on the second play of the opening team drill. That was one more touch than Armah got through nine games as a rookie. His development – and Norv Turner's potential willingness to give his fullback more touches – will be something to monitor throughout training camp and the preseason.

—One play later, linebacker David Mayo quieted Newton – and elicited a roar from the defense – with a diving interception near the middle of the field.

—Because Rashaan Gaulden is making the transition from college nickel back to NFL safety, he hasn't gotten a ton of looks since the Panthers made him a third-round pick. But Gaulden made his best play of the spring when he stuck to Greg Olsen down the left sideline to knock away a pass from Newton. Later in practice, though, Gaulden was a half-step behind Olsen when Newton squeezed a lovely toss in a tight window to his Pro Bowl tight end.

—DJ Moore hasn't necessarily wowed, but he's sure looked solid. The first-round pick has shown strong hands, seemingly snagging everything that's come his way since rookie minicamp, including a number of catches in traffic. After one such grab Tuesday, Newton yelled out his nickname for Moore: Sleepy. That's because, according to Newton, Moore always looks half asleep. But hey, as long as he's alert when the ball's coming his way …

—Cornerback Lorenzo Doss continued his impressive spring, breaking up a pass from Newton to Christian McCaffrey on the opening play of the second team period.

—Moments later, Newton lobbed a perfectly placed ball to Jarius Wright, who was covered well by James Bradberry.

—Not surprisingly, Bradberry has been a constant starter at cornerback. The other spot is much murkier. Kevon Seymour has gotten most of the reps with the ones throughout the spring, but that role across from Bradberry is far from decided. Second-round pick Donte Jackson and Ross Cockrell saw some reps with the starters Tuesday, Doss is playing well, and Corn Elder is also getting a look on the outside.

"We're really trying to find the right combination of players to put on the field," head coach Ron Rivera said. "[Seymour is] definitely in the mix. He's a guy that's got some experience, he's played for us and knows what we're doing. But we have some other players as well that we're going to take long looks at. We'll do this all the way through training camp until we feel comfortable enough that we'll start solidifying who that group's going to be."

—The play of the day, and perhaps of the spring, came late in the final team period when Newton lofted a ball deep down the left sideline. Seymour and Gaulden had it tracked well, but Devin Funchess out-jumped both and came down with the catch. You'll never guess who sprinted down the field to celebrate with Funchess: