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Observations from first practice in Charlotte


1. Familiar standouts: The location of practice may have changed from Spartanburg to Charlotte, but it was the same guys making plays for the offense in the two-minute drill.

The first-team offense found the end zone when quarterback Cam Newton threw a jump ball in the corner of the end zone and wide receiver Devin Funchess came down with it over rookie cornerback Daryl Worley.

The second team reached paydirt when wide receiver Damiere Byrd found space in the slot and quarterback Derek Anderson put the ball between his numbers for the score.

2. Smith takes the field: The newest Panther took the field with No. 71 on his jersey and got a nice welcome from Newton when he first arrived. Willie Smith, who signed a one-year contract earlier in the day, got some work with the second- and third-team offensive lines at left tackle.

"He's a nice-sized guy who has played in the league, who has played on both the left and right sides," head coach Ron Rivera said. "It's an opportunity for us to look at a guy who has some starts under his belt and see where he would fit on our team potentially."

3. Olsen working his way back:Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen (back) was absent once again, but Rivera doesn't sound too concerned.

"It's nothing to be concerned about," Rivera said. "He's just going to continue his work with the trainers."

4. Love in the protocol: Defensive tackle Kyle Love missed another practice, and Rivera confirmed he suffered a concussion late in training camp. Love worked on the side with the training staff.

"Kyle took a pretty good pop the other day, so we've had to put him in the protocol," Rivera said. "I think he's in the first two stages of it, and hopefully he'll feel better the next day or two. Today was pretty hot, so we'll see how he reacts to working out in the heat."

5. Bersin making progress: Wide receiver Brenton Bersin, who suffered a rib injury in the preseason opener, took part in the early portion of practice. He did not participate in team periods and put his helmet aside midway through practice.

View photos of the Panthers' first practice back in Charlotte after training camp.

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