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Panthers Minicamp Observations: Day 2


CHARLOTTE -- As he walked onto the field for Wednesday's minicamp practice, defensive tackle Kawann Short wiped his brow and said aloud, "Man, who ordered this sun today?"

The heat was on, and as you'll see, practice certainly had some extra sizzle.

  • The first team period of the day featured some clean blocking up front to spring running back Jonathan Stewart for two solid gains. Then linebacker Luke Kuechly stuffed running back Fozzy Whittaker in the backfield, and the sideline chirping began.
  • Following a long play-action pass from quarterback Joe Webb to tight end Ed Dickson, Cam Newton was downright giddy as he observed ongoing trash talk. Wide receiver Devin Funchess and linebacker Luke Kuechly even had a little back-and-forth. "These are the types of practices I love!" Newton screamed.
  • Kuechly roared with excitement after cornerback Daryl Worley dove to break up a comeback pass for wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin during a red zone period.
  • Moments later, cornerback James Bradberry broke up a pass in the back of the end zone and nearly tipped the ball to himself before his momentum carried him out of bounds.
  • Wide receiver Curtis Samuel, who was a full practice participant after riding the bike for much of the last few practices, was on the receiving end of a short touchdown pass.
  • When a hurry-up offense team session began, the tension momentarily boiled over. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn blitzed quarterback Derek Anderson and zeroed in for a sack, prompting Anderson to toss the ball away at Munnerlyn's feet. Tempers flared from there. Words and some shoves were exchanged.

"I'm a competitor. I'm going to compete, and fight, and get this team better," said Anderson, who cleared the air with Munnerlyn. "We're not going to let (the defense) come in here and push us around.

"Defense is always going to be a little ahead of the offense because of the way that they play things. With the things that we do, we're going to have a little bit more of a learning curve. But we're getting better. I thought the tempo and intensity of practice was good."

As was mentioned on the sideline, the last time a defensive back got into it with a quarterback at practice, the Panthers went to the Super Bowl.

  • Bradberry took hold of the spotlight moments after the Anderson-Munnerlyn skirmish. The second-year corner first deflected an out-route intended for Funchess. On the next snap, he went to ground to intercept a pass intended for wide receiver Keyarris Garrett, who slipped as the ball was thrown.

"The ball actually hit my cast. It fell into my arms and hit my cast," Bradberry said. "It was a two-hand catch, but technically we're going to say one-hand."

  • Rookie cornerback Corn Elder was frustrated with himself after dropping an underthrown deep pass for Garrett down the sideline.
  • Kuechly was flying around throughout the practice session, and he made a play that few linebackers can make. The All-Pro linebacker dropped into coverage and leapt to tip a pass over the top intended for Samuel.
  • Wide receiver Russell Shepard held onto a laser from Anderson over the middle that snuck through a pair of converging defenders.
  • During the final period of the day, running back Jalen Simmons burst out of the backfield and caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Garrett Gilbert. Later, rookie wide receiver Fred Ross did well to find space in the end zone, but he couldn't hang onto the pass.

View photos from Wednesday's mandatory minicamp session.

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