CHARLOTTE – Carolina's 2019 rookie minicamp, scheduled to begin Friday, will have fewer participants and more of a classroom emphasis than it has in years past.
In previous years, the Panthers have invited anywhere between 28 and 37 tryout players on the field with rookies and select eligible veterans. This year, the number is expected to be just over a dozen. And keep in mind, after signing eight former Alliance of America Football players this offseason, there was only room for four undrafted rookie additions.
With all that said, head coach Ron Rivera has set up the camp to prioritize time in the classroom as opposed to field work.
"We signed so many of the AAF guys, so we don't have as many undrafted rookies like we've had in the past," Rivera said. "Instead of trying to inundate (the rookies) with the physical part, we're going to focus on the X's and O's and the learning process with how we do things."
The participants will be on the field for two sessions on Friday and one on Saturday. Each session will be about an hour long and the drills will largely be position specific.
"We'll do a lot of individual work on the field and we'll also do some limited group work," Rivera said. "And we'll probably do some sort of passing session to have the guys go against each other and give the quarterbacks an opportunity to throw. We'll have both Kyle Allen and Will Grier out there so we can see them against some competition."
If all goes well, this could prove to be the new format for years to come.
"If we get enough out of it that we feel comfortable, we most certainly could go forward and say, 'This is how we're going to do it from now on,'" Rivera said.