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Panthers-Titans joint practice: Thursday observations

View photos of Thursday's joint practice with the Panthers and Titans in Nashville.

NASHVILLE -- For today's observations, we're going to do something a little different.

With two fields being used for the majority of Thursday's joint practice between the Panthers and Titans, Bill Voth posted up around one field while Max Henson stood near the other.

Before we get to what happened on those fields, here's the list of guys who didn't practice: wide receivers Fred Ross and Keyarris Garrett, cornerbacks Devonte Johnson and Corn Elder, running back Jalen Simmons, linebacker Zeek Bigger, guards Chris Scott and David Yankey, defensive tackle Toby Johnson, tight end Scott Simonson and defensive tackles Kyle Love and Vernon Butler.

And those who took vet days: safety Mike Adams, running back Jonathan Stewart, linebacker Thomas Davis, center Ryan Kalil and defensive ends Charles Johnson and Julius Peppers.

Now onto the observations, in chronological order.

(8:59 CST – BV) Five Panthers' buses pull up to the Titans' training facility for the second of two days worth of joint practices.

(9:21 – BV) As players begin to stretch, quarterback Cam Newton screams for music.

(9:22 – BV) Music begins to blare. Newton starts dancing.

(9:35 - BV) Second-round wideout Curtis Samuel, who's again in full pads, again jumps into individual drills. But he's again scheduled to spend the rest of his day working on the side.

(9:38 – MH) Newton, after throwing on the side, joins the group to throw passes to wide receivers during individuals.

(9:44 – MH) In one-on-ones, Newton tosses the first two passes, but short throws to wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess are broken up.

(9:47 – BV) Linebacker Luke Kuechly does this to tight end Jace Amaro in a pass protection drill: 

(9:48 – BV) Thomas Davis carries a garbage can, which was no longer needed for drills, to the sideline. "The more you can do," he jokes.

(9:49 – MH) Newton switches to the other side of the field to throw to the tight ends and running backs during one-on-ones against Tennessee linebackers. Tight end Ed Dickson puts linebacker Jayon Brown on the ground with a sharp dig route. Linebacker Kourtnei Brown is simply no match for running back Christian McCaffrey on a quick out:

(9:49 – BV) Kuechly jumps a route and nearly intercepts a pass in one-on-ones. Because he dropped the ball, Kuechly drops to the ground for 10 pushups. 


(9:52 – MH) Wide receiver Russell Shepard talks some good-natured trash to Titans rookie cornerback Adoree' Jackson as they cross paths.

(9:55 – MH) A punt coverage drill begins, and with it comes a new level of intensity. Click to read more about what went down.

(10:04 – MH) Team drills begin. McCaffrey gets a series of reps to work on blitz pick-up. He holds his own, but the Titans sideline barks at the rookie after linebacker Avery Williamson gives him some trouble and pressures quarterback Derek Anderson.

(10:06 – BV) Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota, who's wearing Titans blue long sleeves despite the warm weather, is dialed in. His latest completion goes through a small window, past cornerback James Bradberry and into the hands of wideout Rishard Matthews.

(10:08 – MH) More barking from the Tennessee sideline after Jackson intercepts quarterback Joe Webb's late pass to Damiere Byrd.


(10:13 – MH) Seven-on-seven drills begin, and Newton takes part in a full session with the first team. He doesn't get much help on the first two throws, which result in drops by Byrd and tight end Chris Manhertz. Newton then connects with running backs Fozzy Whittaker and McCaffrey before misfiring on a pass to Devin Funchess in the back of the end zone. His final throw is well-placed to Byrd in the back corner, but Byrd loses control of it as he hits the ground.

(10:32 – BV) After McCaffrey is engulfed by the defense, left tackle Matt Kalil and defensive lineman Austin Johnson engage in extra shoving that's quickly broken up. Kalil's frustration mirrors the first-team offense, which barely moves the ball during two drives of the "move the ball" drill.

(10:35 – MH) After the first-team defense comes to the sideline, safety Kurt Coleman (who made the trip to Nashville after missing the first practice) is explaining a coverage concept to cornerbacks Daryl Worley and Captain Munnerlyn.

(10:42 – MH) The lively punt coverage drill is underway again, this time the roles are reversed, as the Panthers are the gunners and the Titans are trying to block them. Again, click to read more.

(10:54 – BV) Manhertz makes a catch, but he's quickly stripped by a Titans defender. On the very next play, Dickson adds to the offense's down day with a drop.

(10:57 – MH) The first-team defense is back on the field for a team drill ,and cornerback James Bradberry goes up high to knock away a fade pass to wide receiver Harry Douglas with one hand. "I feel like I should have picked that one," Bradberry said. "But at the end of the day it was a pass breakup and he didn't catch it, so it was all good."

(10:57 – BV) After another Panthers' incompletion, chatty Titans safety Kevin Byard tells a photographer standing on the sideline: "We killing these boys, man."

(11:00 – BV) The offense finally strikes deep when Byrd grabs Webb's 30-yard pass in the back of the end zone.

(11:07 – MH) The Titans offense is executing its "move the ball" drill against the Carolina defense. Tight end Delanie Walker reels in a pass between the hashes for a big gain, but Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks is pleased when a red zone stand forces a Tennessee field goal.

(11:08 – BV) In a two-minute drill, the first-team offense drives down to the Titans' 20-yard line with 30 seconds left. Wanting only a field goal in this situation, the Panthers let the clock wind down, leaving just six seconds. Kicker Graham Gano runs onto the field and knocks through a 38-yard kick.

(11:10 – BV) Brenton Bersin gets just one hand on a Webb pass that's intercepted for a pick-six by linebacker Wesley Woodyard.

(11:13 – BV) With the second-team offense running a two-minute drill deep in its own territory, Webb heaves a deep pass to wideout Kaelin Clay, who's covered by two Titans. Clay leaps and makes an incredible grab, but he's ruled out of bounds. Not knowing it wouldn't have counted anyway, Clay spikes the ball in celebration. He's then penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

(11:15 – MH) Mariota and the Titans take another crack at reaching the end zone, but once again they are stifled. On fourth-and-goal from inside the 10, Mariota tries to connect with Walker, but Munnerlyn is in perfect position to force the incompletion.


(11:21 – BV) Anderson hits Benjamin in the end zone for a 2-yard score. Woodyard yells:  "That's just a participation medal!" The final horn sounds.

(11:25 – BV) Head coach Ron Rivera keeps his team in the post-practice huddle longer than usual. Players then walk away with serious looks on their faces. "They needed to be serious," Rivera said. "I basically explained to them, if you expect to be great, you've got to be great every day."


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