Tuesday, August 2, 2011

4 days in, some observations

The Panthers wrapped up their lone workout on Tuesday, and are now off for 24 hours. Some quick thoughts on Panthers training camp so far.

1- It's really tough to assess just how good this team is going to be, because there are 20-plus players that are unable to take part in practices due to the new CBA rules. Guys like Thomas Davis, Jon Beason, Greg Olsen, Charles Johnson, etc., have yet to take part in system installs, and such because they either signed contract extensions, or were acquired in trade. Since they did that, they weren't allowed to begin workouts until August 4th. Davis tweeted out on Monday night "Having to sit back and watch everybody else practice is for the birds. We need to get this agreement done. So the rest of us can go to work." It's understandable why he's so antsy, considering he hasn't taken part in a meaningful workout with the team in nearly two years. Once the Panthers get their regulars back, things will begin to take better shape.

2-The QB battle hasn't been much of one so far. Cam Newton has looked better than Jimmy Clausen in the early going. That may change, but Newton is displaying a wide variety of tools in his toolbox. One of them, his ability to escape. On Monday night, our cameras saw him pick up the rush, find a seam, and explode through it. It's an intangible that Clausen simply doesn't have. Not criticizing Clausen on this, but there are noticeable differences between the two, which, in my eyes, puts Newton ahead of Clausen.

3-Derek Anderson signed with the team on Monday night, and won't be able to workout with them until Thursday. I wasn't fond of the signing, because I felt there were better "teaching QB's" out there. I wrote in this space that Jake Delhomme would be the perfect fit, but Anderson's experience with Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski makes him a more natural fit, as his prior knowledge of the coach, and what the coach wants, will help Clausen and Newton in this very shortened window of training camp. Thing that scared me off of Anderson initially was his post-game blowup following a loss to San Francisco last season. I do, however, understand that we all have moments we wish we could have back. I'm guessing this is one such time for him.

No real thoughts on the defense just yet, as Beason, Davis and James Anderson (among others), have yet to hit the field. We'll know more after Thursday, and fans in Charlotte can get their first look (if they haven't gone to Spartanburg), on Saturday for Fan Fest at 4pm. Admission is free at Bank of America Stadium.

See you there!

Mike Solarte

1 comment:

dave j. said...

thanks for the update! i spend a lot of time trying to find decent coverage of what's happening in training camp since i am stuck at a desk in charleston. sounds like we might be decent this year, but that may be more hope talking especially after only 4 days of camp!