#1. The team practiced today in just their shells (helmet and shorts). The heat index on the field peaked at 115 degrees. The water breaks were more frequent today.
#2. These players did not practice today: TE Ian Thomas (rib contusion), CB Kevon Seymour (hamstring), RB Jordan Scarlett (back) and C Tyler Larsen (unknown). These players returned to practice from injury: K Graham Gano (sore leg) and LB Luke Kuechly (head precaution). Today was the first practice for newly signed C John Yarbrough who is wearing #64.
#3. The following players got first team reps on defense: CB Corn Elder at small nickel CB, S Ross Cockrell at free safety and DB Rashaan Gaulden at big nickel CB. The following players got reps as returners: RB Cameron Artis-Payne, WR Terry Godwin and WR Jaydon Mickens.
#4. During 1 on 1 individual drills for DL vs. OL a few players stood out. LB/DE Bruce Irvin used his hands in various ways to disengage from his blockers. LB/DE Mario Addison displayed elite quickness with spin moves and push & pull techniques to win his battles. LB/DE Marquis Haynes really showed that his ability to get a really low bend underneath his blocker is something he can do consistently. C Matt Paradis and OT Daryl Williams appear to be getting into full strength as they more than held their own against NT Dontari Poe and DT Kawann Short in consecutive reps. LG Greg Van Roten made it difficult for DT Gerald McCoy to get past him on multiple attempts.
#5. During 11 on 11 team drills the defense mostly dominated all the periods. CB Donte Jackson got a timely pass deflection on a ball intended for WR Torrey Smith from a pass from QB Cam Newton. CB James Bradberry made a great leap to knock the ball away from WR Curtis Samuel on a Newton pass. Cockrell almost had an interception on a deep pass for WR DJ Moore that was thrown by Newton. CB Lorenzo Doss almost intercepted a ball thrown to Godwin on a pass from QB Will Grier. Elder made a great pass deflection on a ball thrown to TE Olsen from a pass by QB Kyle Allen. The offense made only a couple nice plays. Samuel caught a deep pass from Newton on the right sideline while being covered by Jackson. WR Hogan made three exciting catches on passes from Grier and Allen. RB Christian McCaffrey continues to run quick and fast between the tackles while making several defenders miss. RB Reggie Bonnafon was able to get several reps with the 1st team offense. He broke off two nice runs of at least 10 yards and made about 3 nice catches too.
#6. DT Kawann Short left practice early after getting kicked in his left shin. Head coach Rivera said it was more precaution than anything to be concerned about. S Damian Parms also left early with right leg pain. RG Trai Turner left practice for about 30 minutes but came back and finished up. The team will practice in full pads for the last three practices this week. Monday will be the last day to practice before the Buffalo Bills come for joint practices on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Cockrell is making plays at FS throughout the last several practices. S Tre Boston is still working with the second team defense.