On a muggy, humid night in Spartanburg, SC, almost 6200 Carolina Panthers fans got to go inside Gibbs Stadium on Wofford College to have the annual Kickoff Party. During the Ron Rivera era from 2011 – 2019, this event was the opening practice of training camp. However, with this being the 1st summer during the Matt Rhule era, this took place on the 4th practice of camp. A couple of Panther legends were also in attendance, with Hall of Honor Steve Smith Sr. in the press box doing commentary and former All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly stopping by to get a glimpse for himself.
1 on 1 Drills
WR DJ Moore vs. CB Donte Jackson: Moore ran an “8” aka post route. Jackson slipped slightly and had to recovery. Moore hauled in a low pass with Jackson all over him.
WR Robby Anderson vs. CB Keith Taylor: Anderson ran a “7” aka corner route. Taylor covered well step for step. Pass incomplete.
WR Terrace Marshall Jr. vs. CB Keith Taylor: Marshall Jr. ran a “5” aka comeback route along the sidelines. Taylor was initially beat at the line of scrimmage but recovered. This was the 1st of two drops by Marshall on the night.
7 on 7 drills
TE Dan Arnold was being covered by LB Shaq Thompson. Arnold got free with a stutter-step move and hauled in a nice catch.
TE Tommy Tremble was being covered by LB Jermaine Carter Jr. and Tremble made a nice leaping grab over the outstretched arms of Carter Jr. near the sidelines.
TE Colin Thompson was being covered by LB Paddy Fisher. Thompson ran a nice crossing route and made an easy reception in stride.
11 on 11 drills
QB Will Grier throws a deep TD pass to WR Robby Anderson, who made a tremendous one-handed catch. S Sean Chandler was covering him. Grier also threw a pretty deep ball to WR Omar Bayless on the next play, but he dropped the ball.
QB Sam Darnold was either hot or cold with his passes. He hit TE Ian Thomas on an option route. He also connected with WR DJ Moore on a couple of quick hitters. However, he underthrew WR Robby Anderson, who broke free. He threw a perfect pass to WR Terrace Marshall Jr., who dropped it again for the 2nd time.
RB Christian McCaffrey’s ability to run between the tackles continues to look better as he ripped three impressive runs. RB Chuba Hubbard also made two nice runs off outside zone plays. RB Reggie Bonnafon had the best-looking run of the night with a couple of juke moves and a spin move that got him free on the left side of the offensive line.
DT Derrick Brown continues to break through for multiple tackles for loss each session. DT DaQuan Jones does an outstanding job taking on double teams to keep the LBs free. DL Morgan Fox showed a couple of quick penetrating moves to get upfield.
DE Brian Burns trying to be blocked without full pads is truly unfair to the OTs trying to block him. In four practices so far, he looks unblockable. DE Marquis Haynes looks like he has improved his ability to maintain gap integrity against the run. LB Denzel Perryman not being blocked is a cheat code for the defense. He fills the gap with aggression and solid technique.
FS Kenny Robinson got his 1st INT of camp off of a tipped pass by QB PJ Walker to WR Ishmael Hyman.
RB Christian McCaffrey RB Trenton Cannon RB Chuba Hubbard WR and David Moore took turns returning kickoffs. K Joey Slye made all of his FG attempts. LB Shaq Thompson felt tightness in his lower body towards the end of practice and was sent in early by Coach Matt Rhule to begin getting treatment. Also, Coach Rhule called the team in for a huddle during the last team period because players were getting too physical with each other. He reminded them to stay consistent with the same way they had been practicing all along.