The Carolina Panthers training camp broke ranks yesterday with rookie festivities. Of course, everyone had a great time welcoming the young bruisers to the league. The only question that remains is how many of those rookies will make the cut.
I think one of the biggest questions coming out of camp is the lack of practice by Johnathan Stewart. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that he will be back in time for the first regular season game; however, an achilles tendon injury for a running back could be devastating. We can only hope that the team doctor knows something that we don’t and can help get Stewart back into action.
The second preseason game against the Miami Dolphins should be a little more revealing and we should start seeing the starters getting into a better rhythm on the field. The Panther defense will get to see the Wildcat formation at its best on Saturday (of course the Dolphins won’t show all their cards in this game).
The development of defensive end Everette Brown is going to be interesting too. Panther nation is hoping that we have that classic bookend situation: Peppers on one side and Brown on the other side. If Brown can get where the Panthers need him to be by the end of preseason we will have fun watching two of the best defensive ends in the league.
The biggest relief of training camp was seeing Steve Smith back in pads. We all know that Smith is the biggest threat at the wide receiver position and when he is on the field the whole game changes for the Panthers. This season should be exciting with Smith healthy, Muhammad being steady as usual, Kenny Moore developing and Dwayne Jarrett showing signs of maturing mentally in the game. The wide receiver position for the Panthers could finally be the missing link to having an explosive offense.
If you would like to see other team photos or video interviews from training camp go to Panthers.com for the latest!