10 Observations From Panthers Training Camp

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Kick Return Unit Has Issues

When Ted Ginn, Jr. bolted

Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

for a well-deserved contract in Arizona, the Panthers were left with question marks as to who would take his place.  Tiquan Underwood was brought in as a shifty and speedy receiver that enjoyed success on Special Teams in Tampa.  Kenjon Barner and Mike Tolbert are holdovers from last year that had mediocre results, so upgrades are needed. Rookie receiver Philly Brown, and veteran corner Antoine Cason are also lining up to secure the role of returner.

Thus far, it has been close to disastrous.

Muffed returns and little production has plagued the first three days of camp on Special Teams.  There’s still a lot of time to go before we open the season in Tampa, but something has to get done.  Along with our defense, Special Teams helped control field position and time-of-possession for us last year.  With question marks on offense, this unit will have to come together and approach what we did in 2013.

Tiquan Underwood still remains the favorite and I can also see Philly Brown holding down the other spot.  Kenjon Barner might be forced to focus more on his RB assignments than the return game, but he is the alternate I could also see being out there on September 7th.  Kealoha Pilares‘ only shot at remaining on this roster is in this role, so he could also be a darkhorse to watch out for.  He has had three seasons to solidify a concrete role on this team, and has failed to do so.